By Nancy Kelly
When it comes to moving the economy forward, Leo Glavine, MLA for Kings West, believes all Nova Scotians share the same concerns.
“The unemployment rate is still too high and it's being impacted by the highest power rate in Canada. Breaking that monopoly is critical to our future.”
Looking ahead to 2013, Glavine said power bills will continue to be on the minds of Kings County residents and businesses, due to electricity rates going up 25 per cent under the NDP regime. He did, however, recognize some gains were made.
“I was happy to see government adopt a proposal to permanently remove executive bonuses from the rate we pay. Also, the possibility of Nova Scotia Power having to open their operations to performance audits has been a four-year ask by Liberal leader Stephen McNeil.”
Glavine would have liked the NDP to go further by allowing for competition in a regulated energy market and taking the efficiency tax off power bills.
Glavine continued to lobby for a stronger local food economy in 2012 and was encouraged when the NDP adopted a private members bill he introduced in
2010, which sets a target of achieving 20 per cent of local food production and
consumption by 2020.
“This is an important step in the development of our local food economy and,
hopefully, the path to achievement will be realized soon,” commented Glavine.
In the year ahead, Glavine plans to continue advocating around several areas of concern that his constituents consistently share with him. They include demanding government manage tax dollars in a more open and ethical manner, holding the government's “dismal” economic track record to account and restoring funding to public education.
He also plans to press for advances in public health through smoking cessation support, opiod prescription drug education, type two diabetes prevention, a provincial palliative care plan and adolescent mental health initiatives.
As for the possibility of an election on the near horizon, Glavine points out “the premier ultimately decides and I don't want to speculate. The only thing that matters right now is that I continue to represent each and every citizen to the best of my ability.”