Category: Nova Scotia Politics

Houston government sets sail without the fiscal albatross

It’s interesting to consider how abruptly political fashions can change – how it’s all about balanced budgets until it isn’t. Take for example the recent debut of Nova Scotia’s new Progressive Conservative government. For the first time in more than two decades the new government isn’t putting on a show of recoiling in horror upon discovery of the true state of the province’s finances and issuing dire warnings of the need for urgent spending restraint. In that respect, the new PC government represents a sharp departure from the last Conservative administration that followed the shock and awe script when...

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Marginalizing people with disabilities blindsides Liberal campaign

Sunday in Victoria Park with Vicky will not be one of the cherished memories of Campaign 2021 for Iain Rankin and the Nova Scotia Liberals. No matter how the election turns out, any campaign post-mortem will have to consider how last Sunday’s good news announcement on new hospitals and health centres got taken over by disability rights activists. In case you missed the news reports and social media coverage, here are the basic details of a Liberal campaign event gone sideways. Vicky Levack, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around, showed up for the campaign...

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The Liberal platform: Optimism divorced from reality

On first glance, the Liberal platform released last week has a millennial look about. It starts with the sub-title of the document “Our time, our future” which appears on the cover along with the smiling, shirt-sleeved 38-year old Liberal leader. Turn the pages and encounter photo after photo featuring Iain Rankin. Alone or with others, the man who aspires to continue leading Nova Scotia is pictured- sometimes masked, often not – in fields, vineyards and research labs, on construction sites, in front of Sydney’s Big Fiddle and crouched on a rock in some sylvan lake. The Platform often speaks...

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Houston’s paycheque guarantee gets tough review from an unlikely source

Maybe the media are trying to level the playing field for the official opposition after giving two Liberal Premiers months of mostly positive pandemic-related airtime. Or perhaps it’s because they no longer have the newsroom resources to analyze or fact check election promises. Whatever the reason, it’s astonishing that it took until day 22 of Nova Scotia’s a 32-day election campaign before anyone in the mainstream media turned a critical eye toward the “Better Paycheque Guarantee”(BPG) being promoted by PC Leader Tim Houston. In all my years of observing, covering or working on election campaigns I’ve never seen anything...

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Poverty and elections: the elephant in the room stirs

It came up only briefly but the subject of Nova Scotians’ lagging family incomes produced one of the livelier exchanges in last week’s leaders’ debate. Responding to a question about plans for the post-pandemic recovery, Iain Rankin recited the familiar pre-pandemic catalogue of Liberal talking points on the economy. He mentioned growth in population, exports, tourism and employment, proof in his view that the Liberal government was “on the right track before the pandemic hit and we need to get back to that.” “Right track,” interjected an incredulous Gary Burrill. “The truth is that we had going into the...

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Chéticamp Act Two: The slippery slope of protected ridings

As discussed in part one, over the last ten years two boundaries commissions, one special commission and a Court of Appeal reference have wrestled with the question of how to improve the chances for Acadians and African Nova Scotians to be elected to the Nova Scotia legislature. It may have seemed that the matter was settled when the legislature responded positively to the finding of the court and the advice of the two most recent commissions. In late 2019, the legislature approved new electoral boundaries, including a handful of districts with populations falling 25 per cent or more below...

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Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, a former radio and TV producer and weekly newspaper editor, and the author of three non-fiction books. Starr has lived in Dartmouth for more than 30 years.

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