Expect a spring in the step of the Premier and his Caucus over the coming weeks as talk of ships and jobs dominate the fall legislative session.
Changes to the IEF and its governing legislation the Industrial Development Act will be the first legislative piece. If you recall, amendments are necessary in response to the Auditor General’s report on the performance of the IEF as set up by the Conservatives. Hard to believe that the legislation has not been amended in almost 60 years. The creation of a modern economic development fund is a strategic fit with the government’s jobsHere plan. The Opposition wanted to focus on jobs this session? Well apparently so does the NDP.
Legislation you should expect to see:
– changes to the Insurance Act about Auto Insurance
– passage of the Safer School Zone Act
– the Fall Capital Plan
– the Electoral Boundaries Commission
Both opposition parties are calling on the Premier to create the kind of long-term jobs that neither of their respective parties have ever been able to create in their combined time “governing” (aka running up the debt of) Nova Scotia. That’s swell. It took a hundred years for the Liberals and Conservatives to break Nova Scotia – the NDP should be able to undo 25 or so years of damage in their first five.
Other than supporting the government’s jobs plan, what can we expect from the opposition parties this session? Expect the Conservatives to continue to lobby for tax cuts and call for a deep slash in spending. But don’t expect them to say where they would cut or how they would make up for decreased tax revenues. And don’t expect all but the best journalists to ask them, either.
As for the Opposition Liberals, expect them to continue to fritter away precious energy with more infighting. Oh, and expect them to set up a Liberal think tank (we would have preferred they just returned the money) with their questionable trust funds. In the House, expect the Liberals to call for massive spending on Tuesdays and reckless cuts on Thursdays (or is it visa-versa?). In short: expect them to suck, but mostly blow.
We’re also hearing that one Opposition MLA has told his constituency association that he will retire this session. Send us more details and we will blog about it.