Ques­tion­ing the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive com­ments on pro­vin­cial bud­get

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - COVER STORY - Brian San­der­son is a can­di­date for the Lib­eral Party nom­i­na­tion in Cum­ber­land South

There has been a spate of re­cent crit­i­cisms from the PC Party with re­spect to our Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment’s de­liv­ery of their third con­sec­u­tive bal­anced bud­get, but yet also lack­ing pol­icy al­ter­na­tives or in­de­pen­dent ideas to counter any of the bud­getary de­ci­sions.

The quote, “Stephen McNeil’s 201819 cap­i­tal plan was re­leased Tues­day and Springhill was not men­tioned.” sim­ply does not rep­re­sent the facts.

The cur­rent cap­i­tal plan­ning process needed to be im­proved, our Lib­eral gov­ern­ment is do­ing just that. This is not over­look­ing Springhill and their needs. this is a gov­ern­ment fix­ing a sys­tem that has been grow­ing more in­ad­e­quate for years.

There is not a day that goes by with­out the en­tire mem­ber­ship of the Cum­ber­land South Lib­eral As­so­ci­a­tion fight­ing for the new school in Springhill. We all agree that Springhill des­per­ately needs a new school, and we all are fight­ing for that, let’s just try not to grab head­lines by bend­ing the truth to suit your needs.

From my point of view, as a per­son seek­ing the nom­i­na­tion for the Lib­eral party in Cum­ber­land South, I tend to look at things with a straight for­ward man­ner, and ask, “What is in the best in­ter­est to meet the needs of Cum­ber­land South?”

From my con­ver­sa­tions on doorsteps, that is:

So­lu­tions to ER clo­sures and doc­tor short­ages.

So­lu­tions to ed­u­ca­tion chal­lenges around in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion and pro­vid­ing more re­sources in the class­room, to ad­dress those needs.

An in­creased fo­cus on eco­nomic growth based on small busi­ness and en­tre­pre­neur­ial op­por­tu­nity.

Main­te­nance and re­newal of in­fras­truc­ture, roads, and bridges.

An in­creased fo­cus on sus­tain­able forestry prac­tices and sup­port for agri­cul­ture/aqua­cul­ture de­vel­op­ment.

This bud­get has ad­dressed all of these is­sues within the frame­work of bal­anc­ing a bud­get. There is in­creased fund­ing to at­tract and re­tain more doc­tors and nurse prac­ti­tion­ers, for in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion, in­fras­truc­ture and high­ways, se­niors home care, as well as nu­mer­ous in­vest­ments to grow our econ­omy, and at­tract new Nova Sco­tians to off­set our ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and be able to af­ford even more in­vest­ment in the fu­ture.

There is harsh crit­i­cism over in­vest­ing in ru­ral high-speed in­ter­net ex­pan­sion and not pay­ing down debt, while ru­ral Nova Sco­tia is in need of jobs and sup­port for small busi­ness and En­trepreneur­ship. How is a young en­tre­pre­neur in Port Gre­ville sup­posed to mar­ket any prod­uct with dial up speed in­ter­net?

I think that it is ev­ery­one’s de­sire to be able to pro­vide all things for all peo­ple at all times, how­ever that is not the re­al­ity of liv­ing with lim­ited re­sources. We have to make com­pro­mises to de­liver the best fi­nan­cial plan for to­day as well as to­mor­row. The facts of our re­al­ity in Nova Sco­tia are that we have an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion re­quir­ing ever in­creas­ing Health­care in­vest­ment. We have a small pop­u­la­tion spread over ru­ral ge­og­ra­phy with the most miles of paved roads and bridges per capita in Canada. That makes in­fras­truc­ture main­te­nance and re­place­ment dif­fi­cult at best. The PC party does not pri­or­i­tize these facts, and yet crit­i­cize lack of fund­ing in In­fras­truc­ture, with no vi­able so­lu­tion to ad­dress the needs.

In my opin­ion, it is time that we have an hon­est to good­ness old-fash­ioned de­bate at The Hall in Pars­borro, with­out fin­ger point­ing and ex­ag­ger­at­ing.

Let’s have the PC Party bring forth its al­ter­na­tives, along with the sup­port­ing bud­get, and let the peo­ple of Nova Sco­tia de­cide which is in our best in­ter­est, as well as the in­ter­est of our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

This ex­er­cise would be help­ful, cre­ative, and end up with the best re­sult for the peo­ple of Nova Sco­tia. Ul­ti­mately, the trick is to have mem­bers from both par­ties work­ing to­gether to im­ple­ment the best pos­si­ble re­sult, re­gard­less of who came up with the idea.

This my friends won’t hap­pen overnight, but for now, I will con­tinue to seek what is best for the peo­ple of Cum­ber­land South, and for the right to rep­re­sent them in the up­com­ing by­elec­tion, and I will hope that the PC Party will bring forth hon­est de­bate and rel­a­tive pol­icy al­ter­na­tives, in­stead of empty crit­i­cism with no plan for a bet­ter di­rec­tion. Af­ter all, wouldn’t it be more ben­e­fi­cial to have both fu­ture MLA’s in Cum­ber­land County work­ing to­gether from both sides of the floor, for the greater good of our com­mu­ni­ties?

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