Nova Scotia

NDP promises more jobs, health care services in election platform

The Nova Scotia New Democratic Party on Tuesday became the first party to unveil a platform for the provincial election in June.
NDP Leader Darrell Dexter unveils his party's list of spending promises Tuesday. ((CBC))

The Nova Scotia New Democratic Party on Tuesday became the first party to unveil a platform for the provincial election in June.

The New Democrats unveiled a list of 27 spending promises. Party leader Darrell Dexter released seven key commitments, calling it a "balanced" and "practical" platform.

The NDP list of promises is broken down into seven areas:

  • Securing jobs.
  • Keeping emergency rooms open and reducing wait times.
  • Keeping young people in Nova Scotia.
  • Removing tax from home energy.
  • Fixing rural roads.
  • Allowing seniors to stay in homes longer.
  • Ensuring the province lives within its means.

Dexter said his party will be able to pay for it all with savings and new revenues.

"We are proceeding in the most fiscally prudent way we can, which is to balance budgets," Dexter said, "to not add to the debt and to make the provision that we can for the capital spending that is achievable. And that's what we intend to do."

Dexter said $100,000 will be spent on an independent audit to determine the state of the province's books. He said he'll examine commitments that have already been made by the governing Tories to see which ones will be affordable.

Dexter also promised to balance the budget in 2010-11.

The Progressive Conservative party was not impressed with the NDP election platform.

"Darrell Dexter and the NDP today failed to tell Nova Scotians what the real cost of an NDP government would be," Progressive Conservative spokesman Brooke Taylor said.

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil agreed, saying the NDP was being dishonest with electors by not fully costing out the promises over the life of the government.

"Line by line, you can go down it and it shows where it's costed for one year and doesn't cost it over a mandate," McNeil said. "It's simply not believable."

McNeil described the plan as more an election pamphlet than a platform. He promised the Liberal party's platform, when released, will be fully costed, affordable and achievable.

Nova Scotians head to the polls on June 9.