Cumberland South MLA and PC leader Jamie Baillie speaks to the Amherst Rotary Club May 26
©Darrell Cole - TC MEDIA
One hundred days after its release, Cumberland South MLA and PC leader Jamie Baillie is disappointed with the province’s inaction on implementing recommendations from the Ivany Report.
“We must be bold,” Baillie told members of the Amherst Rotary Club May 26. “Our province needs drastic change to the way it’s being managed. The cost of doing nothing is too great. The Liberal government needs to stop its walk-in-the-park style of management.”
Baillie said the cost of doing nothing is continued economic stagnation and lost jobs. He told Rotarians that doing nothing has resulted in the loss of 600 jobs across Nova Scotia in the last 100 days.
He said 2,200 jobs have been lost in the last year while 800 jobs have been lost in northern Nova Scotia.
The MLA said he respects the decision made by Nova Scotians last fall when they elected a Liberal majority government, but he said now is no time for a walk in the park when it comes to the province’s future and its economic prospects.
While the Ivany Report made 19 recommendations, Baillie said the most important to him is increasing small business startups by 50 per cent. Baillie said generating 4,200 new business start-ups per year can be helped along by eliminating the small business tax.
Currently, the small businesses with a threshold limit of $350,000 pay three per cent tax. Small businesses over the threshold pay 16 per cent, tied with PEI for the highest in the country.
Eliminating the tax would enable small businessmen to re-invest in their business, hire more people and create more economic activity. They could use it for branding or finding new markets for their products, he said.
Doing nothing, he said, despite the massive challenges facing our province, is a sign of this Liberal government’s incompetence.
Baillie said Ivany’s report was aptly named because the time is ticking.
“Now is the time for real action. No more studies. No more delays. No more deferrals. This should have been a year of action, but it has been a walk in the park by the government and meanwhile the clock is ticking,” said Baillie. “There are enough warning signs. It’s now or never. That 100 days was a time for action, but there has been no action by the provincial government.”