Contrarian reader Colin May writes : Do you know anyone who believed the three promises made by DD and his colleagues ? Did you believe they would be able to keep the ERs open ?  Everyone in the health business knew it was BS. Voters just wanted rid of Rodney, they cared less about reality. The less said about the media the better. Looks like Premier McNeil in four years, about the only bright light in the Canadian Liberal firmament. Stan Jones adds: While I tend to agree with the recommendations in the report, I wonder if it isn't true that Dexter and Steele knew...

We can't say whether Liberal leader Stephen McNeil read this particular Contrarian entry, but he did both the right thing and the smart thing in helping astonished New Democrats speed passage of political financing reform through the house in a single day. It's the smart thing, because McNeil couldn't prevent passage of the new law, so why encourage days of debate focusing on past Liberal wrongdoing? It's the right thing, because no party should enjoy a permanent finger on the political scale based on a 40-year-old shakedown racket. McNeil explained it this way:It was my direction—and I take full responsibility—that...

Extortion. That's how the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia obtained the money it would be blocked from using by a government bill introduced in the legislature Tuesday. Liberal leader Stephen McNeil should think hard before crying victim. Justice Minister Ross Landry, who introduced the bill, suggested the Liberals give the tainted funds to charity. A better idea would be to give it back to the provincial treasury, because that's who they stole it from. McNeil may think voters' memories are too short to remember the details, but a few of us old coots are still around to remind them. The money in question came...

Contrarian reader Scooter Bob complains that the media is ignoring NDP ads that are just as negative as the Tories': The NDP are distributing a two-page flyer. On one side is a less-than-flattering picture of Rodney MacDonald and a list of five alleged missteps — ERs closing & longer wait times; wasting money on expensive vehicles for ministers; putting HST on electricity; and putting the province in more debt. Isn't this exactly the same negative, US-style electioneering the NDP are complaining about? Why doesn't the media report on this? Perhaps because the ads go a step further by implying illegality by the...

[caption id="attachment_669" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Liberal Donor John Bragg"]Liberal Donor John Bragg[/caption] Liberal leader Steven McNeil tries to draw a distinction between political contributions from unions and those from corporations on the grounds that the next premier will have to negotiate with unions. In fact, the next government is far more likely to find itself negotiating with the companies owned by John Bragg, whose Oxford Seafoods Ltd. is one of McNeil's two largest donors, than with the Mainland Building and Construction Trades Council and its member unions. Bragg's companies, including Eastlink, have multiple business dealings with the province, including bidding on contracts and receiving loans and other assistance. The Trades Council negotiates mainly with a parallel employers' council consisting of large construction companies. Its members are not public sector unions and would have little occasion to negotiate with government.
queen-of-hearts
The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small: “Off with his head!” she said, without even looking round. –– Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. At last night’s debate, all three party leaders offered ringing endorsements of the Queen’s punish-first, trial-later approach to law enforcement. All three tossed the presumption of innocence on the scrap heap in response to a question from Ian McNeil of East Lake Ainslie:
How comfortable are you with a Safer Communities and Neighborhoods Act, which allows people to be evicted from their homes without being charged, or convicted of a criminal offence, or having an opportunity to face their peers?
Darrell Dexter, who purports to be a New Democrat, led the charge:
Well there are always concerns, civil liberties concerns, around whether of not people are able to get a fair hearing with respect to these kinds of matters. But what the Safer Neighborhoods and Communities Act [sic] actually does, there is an evidentiary base for decisions that are made, and there are investigations that take place, and they are designed to protect neighborhoods from disruptive activity. It is a tool that is in the toolbox of the authorities and I have darrellfaith not only in the authorities but in the courts of this province that they administer that law appropriately, and they will protect the civil liberties of the people of this province. Overriding all of this, of course, are the rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that is the overall safeguard for those mechanisms that  exist in the Safer Communities and Neighborhoods Act [sic].
You have to wonder, is this guy inspired by the likes of Tommy Douglas and Stanley Knowles, or by Stephen Harper and Stockwell Day? The premier, too, stood squarely in the Harper-Day, law-and-order camp.
Let's get a few things straight. The province ran a deficit of roughly a quarter billion dollars in the fiscal year just ended. We could have balanced the books by using the extraordinary payments from the Crown share adjustment, but legislation passed by the Hamm government prevents that. Without changing that law, that one-time resource revenue has to go toward debt repayment. (There are two good reasons for that law:  (1)  thanks to the excesses of the Buchanan administration, our provincial debt is far too high, and needs to be paid down to a reasonable level. (2) Non-renewable resource revenue should not be used for current expenditures; it should be used for things that produce lasting benefits. Otherwise, we're robbing future generations.) So last year's quarter billion dollar deficit is water over the dam. It's gone. We can't wish it back.