Category: Nova Scotia Politics

On Auditor General, McNeil is half right

The ironic thing about the fuss over the Premier’s snarky attack on the provincial auditor general is that he has the right target but the wrong issue. Asked by reporters last Thursday to comment on the auditor’s deconstructing of the government’s efforts to deal with the family doctor shortage, McNeil aimed a couple of jabs in AG Michael Pickup’s direction. The gist was first, that he (McNeil) didn’t need to be told Nova Scotia has a shortage of family doctors, and second that the voters, not Pickup, would judge the quality of the government’s communication on the shortage. Prodded...

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McNeil trying to re-write history of bad health deal

The fall session of the Nova Scotia legislature wrapped up Thursday – not with a whimper but a crack – as the government ignored opposition and expert advice and whipped through its flawed cyber bullying and adult capacity legislation. Those bills, along with a gormless cap-and-trade bill that will leave everything to cabinet regulation, were the dubious legislative highlights of the session. Question period and a lot of the budget debate were dominated by health care and its mismanagement. Given that health care also monopolized the recent Nova Scotia election, one might have expected more attention directed to the diminished federal...

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Updated post-election Nova Scotia Budget a case of deja vu – but worse

Driving back to Dartmouth from last Tuesday’s provincial budget lockup at Pier 21 we were required, like the rest of the traffic, to slow down because of the construction project that has turned Water Street into an obstacle course. The bottleneck caused by the Queen’s Marque construction simply added insult to injury. We “stakeholders,” like members of the legislature and everyday Nova Scotians of less exalted status had just been briefed on the revised provincial budget for 2017-18. It was the updated version of the one that was introduced in April but not passed because the Liberals preferred going...

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Book lays out hard truths about region’s plight

The book has been around for a while but Richard Saillant’s A Tale of Two Countries takes on fresh relevance in the wake of those unfortunate health side deals signed last month by three of the four Atlantic provinces. Saillant, director of the Donald J. Savoie Institute at the University of Moncton, exposes what he calls The Great Demographic Imbalance looming over the country. His book, which came out from Nimbus Publishing about six months ago, details the dire effect this region’s aging baby boom generation will have both on our costs of social services and our economy’s capacity to pay...

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Making the polls look good and the books look bad

As the pundits weighed in with their year-end commentaries on Nova Scotia politics I kept hearing two items of conventional wisdom. One, that Nova Scotia’s fiscal situation is worsening as the result of declining revenues and; Two, that the Liberals’ get tough approach to public sector workers is not hurting them in the polls. There is reason to challenge both assertions. First, on the dire state of the province’s finances, I’ve rattled on about this before. My September post (Public Accounts contradict Liberal Gloom and Doom) dealt with Liberal efforts to convince us of an impending fiscal meltdown prior...

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Liberal Electricity Plan: Some guys have all the luck

The Liberals, whose victory two years ago owed much to the claim they could do a better job than the NDP with the power file, brought in their electricity manifesto last week, with legislation to follow. Grandly titled Our Electricity Future: Nova Scotia’s Electricity Plan 2015-2040, the report was the result of one of those pro-forma consultations in which “stakeholders” give their views in various forums and the government ‘s communications experts write up a final report made up of what their client wants. The whole exercise used up a lot of time and undoubtedly a fair bit of...

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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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