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Darrell Cole
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Armstrong says co-operation vital to Nova Scotia’s future

MP Scott Armstrong agrees with the recommendations of the Ivany commission that came out last week.

Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit MP Scott Armstrong (centre) talks to Amherst Rotarians Frank Elliott (left) and Mike Hunter after speaking to the club on Monday. In reaction to the release last week of the Ivany report, Armstrong said all three levels of government need to work together to improve the province’s future.

AMHERST – Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong agrees that the time has come to end partisan politics when charting the future course of the province.

Speaking to members of the Amherst Rotary Club on Monday, Armstrong said he wants to work with his municipal and provincial counterparts to put the province on the right course to economic prosperity.

“We need to put partisan politics behind us and work together,” Armstrong said. “We have to stop taking cheap shots at each other and work co-operatively in the best interests of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotians.”

Armstrong’s comments come less than a week after the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy delivered an eye-opening report that said the province’s economic future requires urgent action to avoid a long-term downward slide.

The Conservative MP said the new Liberal provincial government needs time to bring down its first budget and set its direction for the future of the province. He said Finance Minister Diana Whalen faces many of the same challenges faced by the federal minister in guiding the country through tough economic times.

“There are going to be some fiscal decisions here, just like we faced in Ottawa,” Armstrong said, adding he’s willing to work with Cumberland North Liberal MLA Terry Farrell on local issues. “The new government here has said they are willing to work with us and we’re willing to work with them. Quite honestly it’s what the people of Nova Scotia expect, to work together and do what’s best for the province.”

The key, he said, is working together to take full advantage of federal programs that will help train young people for trades and jobs they can do here as opposed to heading out west to the oil patch.

Armstrong said there is plenty of opportunity in megaprojects like the shipbuilding contract, the Muskrat Falls/Maritime Link and the east-west pipeline. Those projects are going to require thousands of skilled workers, the MP said, and all levels of government need to work together to make sure the training is in place.

He also suggested more be done to attract new Canadians to the region, while urging all three levels of government to work together to take full advantage of the latest round of infrastructure projects.

The Tory MP also suggested the Maritime provinces work to bring parity to their tax systems so business and consumers are paying similar taxes and provinces aren’t competing against each other.

“If Atlantic Canada continues to fight among each other we’re not going anywhere collectively,” he said. 

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Amherst Rotary Club, Nova Scotia Commission on Building, Muskrat Falls/Maritime Link

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Nova Scotians, Ottawa Cumberland North Atlantic Canada

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