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Minister’s Musings Must Be Strongly Opposed – Vital Public Services at Risk

March 13/15- – The McNeil Liberal Government is preparing to deliver yet another blow to rural Nova Scotia by contracting out more jobs by privatizing the Nova Scotia Land Registry, the Registry of Motor Vehicles, and the Registry of Joint Stock Companies.  The Minister of Service Nova Scotia announced on March 12 that the government is exploring the possibility of contracting out for service delivery related to these three registries, and said that everything is on the table.

This isn’t the first time in 2015 that this government has put good rural jobs on the chopping block. Today’s announcement follows major cuts to child welfare positions to Community Service offices in Guysborough and Barrington, the loss of 58 seasonal positions in seven provincial parks and two Visitor Information Centres, and the likely contracting of all home support services to for-profit companies from outside the province.

“We can’t allow this wholesale elimination of vital public services and of our rural communities to take place at all,” said NSGEU President Joan Jessome.  “This is another blow to rural communities by the McNeil government. They seem to have forgotten that the Access Centres is a major employer in many communities. This isn’t job creation; this is job trading from the public to private sector with no new jobs; just lower paid jobs by the lowest bidder.”

“Past experiences of privatization across Nova Scotia have made it very clear that when government services are contracted out, profits come first, corners are cut, service quality suffers, and good jobs in rural areas are lost” said Jessome. “One has to wonder who actually benefits from privatization because Nova Scotia’s history of P3 schools and toll highways clearly illustrates that it isn’t the public.

Ms. Jessome also noted that this announcement shows the complete disdain of the McNeil government for the requirements to be met under the collective agreement with the Union. “Why is the government even speculating out loud at this point, when it has to consult with NSGEU before any action can be taken?”

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The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 30,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with NSGEU President Joan Jessome, please contact: Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer 902-424.4063 (office) 902-471-1781 (cell) hfraughton@nsgeu.ca

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