Nova Scotia workers deserve to be treated fairly

September 4, 2015

To the Editor,

The past two years under the McNeil government have been a trying time for workers in our province.

The Premier and his Liberal government placed thousands of good jobs in our screen industry at risk by slashing the film tax credit. New graduates have lost a program that helped them pay down education debt when the McNeil Liberal government eliminated the Graduate Retention Rebate.  Now thousands of teachers, nurses, home care workers, paramedics and other public sector employees are facing the loss of benefits won in past rounds of collective bargaining or a five year wage freeze. And according to Stephen McNeil they didn’t deserve the wage increase they got in the last round of bargaining.

To make matters worse the McNeil government has used its majority on multiple occasions to strip away the hard-earned collective rights of workers.  First it was home care workers with Bill 30, then it was health care workers with Bills 37 and 1, and finally it was faculty, staff and students at our universities with Bill 100. 

Meanwhile, the McNeil government is planning to sell off valuable provincial assets like the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which could cost our province hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenues to pay for things like hospitals, schools and roads.

Hard-working Nova Scotians deserve better.  They deserve a Premier that will invest in good jobs, better healthcare, a stronger social safety net and a more prosperous future for our young people. Instead all they’ve received from Stephen McNeil is two years of austerity with more to come.

That’s why on Monday I urge you to join me and thousands of other Nova Scotians to commemorate Labour Day. After two years of constant attacks by the current government, it’s important we all stand in solidarity with Nova Scotia’s workers and their families. It’s time the Liberals get the message that they can’t continue to jeopardize public services and our economy by forcing more and more people to leave Nova Scotia. It’s time Stephen McNeil starts treating Nova Scotian workers with respect. 

Maureen MacDonald
Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP