Broken election promise not forgotten
Every three or four years in Nova Scotia we have an election. With this come promises from politicians of all stripes. My experience over the years has been that promises are made to sway voters even though the politicians know a lot of these promises cannot and will not be accomplished.
During the 2013 election, a promise was made by the Liberal candidate for Cape Breton Richmond, Michel Samson, that was, and I quote, “to assemble a working group of MLAs, senior bureaucrats and representatives from the community to engage the union and retirees in exploring possible solutions to the Newpage pension shortfall.”
I served on a committee of retirees who worked hard in an effort to restore some of the pension shortfall. On Oct. 23, 2013, I called Samson’s office asking his secretary to have Michel call me. She told me he would be in touch by the weekend. I never received a return call from our MLA.
I called his office again on Nov. 15 and Nov. 23, 2013, asking his secretary to have him call me. There was no response to my request.
I called Michel’s Halifax office on Dec. 10, 2013 asking to speak with Michel. His assistant said that she would give the message to his executive assistant. That same day I had a discussion with Ellen Burke and gave her some information about our pension committee and reminded her of Michel’s promise during the election. She promised me that either herself or Michel would get back to me.
On Jan. 14, 2014, Michel finally called me. He stated that they were in discussions regarding the Newpage pension shortfall and he should have something to say on this very soon.
I informed him that we had made a proposal to the NDP government. He asked me to send him a copy of that proposal which I did the following day. That was the last time I ever heard from Michel Samson. There was never any follow up with me.
In my judgement, the promise made by Samson was nothing other than a ploy to gain votes and take advantage of a group of vulnerable people who had just lost up to 40 per cent of their income. For me it is a prime example of a politician crossing the line with election promises.
Roddie A MacDonald Port Hawkesbury