Birdsall: McNeil breaks platform commitment before being elected

October 1, 2013

(Mahone Bay, N.S.) NDP Candidate Pam Birdsall is glad Stephen McNeil is finally getting the NDP’s message that the province needs to remain competitive by investing in good jobs. But she points out by extending the current film tax credit program by five years, McNeil has already broken his campaign commitment to not provide grants to private companies.

 “I think for the first time in the history of Nova Scotia, a man running for Premier has broken a platform commitment before the election is held. The ink isn’t even dry on the Liberal platform and Stephen McNeil is going back on his word,” said Birdsall, who is running in Lunenburg.

 On September 26, the Chronicle Herald reported Stephen McNeil’s commitment to provide “No ‘free money’ in grants for private companies.” McNeil added, “We’ve made it clear that there would be no grants from a Liberal government.”

 Birdsall says the NDP are committed to the Digital Media and Film Tax Credits as a way to ensure our talented, local workforce and small businesses can compete. But she adds the program provides grants to private companies so either McNeil doesn’t understand the true meaning of his statements or, he has been misleading Nova Scotians.

“One day Stephen McNeil says no grants for companies, the next day he is announcing grants for companies.”

Birdsall says last night during the CTV debate McNeil said he would keep all his platform commitments if elected. She now wonders if McNeil is trying to break his promises ahead of time.

“He’s already on the run – before the election is even over.”

Birdsall is also raising questions about the 750K the Liberals are promising for a sound recording credit.

“I don’t understand where he gets that number. It will inevitably cost in the double-digits of millions. The province spent $14 million on the Digital Medi‎a tax credit from 2007-2013. The sound recording industry is much, much larger in scope.”

During the press conference today McNeil was unable to give a straight answer as to whether the Film Tax Credit was a grant. A clip can be viewed here.