Green party unveils platform

Nova Scotia's Green party is promising to reduce pollution and support small business. But at the same time it intends to take a much tougher line on big industrial polluters and slap them with special health premiums.

Nova Scotia's Green party is promising to reduce pollution and support small business. But at the same time it intends to take a much tougher line on big industrial polluters and slap them with special health premiums.

Leader Nick Wright and his deputy, Christopher Harborne, unveiled the party's platform on Friday, more than halfway into the election campaign.

They said if Nova Scotians elected the Greens, they would get an environmentally and economically friendly government and see improvements in education and health care.

As for heavy polluters, Harborne said they "must be held accountable for their detrimental behaviour. We propose to increase the monitoring of polluters and institute a regimen of health premiums they must pay for their damage to us and our families."

Harborne said the party has no specific plan to keep those industries from closing and leaving the province because of the fines. The party also has no plan to prevent the companies from passing the cost on to consumers, he added.

Chris Alders, the Green's communications specialist, said those details still have to be worked out.

"We have the larger aspirations in mind," Alders said, calling the platform "a work in progress."

The Green platform also calls for reduced dependency on oil, cuts in university tuition and more teachers in schools.

The total cost of the promises is $333 million, part of which the party says would be offset by revenue from the pollution fines.

The Green Party of Nova Scotia became an official party in the province about a month before the election was called. It's running a full slate of 52 candidates.