The Advance asked each candidate for their backgrounds and the same six questions.
Bruce Inglis was born in Liverpool and attended the local schools. He graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He has worked in financial planning for 16 years and currently works with Sun Life Financial Planning. He’s been a municipal councillor for five years and is married to Melanie Inglis. The couple have two children.
Inglis says the idea of trying out provincial politics has been in the back of his mind for quite a while.
“I think it’s an important time in the province’s past, present, future. I have two children that I’m raising in the riding and we like to show them by example that if they want a good community, they should take part,” says Inglis. “I thought it was the appropriate time to make that jump.”
What would you do regarding the Port Mouton Bay Fish Farm and how?
“My job would be to consult with the community and then go through the process, to see what can be done about the renewal of the license and such,” says Inglis.
He gave the current provincial government credit for doing round table consultations but he believes the process needs to evolve into a planning strategy similar to what municipalities do on land. He’d like to see proponents of fish farms prove why a site is suitable before setting up new leases.
What would you do to boost the economics in this riding?
“I think the first thing is we need a little more business friendly environment and if the HST can be lowered, that would be a start, and the conservative platform also removes the small business tax which is 3.5 percent. I think the future in an economy like ours is in small business,” says Inglis.
Inglis says the expectation is usually for huge wins and the community needs small wins in business. He says the same goes for Shelburne as for Queens.
“(Shelburne) understands the pain of large businesses, such as Bowater and Stenpro, leaving us in the last 10 years,” says Inglis.
What do you think education needs in this riding?
“We’re lucky in that one issue that our community has been successful in is adult education, we have a terrific system at the Queens Adult High, I think we need to direct more people into that stream,” says Inglis.
Inglis thinks there needs to be more collaboration with teachers and industries to understand what is needed for “the jobs of tomorrow.”
“That’s a big job but understanding what they need and getting them to there, is very important,” he says.
Inglis says employment opportunities need to be addressed in education and different “streams” of education need to be identified.
All parties have proposed lowering the HST, how would you do that?
“Of course it’s as easy as taking it off but then you have to replace the revenue or cut the deficits that surround it. One of the big things that a lower HST will do is stimulate the economy and if it stimulates the economy and spending increases and employment increases, then the income tax will replace it on the other side anyway,” says Inglis.
With the ferry coming in, we have been told to prepare for an influx of tourists. What does that mean to you?
“We engage our marketing towards that, although I think marketing takes a year or two to catch up so we’ll have to get on that right away. I think things like bus tours and organized tours will take two to three years to get back because they are planned ahead and booked ahead,” says Inglis.
He says he is excited the ferry is on its way back, but says it is a shame the province was without it for three summers.
If you had to pick one more issue for the riding, what would it be and how would you address it?
“For me the key is we need to continue to look at rural areas entirely separately. We need to sort of strategize specifically to the rural areas. I think it’s important for the provinces to help advantage us to get back and become competitive. That means looking at some things differently, looking at small community schools through streams other than education.
It’s not fair to say look at a school as a hub but we’ll make the school board fund it out of their allotment of education. If there are other uses and benefits for a school, they need to be looked at through other line items other than school board. I find that very unfair to the school boards,” says Inglis.
Inglis also says rural infrastructure is very important to him and believes extending the current highway work and upgrading roads. He says rural areas need to be looked at through a different lens than urban areas because they have different challenges.