Cam­paign is­sues ex­am­ined

Nova Sco­tians will elect a new gov­ern­ment on Tues­day

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton/Province -

Nova Sco­tians will pick the next pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment on Tues­day and each party has made a raft of prom­ises in a bid to woo them. Here are high­lights from the Lib­eral, Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive and NDP plat­forms:

SLO­GANS Lib­er­als: Build­ing on a stronger Nova Sco­tia.

Tories: Vi­sion. Ac­tion. Bail­lie. NDP: To­gether we can do this

HEALTH Lib­er­als: Leader Stephen McNeil prom­ises $34 mil­lion for new col­lab­o­ra­tive care clin­ics, nurses, so­cial work­ers, men­tal health work­ers and other health-care work­ers. In a sig­nif­i­cant shift, the Lib­er­als would al­low doc­tors to choose where and how they prac­tise. They also pledge to re­duce wait times for hip and knee surg­eries and to ex­pand the care­giver ben­e­fit pro­gram.

Tories: Leader Jamie Bail­lie prom­ises $13.5 mil­lion to hire more doc­tors and spe­cial­ists, ex­panded tu­ition re­lief for doc­tors, in­vest­ment in nurse prac­ti­tion­ers, fund­ing for at-home cancer med­i­ca­tions, and ad­min­is­tra­tion cuts to rein­vest in front-line work­ers. The Tories also prom­ise $8 mil­lion for men­tal health cri­sis cen­tres.

NDP: Leader Gary Bur­rill prom­ises $120 mil­lion over four years for new doc­tors and pri­mary care givers, to re­verse cuts to nurs­ing homes, to cre­ate new long-term care beds, to im­prove ac­cess to men­tal health care, to keep emer­gency rooms open and to dou­ble the number of mid­wives.

JOBS Lib­er­als: McNeil prom­ises $45 mil­lion over four years to cre­ate more than 2,700 jobs for young Nova Sco­tians through a grad­u­ate op­por­tu­nity pro­gram, the Mi­tacs Ac­cel­er­ate pro­gram, vo­ca­tional train­ing in high schools and other pro­grams. The Grits are also promis­ing cash to sup­port ex­port growth and the prov­ince’s wine in­dus­try.

Tories: Bail­lie says his goal is to put 10,000 Nova Sco­tians to work re­build­ing the prov­ince. The Re­build Nova Sco­tia Fund, with $1 bil­lion in pro­vin­cial money, will cre­ate thou­sands of jobs through in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing, he prom­ises, as will changes to the tax sys­tem.

NDP: Bur­rill will in­crease the min­i­mum wage to $15 an hour, re­verse cuts to the film tax credit and rein­vest in em­ploy­ment pro­grams tai­lored to women and African Nova Sco­tians.

ED­U­CA­TION Lib­er­als: The Grits prom­ise uni­ver­sal, full-day pre-Pri­mary for four-year-olds, sav­ing fam­i­lies up to $10,000 a year. Lib­er­als would also ex­pand the read­ing re­cov­ery pro­gram, ex­pand school break­fast pro­grams and re­duce wait­lists for speech and lan­guage help and psy­chol­ogy ser­vices.

Tories: Bail­lie pledges to put vo­ca­tional train­ing back in schools, at a cost of about $32 mil­lion. He’s also pledged more ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tants, hard class caps, an end to the “no fail’’ pol­icy, to bring uni­ver­sity tu­ition down to the na­tional av­er­age and to re­quire uni­ver­si­ties to fo­cus on in­no­va­tion and job cre­ation. The Tories would also spend about $27 mil­lion to re­in­state the grad­u­ate re­ten­tion re­bate.

NDP: New Democrats prom­ise to make day­care free for peo­ple mak­ing less than $30,000 a year, to cre­ate 400 new child-care spa­ces and to move to­wards $15-a-day child­care. The NDP also pledges to make com­mu­nity col­lege free and re­duce uni­ver­sity tu­ition fees by 10 per cent over four years. Bur­rill has also promised to bring in class size caps up to Grade 12 and to in­crease class­room sup­ports.

TAX­A­TION Lib­er­als: A cor­ner­stone of the Lib­eral plat­form is a broad mid­dle class tax cut, rais­ing the ba­sic personal ex­emp­tion for any­one tak­ing home $75,000 a year or less. Once the tax cut is fully rolled out in four years, about 500,000 peo­ple will save an av­er­age $160 and 60,000 peo­ple will no longer pay any in­come tax. A tax cut on small busi­ness in­come, mean­while, will cost about $14 mil­lion a year.

Tories: The Tories have promised to in­crease the ba­sic personal in­come tax credit, a move they say will help a half-mil­lion tax­pay­ers and cost the gov­ern­ment $276 mil­lion over four years. The small busi­ness tax thresh­old would in­crease to $500,000 from $350,000, which Bail­lie says will free up cash flow for busi­nesses to grow and cre­ate jobs. Mean­while, the party is pledg­ing to op­pose a car­bon tax, and to bring back a re­fund­able film tax credit, which Bail­lie es­ti­mates will cost $34 mil­lion.

NDP: The New Democrats are promis­ing to raises taxes on Nova Sco­tia’s wealth­i­est. The new high­in­come bracket would tax earn­ings over $250,000 at a mar­ginal rate of 24 per cent, up from the cur­rent top bracket of 21 per cent for any­one earn­ing above $150,000. An NDP gov­ern­ment would also re­in­state the film tax credit and elim­i­nate the pro­vin­cial por­tion of the HST on fu­ner­als.

ETC. Lib­er­als: McNeil says build­ing a green, sus­tain­able econ­omy is a pri­or­ity. He is promis­ing to im­ple­ment a cap and trade sys­tem to fight cli­mate change and cut green­house gas emis­sions.

Tories: The PC plat­form com­mits to justice for sur­vivors of sex­ual as­sault and abuse. Bail­lie prom­ises to re­verse cuts to the boots-on-thestreet pro­gram, to en­sure the on­go­ing ed­u­ca­tion of judges in sex­ual as­sault law, to pass a Dig­nity for Vic­tims of Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Act, and to re­quire post-se­condary in­sti­tu­tions to de­velop sex­ual as­sault poli­cies and sup­ports.

NDP: Bur­rill says no one in Nova Sco­tia should be forced to go to a food bank. The New Democrats would spend $40 mil­lion en­sur­ing that ev­ery­one on in­come as­sis­tance can af­ford to buy food at a gro­cery store. An NDP gov­ern­ment would also com­mit to study­ing a ba­sic in­come guar­an­tee.

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