MacDonald troubled by Premier’s silence on potential Bell Aliant job losses

August 8, 2014

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald wants to know why Stephen McNeil has not responded to a recent request she and PC Leader Jamie Baillie made to hold a special meeting of the oneNS Coalition.

On Tuesday, August 5 Nova Scotia’s opposition leaders, and oneNS Coalition co-chairs, sent a letter to the Premier asking for the coalition to meet specifically to develop a concrete plan to avoid potential job losses resulting from the recent takeover of Bell Aliant Inc. by BCE. It has been estimated that the $3.95 billion deal could impact hundreds of Nova Scotians currently working for Bell Aliant. The Premier has yet to acknowledge the request.

“As a co-chair of the oneNS Coalition, I’ve committed to taking a now or never approach to protecting jobs and growing the economy,” said MacDonald. “I want to know why the Premier is taking a wait and see approach while good paying jobs hang in the balance.”

MacDonald says employment figures released today by Statistics Canada paint a troubling picture, and the province can’t afford to suffer another significant job loss event. In the past month Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate has risen from 8.7% to 9.1 % and over the past month Nova Scotia has lost close to 3,900 full-time jobs.

“Mr. Baillie and I outlined our concerns to the Premier and expressed our desire for the coalition to find proactive solutions to mitigate any potential job losses,” said MacDonald. “The Premier’s silence on the issue is troubling. We need to be working together to protect these jobs now, not waiting for the next scheduled meeting in mid-September. By that time it could be too late.”