Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil recently visited Amherst along with members of the Liberal caucus.
AMHERST – Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says his government’s first eight months have been good ones.
“There are a lot of pessimists in this province but I’m not one of them,” the premier said during a visit to Amherst. “The last eight months we have been given the opportunity to travel around the province and listen to Nova Scotians. Nova Scotians recognize there are challenges facing this province. They want leadership and government that says what it’s going to do and follow through on it. They want a government that’s going to live within its means and they want a government that’s going to make a commitment to the next generation of young Nova Scotians.”
McNeil said he knows there are some tough challenges facing municipalities. He said a number of municipal units are considering amalgamation or increased sharing of services. The premier said he wants to take municipal leaders who are holding a professional discussion about the future of their communities.
“We are very fortunate that the municipal leaders of this province have stepped up to serve their communities. They’re not doing it for the pay, they’re doing it for the love of their communities and sometimes they have to make tough decisions,” McNeil said.
McNeil said there is a light at the end of the tunnel economically and his government is trying to prepare itself to respond to those opportunities.
“Will we be able to lower your taxes tomorrow? No, but we’re trying to put in place an understanding of what’s important to Nova Scotians on which taxes we can change to drive job growth and make a difference at the kitchen table.
The premier and members of the Liberal caucus spent three days in the Amherst and Cumberland County areas recently meeting with business owners, community groups and municipal leaders.
During the session, MLAs fanned out across Cumberland County to conduct over 50 stakeholder visits. These meetings allowed for face-to-face discussions on the challenges and opportunities in the region.
“There is no better way to gauge success and challenges than seeing things first-hand,” said Cumberland North MLA Terry Farrell. “The feedback we received was very positive. More than anything else, people want to share their stories. They appreciated having the Premier and the entire Caucus listen to them and gain a better understanding of how to help create prosperity in northern Nova Scotia.”
A wide range of stakeholder visits took place, including representatives of industry, business, culture, health, education, local government, and community groups. Among those consulted were Laurentide Resources Atlantic of Springhill, the FORCE energy project near Parrsboro, Sunset Industries and Thinkers’ Lodge – Pugwash, Jost Vineyards and the Cumberland YMCA.