SPRINGHILL – Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie says bad management by the Dexter NDP is killing jobs on the North Shore and forcing families to look for new opportunities away from home.
According to a Statistics Canada report released last week, employment has dropped by 1,900 in the last month alone. 1,800 of those were full-time jobs. In addition, 1,100 people have stopped looking for work and left to hopefully find a job somewhere else.
“The NDP are hurting rural Nova Scotia with bad policies that kill jobs,” said Baillie, citing the upcoming closure of fine-salt plant in Pugwash as the latest example. “Windsor Salt is shutting the doors of their fine-salt plant because the cost of electricity and doing business in Nova Scotia is too high. Those were valuable, local jobs that families depended on.”
Nova Scotia has the worst job record in the country. In 2012, 8,600 jobs were lost, 6,300 of them full-time. That’s the equivalent of every person in Trenton and Westville losing a full-time job in one year.
Baillie says the government should create the conditions to allow people to create jobs instead of constantly bailing out large corporations. That means lowering taxes, freezing power rates and stopping wasteful spending.
“Our economy is dangerously weak and rural Nova Scotia is in recession," said Baillie. “A better way forward for our province is a balanced budget and lower taxes, freeze power rates, and have labour laws that encourage investment and growth.”
Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris said he’s surprised and disappointed with Baillie’s comments.
Paris said job numbers vary monthly, but overall the province has seen job growth in the last year.
“I hear the opposition parties talk about the job the current government is doing, and I have to remind them that we just finished 20 years of the worst economic growth in the country,” Paris said. “On top of that, we just experienced three years of what many consider the worst recession this country has ever experienced. Under these circumstances our goal has been turn the ship around and we’re doing just that.”
The minister said Nova Scotians should be celebrating the province’s economic situation and the investment in small and medium-sized business as well as support for larger employers that brought jobs to Nova Scotia or are maintaining jobs here.
“If we were to listen to the Conservatives and the Liberals there would be no one working in Port Hawkesbury at the Newpage mill,” he said. “I honestly don’t know where they’re coming from sometimes.”