Rural MLAs on NewPage

Two major news stories broke while our blog took a summer vacation. The NDP made a major move to save the forestry industry in Northern Nova Scotia, and laid out a wise plan that requires federal government support of the ferry in South West Nova Scotia.

Despite the talk of “corporate welfare” by the Liberals and Tories when speaking in Halifax, their rural MLAs applauded the moves. As Ralph Surette put it in his Chronicle Herald editorial: “Neither the Liberals nor the Tories have any credibility on the issue of industrial giveaways in the pursuit of quick jobs.”

We disagree with Surette on the investments in rural jobs in primary industries. They are needed. Nova Scotia needs a government that supports rural Nova Scotia. And they are not “quick jobs”. Farming, fishing and forestry are here to stay. That phrase would better describe the Liberal call centres of the ’90’s or the Tories investment in RIM the past decade.

The Halifax press has reported on the opposition support of the Yarmouth ferry deal. What they have missed is the rural NS MLA response to the NewPage deal, which has been overwhelmingly positive.

Half the employees at NewPage will be back to work today, prepping the mill in case the Harper government approves the tax ruling later this month. Stern Partners says all 330 employees will be recalled if the sale is approved this month.

In addition, forestry contractors, and their 450 employees, will begin producing wood for the potential restart. Even Halifax voters have to admit that putting that many families back to work would be no small thing.