While the Liberal Leader has been in hiding this summer, inviting media to his Caucus office for interviews instead of taking part in public media scrums, a few of his Halifax candidates have been less closed-lipped.
The NDP repayable loan to a world-class Cape Breton golf course? Liberal staff criticized it. Liberal MLAs would not comment on it. The Liberal Leader was not available for reaction. But the Liberal candidate for Inverness? Eventually, he admitted he liked the jobs created.
And as CBC interviews candidates in Halifax from the three political parties (the Mother Corp interviewing some candidates on the rest of the Mainland or the Island, or even Dartmouth, would be appreciated) you can begin to piece together some policy planks of the Liberal platform.
Labi Kousoulis, running in Halifax Citadel, wants to get the economy going. How will he do it? He would not invest in the Port Hawkesbury Mill. He would invest in Nova Scotia companies. Which ones? He doesn’t say. What would the newly unemployed Port Hawkesbury Paper workers do? He doesn’t say. He does say that the Liberal Party is consistently the only party to offer solutions to problems. Which is news to Nova Scotians – since Liberals have not publicly offered any solutions.
Joachim Stroink, offered an answer to what all the unemployed workers in the Strait Region might do. They could work in “green” fracking. While Stroink makes it clear he does not support regular fracking, he does think Nova Scotia could be a “leader in innovation in fracking.” When pressed to answer questions about the definition of “green” fracking, he could not say.
NDP MLA JIm Morton, amused by the very idea of “green” fracking, issued a press release after the Liberal’s interview.
Jim Morton: For most Nova Scotians the jury is still out on fracking. Up until a few days ago the Liberals have said they were in the same boat. But now it appears Stephen McNeil has made up his mind before all the evidence has been collected. We know Stephen McNeil doesn’t support our shipbuilders, our forestry workers, or our information technology specialists – but he does support our ‘green frackers’.
Time and time again, we’ve listened to Stephen McNeil oppose investments to create and protect good jobs in every region of Nova Scotia. But when it’s the Liberals’ turn to answer what they would do differently, their response is an empty catch phrase about something that doesn’t exist.
While some people jokingly explained Joachim Stroink’s “green” fracking, saying it “doesn’t contaminate groundwater with methane, it infuses it with puppies,” we think the larger point of both the Liberal candidate’s interviews is that their party simply doesn’t have a plan to replace all those Port Hawkesbury Paper jobs, or the IBM jobs the NDP fought for and won, or the Halifax Shipyard contract, or the Cabot Links expansion.
Much like “green” fracking, the Liberal’s “Nova Scotia First” is an empty catch phrase for something that does not exist.