600 mill workers. 400 forestry workers. 2.5 percent of the Nova Scotia economy. An investment that will pay for itself in 12 years.
While the Liberals are on board with the NewPage deal – Michel Samson is the MLA for part of the Strait, after all – Jamie Baillie and the Conservatives are sending mixed messages.
In Halifax, Jamie Baillie has wondered if the government could have invested in other jobs in the region (but has not speculated on what those 1000 jobs might possibly be) while in Cape Breton, Allan MacMaster defended forestry and the mill:
I think a lot of people around the province maybe don’t realize the asset in the machine that’s at the mill. The reason Stern was interested in buying the mill was largely because of the machine. We have the forest. We have the experienced workforce. But the machine is the real drawing card and what makes it different from other mills.
While Halifax voters may not understand the rural economy and the importance of an anchor industry in the Strait, Premier Dexter understands that the province needs to fight for jobs. A leader make decisions, not because they are popular in the capital, but because they are the right thing for families in Cape Breton and the economy of Nova Scotia.