Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax
© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Rankin
Election fever was rampant at the annual Labour Day march and rally, and Premier Darrell Dexter hinted strongly that the writ will drop very soon.
“Very shortly we’re going to have the opportunity to profoundly influence the direction of this province in the years to come,” he told the strongly pro-NDP crowd at the Halifax Common on Monday.
Several NDP MPs, MLAs and candidates were in attendance for the festivities, along with hundreds of union members representing the NSGEU, PSAC, ATU and others. Participants gathered in Victoria Park and then marched to the Commons for a barbecue and the rally.
Dexter told the crowd his government had improved the lives of Nova Scotia workers over the last four years by changing the approach to economic growth.
“We decided very early on that…it was time to have a participatory economy,” he said, citing the national shipbuilding contract and the paper mill in Port Hawkesbury as success stories. “There are 1,000 people working in the Strait in the most productive mill not only in North America, but one of the most productive mills in the world.”
Carrie Campbell of the Halifax-District Labour Council said workers across the country are facing increasing cutbacks in both the private and public sector.
She said there’s a lot at stake in the upcoming election.
“Last week, (PC party leader) Jamie Baillie said he would cut 10 per cent of public sector jobs, (Liberal leader) Stephen McNeil said he would cut 100,” she said. “That’s a huge concern for us. They’re good paying jobs in Nova Scotia, where our unemployment rate is higher than in other parts of the country.”