Time for a reality check

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News that the province's financial position is not as good as earlier thought is certainly not surprising as much as it is shocking.
It's not surprising in that governments tend to over-estimate their financial position, especially heading into an election. What's shocking is the revelation that if something's not done to stop the bleeding, Nova Scotia's deficit will soar to over $1.3 billion in three years and the debt could climb to more than $16 billion.
In releasing the first phase of the province's independent financial review, Finance Minister Graham Steele said the previous government was on an unsustainable path, adding that spending has been rising faster than either inflation or revenue.
What's troubling, and should be of concern to most Nova Scotians, is that the new NDP government under Darrell Dexter will use this financial snapshot as a crutch when it decides to delay or cancel may of the promises it made during the election campaign.
During the last election campaign, the Conservatives questioned the NDP agenda at every opportunity. It cautioned voters on buying into the NDP plan, saying there was no price tag associated with the promises made by Dexter and his party.
Still, when it was time to cast ballots on election day, Nova Scotians elected an NDP majority mainly because they were tired of the Conservatives and didn't have enough faith in the Liberals.
Time and time again in the past, new governments have come into power with plenty of promises only to have second thoughts upon getting a look at the books.
Now that we have what should be an accurate picture of the province's finances the best we can do is hope the New Democrats will be realistic in moving forward with their agenda.
There are no doubt going to be some tough decisions ahead and some of those promises made during the campaign will have to be shelved until finances get better.
Let's just hope that some of those key promises are fulfilled and that somehow the money required to make them a reality is found.
Nova Scotians won't take too kindly to false promises and excuses, they want a government that responds to their needs and their priorities - even if it means extending some of the financial hurt a little longer than planned.

Organizations: NDP, Conservatives

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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