Nova Scotia embraces red tide, elects Liberal government

New Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil

New Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil

Nova Scotia voters are strutting tonight like drunken revellers who feel like they are about to get lucky. I just hope that strut doesn’t turn into walk of shame in the next 4 years.

The Liberals have created high expectations, much like the NDP did in 2009, and they will be hard-pressed to meet them in this climate of cynicism. When only 56 per cent of voters turn out, that tells me that 44 per cent of the population thinks that there is so little difference between the parties that it doesn’t matter who gets elected. I would like to see a political party eschew the partisan barbs and start appealing to voters because they will make the right long-term decisions for the province, not short-term promises to get elected.

Can the Liberals govern differently than most governments in Nova Scotia have governed in the past? Should we expect different and will we get it?

The slate is clean. Prove yourselves.

New Waterford jobs not exactly as advertised

On Monday, the NDP government announced it was moving jobs from the city to rural areas to fulfill the commitment that they had made in this spring’s Throne Speech.

In three separate announcements, they announced that 93 jobs involving three departments would be moving. Two of those were straightforward. Agriculture jobs were moving from Halifax to Truro while Fisheries and Aquaculture was moving some jobs from Halifax to Digby-Clementsport and some to Shelburne County.

Here is what the news release from the Department of Justice said about the transfer of its maintenance enforcement jobs to New Waterford.

Service is currently delivered online, via telephone and in five locations around the province.”

It boasted that 25 jobs would be moving to Cape Breton. When combined with the 11 already in Sydney, it would amount to 36 jobs for New Waterford. Left unsaid in the release is the names of the communities where those maintenance enforcement staff are employed and their current staffing levels — with the exception of the 11 staff in Sydney.

Here are the rest of the numbers:

  • Dartmouth, 11
  • Halifax, 8
  • Kentville, 8
  • Amherst, 6
  • New Glasgow, 3

The eight staff at the Department of Justice offices on Terminal Road in Halifax will not be moving as they need to remain in Halifax to be close to Finance staff.

The 17 staff in the rural communities of Kentville, Amherst and New Glasgow were part of a planned consolidation with the 11 staff in urban Dartmouth. Premier Darrell Dexter said consolidations such as this have — in the past — normally involved staff moving into the city.

So, of the 47 maintenance enforcement jobs in the province, 36 will be in New Waterford. Of those 36, only 11 are currently in the provincial capital.

That the NDP chose to make a planned consolidation take place in New Waterford instead of the Halifax Regional Municipality is fine. The only people who object to this appear to be the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, but the government should have been more forthcoming with the details.

Sometimes, PR people are reluctant to “get down in the weeds” by providing too many details. In this case, because the consolidation of the maintenance enforcement jobs had not been previously revealed, these details were relevant and should have been part of Monday’s announcement.