*This article appeared in the summer edition of the Union Stand
Following a four week Spring session of the Nova Scotia Legislature and with declining COVID-19 cases, it appeared as Nova Scotia was on it’s way to a spring election. With the general perception of Nova Scotians being pleased with government’s handling of the pandemic it seemed as though the Nova Scotian Liberal Party may have very well been on their way to a third straight majority.
However, in mid April COVID numbers began to climb and by the end of the month Nova Scotia was in the depth of the third wave lockdown. Election plans had to be slowed as government had to focus on beating back this third wave. It was a tough three months, but with the hard of health care and public servants across Nova Scotia, numbers receded and by June, Nova Scotia had turned a corner.
Following a few weeks of strategic announcements Premier Iain Rankin called a provincial election on Saturday, July 17th for Tuesday, August 17th.
Over the coming weeks political leaders will crisscross the province making their pitches as to why you should vote for them. This is a very important time for all NSGEU members to listen to what is being promised and to ask those seeking your vote where they stand on issues important to you, your families and your community.
It easy to forget that what takes place in the Legislature ultimately affects all NSGEU members. This is why it is so important for each and every one of you to vote in this election. Get to know who is running in your constituency, what they they stand for as individuals. But, just as importantly, get familiar with the platforms of each of the parties, because regardless of how nice a candidate is as an individual, it’s the party platform and leader that dictates government action over the next four years.
The NSGEU has dealt with numerous different governments. Some were good, some were okay and some were bad. It’s only during an election that the people have power and this is why it is so important to understand what politicians really mean in their platforms. When you listen to the daily commitments during an election remember to ask yourself how these actions could possibly impact you and your family. Are their parties talking about budget reductions? Ask them how they plan to pay for services. Are parties talking about reducing taxes? How will they make up revenue shortfalls to pay for the services Nova Scotians depend on? And when it comes to anyone talking about privatization, remember that this is a direct threat to all public servants.
The NSGEU and the Political Action Committee PAC) has sent a questionnaire to each of the parties asking for each party’s take on issues important to NSGEU members and Nova Scotians. During the week of August 9th, we will be posting the answers we receive from each of the leaders and will share the information with you.
This election will define the future of Nova Scotia. It is the middle of summer and for all of us, its hard to focus on the daily issues, especially after the last 18 months, but voting is easy. Check out the Elections Nova Scotia website for safe, early voting option, especially if you may be away on Election Day – https://electionsnovascotia.ca/41ProvincialGeneralElection
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