Election Nova Scotia: The Issues

As part of our commitment to our staff, clients and community reachability wishes to present our BLOG: The Election Edition. We have reached out to clients and staff alike to identify what their issues are as we move into the voting phase of this brief election cycle.

Thank you to our first contributor; Ben, who shares his concerns about cuts to the arts community overall and, more specifically, employment challenges in the film community, of which he is a member. BEN IS THE Coordinator of the PSAQ program here at reachability.

Tomorrow Philip, the Transition 101 Coordinator will share his issue(s) followed by some of our reachability clients.

All concerns posted here are being shared with each party leader.

We’d love to hear from you as well!

 

I’m 21, the son of a teacher, and I graduated film school months after the NS Film tax credit was cut. I think that it is important to acknowledge my personal bias before I continue.

It’s easy to have apathy for politics; political decisions often feel like something so far out of our control that it feels better to put our heads down and wait. When the liberals cut the NS tax credit, I was not overly concerned. I assumed that the film industry would bounce back or that the government would slowly roll back their decision. I didn’t blame the liberals, I thought it was a bonehead move but governments do things all the time that aren’t in the best interest of the people or the province. However, it wasn’t long until I started to see the effect of the tax cut on myself or on my classmates. I had to be concerned, it became very hard  for us to find volunteer positions, much less work terms or jobs. A number of my classmates who had found work lost them almost overnight.

When a political decision begins to affect the people around you apathy becomes harder to maintain. Understanding the effect a piece of legislation has on the people around you  Which is why I think during any election it is important to consider and respect others.

-Ben

 

As the coordinator of the Transition 101 program, I felt it both relevant and important to include participants in this discussion. After raising the query as to what issues were priority concerning the upcoming provincial election, we all seemed aligned in our criticism of the austerity measures the  Liberal government imposed under Stephen McNeil’s leadership. Namely, that it appears balancing the budget is more important then the basic welfare of Nova Scotians. Rather then focusing on provincial cut-backs, participants in the group felt that stronger measures should be taken to create jobs and employment opportunities. What also sparked interest and discussion among the participants is the NDP’s proposal for a minimum wage increase to $15.00 / hr. While we acknowledged that this seems to be an appealing draw for many individuals approaching the poles, we also recognized the pressure this puts on small business owners and how this could limit available job opportunities if employers reduce staff expenses.

While there were many other pertinent issues presented in our discussion as a small group, such as better access to social services (childcare, healthcare, transportation, education…), there did seem to be a consistent feeling among us: fear – fear of what the future holds for many Nova Scotians. And while we acknowledged that fear can result in avoidance, as evident in voter apathy, we also understand the importance of exploring the issues further and educating ourselves with the party platforms. Thus, we agreed that if we want change, we must participate.

 

-Philip