With the election of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, and his selection of a Nova Scotian (Halifax MP Megan Leslie) as one of his Deputies, we hope our province’s needs will be debated more often in the House of Commons.
Here are three ways the Conservative government of Stephen Harper are failing Nova Scotia, and three issues the NDP needs to continue raise their voice on – louder than ever before.
1. Immigration in Nova Scotia never recovered from the 2008 scandal under Rodney MacDonald’s Conservative government. It’s no wonder the federal government has not increased the number of immigrants our province is allowed to attract under the provincial nominee program.
But this cap must be raised. The benefits of immigration must shared equitably across the nation. Why is Manitoba, a province with a similar population, allowed to invite home double the number of immigrants?
Nova Scotia’s population is aging rapidly. Increasing immigration is a good way to slow that trend, attract skilled-trades workers from abroad, and create a more vibrant and tolerant society.
2. CBC TV and Radio Canada are essential to Canadian democracy. Cutting our public broadcaster will gravely wound the free press. Radio Canada International is being stripped, plans for a Atlantic region production studio in Halifax have been cancelled, foreign bureaus will close.
While we suppose most politicians might not see saving journalists as a Top 3 priority, the press writes the first draft of our history and must be protected and not crushed.
3. Nova Scotia’s Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau is fighting to protect east coast fishermen and their way of life. But the federal government seems intent on eliminating the fleet separation and owner/operator policies.
Current rules ensure that licences stay in the hands of the local fishermen who do the work. Companies can not buy up licences and hire others to do the fishing for minimum wage.
This has resulted in a profitable fishery all over the Nova Scotian coast, with thousands of fishing entrepreneurs making a good living off lobster and crab.
If the federal government destroys this system, it will lead to foreign control of our inshore fisheries, and the further collapse of small fishing villages across Nova Scotia.