Nikki: Living paycheque to paycheque

It is getting more and more difficult not to live life pay cheque to pay cheque due to the decisions by the Liberal government. As a healthcare worker, my job continues to be threatened and wages frozen. Most people don’t realize we don’t take home nearly as much as they think. I’d like to live in a province where our government doesn’t attack every public worker.

Seriously considering leaving this province.

-Nikki K.

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My business has been stopped dead in its tracks by ‪@StephenMcNeil @NSLiberal cuts

– Bill Niven, Producer of @bookofnegroes & @heartbeatmovie.

News reader says privatization “wrong direction”

Here is part of a letter to the editor as published in the Chronicle Herald:

So now the Liberals plan to go ahead with privatizing the Land registry, joint stock registry and vehicle registry offices whether we like it or not. We all know how well privatization has served us with Nova Scotia Power, for which we pay among the highest rates in Canada supporting a for-profit monopoly with exorbitant executive salaries. Don’t I remember the Liberals saying they were going to deal with power rates when they were elected? Another reversed promise, I guess.

Now we are going to take another government service, which is generating income for the government, and hand it over to a private company that will have to make a profit from it. That profit will be taken from us (the taxpayers) and given to a company and we’ll be the long-term losers. It is interesting also that the company (Teranet) hired Premier Stephen McNeil’s 2013 campaign manager Chris McInnes as a lobbyist for government “procurement, privatization and outsourcing,” so a Liberal insider is pushing the file. It all stinks of favouritism, conflict of interest and personal gain, which seems to be a trademark of this government.

See the full letter to the editor here.

A very big deal

“The land registry for us is a very, very big deal,” said Jody Isenor, president of the N.S. Land Surveyor’s Association.

Mr. Isenor said this in response to a potential privatization of the Nova Scotia government’s land registry — one of three provincial registries under consideration for outsourcing by the McNeil government.

“Our members see this as a potentially huge increase in access fees and registration fees,” Isenor was quoted as saying in a story by CBC News Nova Scotia.

According to the CBC story, Mr. Isenor also says the government has not made any attempt to consult with the surveyors over the issue. It also reports that surveyors claim outsourced land registries elsewhere in Canada have seen a tripling of fees and reduced access.

“Potentially the loss of a whole subset of public information from the public hands — that’s the real primary concern,” Mr. Isenor said.

See the whole CBC story here.

Blindsided by decision

From the Chronicle Herald Opinion page, Dick Webster, Sandstone Bed and Breakfast in New Glasgow writes the following:

The news of the closure of the Pictou visitor information centre was a disturbing disappointment to us.

Last year, on a visit to the centre, we were advised that someone was looking into changing access so that visitors could exit directly from the Pictou rotary to get to the centre. The current access is definitely confusing and difficult to use at best. That was good news and we expected more visitors would be using the visitor information centre.

The Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS) held its annual meeting in Pictou last year, which seemed to indicate support for the local tourism businesses.

We now feel we have been blindsided by this bureaucratic decision that seems to have ignored the effect the visitor information centre had on the local community and local tourism business operators.

See the full opinion piece here.

Cutting the legs out

Like many in the area, Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane is scratching her head over the government’s decision to close the Pictou VIC.

“My biggest concern is why a VIC at an entry point into the province is being closed,” MacFarlane was quoted as saying in an article in the Pictou Advocate.

The article goes on to say that MacFarlane has suggested that Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson reconsider the decision. She said it negates the recommendation in the ‘Now or Never’ report on the rural economy led by Ray Ivany to double tourism.

She said the government should keep all the VICs open this year and “find efficiencies in order to have equal representation among VICs across the province.”

“No one argues that we have to do things differently, but for the Liberals to just cut the legs out from under our community with no plan is incompetent,” said MacFarlane.

Read the full story here.

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