Many of you are aware of the recent news delivered by Justice Minister Ross Landry that the Darrell Dexter NDP government has decided to break its commitment to honour a previous commitment made by the former government to build a new correctional facility in Springhill.
Sadly, this announcement not only comes at the expense of jobs, livelihood, safety and the security of our community, but also shows an alarming trend with the NDP government led by Darrell Dexter.
A trend of promises made and now broken; a trend of saying one thing but actually doing something else; and a trend of hiding behind consultants while claiming to have all of the answers.
At first I wanted to write this column about the Springhill Correctional Facility. In my 11 years as your MLA, this issue ranks as one of the most important I have ever had to deal with. It continues to be my top priority as I meet with local leaders and urge them to join me in my fight against this decision.
But then I started to think more and more about the series of broken promises made over the last six months by the NDP government. They include:
- A promise to balance the 2010-11 budget
- A promise to keep all emergency rooms open 24/7
- A promise to honour all commitments made by the previous government, including the Springhill Correctional Facility
- A promise not to raise taxes or cut programs
- A promise to provide financial assistance to beef producers and lobster fishermen
- A promise to fix rural and secondary roads
All of these promises have been broken. We will soon see record-setting deficits, emergency room closures across the province, a new correctional facility built in Pictou County, major tax hikes and program cuts, limited if any financial support for beef producers and lobster fishermen, and a reduction in funding for rural and secondary roads and infrastructure.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a far cry from what was promised in June from Darrell Dexter and the NDP. Darrell Dexter and his entire NDP caucus now share the burden of their broken promises to Nova Scotians.
I fully understand the financial situation facing our province, but refuse to accept Darrell Dexter's excuse that he did not understand the magnitude of the problem back in May when the previous government clearly outlined the situation for him.
Instead, he chose to move forward with these promises knowing perfectly well that the political situation of the day would suit his needs for governing tomorrow.
As your MLA, I will not idly sit by and watch these promises continue to be broken. I owe it to the people of Cumberland South to faithfully promote the best interests of our community. I will continue to do that, and with your support, we will overcome these obstacles - broken promises or not.