- The NDP opened Canada’s first Collaborative Emergency Centres to provide 24/7 emergency care and same or next day appointments. Eight have already opened or are in planning stages. ER closures were reduced for four years in a row.
- The NDP launched the first ever strategy to help Nova Scotians and their families who are living with mental health and addictions.
- The NDP Fair Drug Pricing plan caps the price of generic drugs, ensuring lower prices for Nova Scotians and a better deal for taxpayers.
- The NDP reversed the drastic cuts to children’s dental care made by the Liberals. In 2013 we increased the age for children’s basic dental care, from 10 to 13. Coverage will be extended to age 17. This will make Nova Scotia’s Oral Health Program one of the most accessible dental coverage programs in Canada.
- The NDP helped recruit more rural doctors and hired more nurse practitioners.
- Ambulance fees are waived for low-income Nova Scotians and for seniors with mobility issues.
- We hired more mental health clinicians in schools, and expanded 24/7 access to mental health crisis intervention province-wide, with the Mental Health Crisis Line.
- The NDP expanded newborn screening tests to include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and eight additional conditions.
- We brought the emergency room to people with the RESTORE program, so paramedics can administer clot-busting drugs to patients having a heart attack instead of waiting until arriving at the hospital.
- The NDP expanded Lucentis treatment to Cape Breton to ensure all Nova Scotians suffering from a chronic retina disease will now get the treatment they need closer to home.
- The NDP increased the minimum wage four years in a row, despite opposition pressure to limit increases.
- The NDP established Arts Nova Scotia and improved the Film Tax Credit to help support the creative economy.
- The NDP reduced the small business tax rate by 40%, the first time it has been reduced in almost 20 years.
- The NDP protected families and jobs and helped to reposition the forestry sector to take advantage of today’s opportunities with an investment in the former NewPage mill.
- We made an investment in the future of the province by ensuring lands formerly owned by Bowater were not sold to foreign interests. We are creating community forests and a centre for cleaner energy, bio-energy and forestry innovation.
- Through our 10-year plan for agriculture, Homegrown Success, the NDP made strategic investments in innovation and productivity to increase the competitiveness of our companies and create high-value jobs for Nova Scotians in the agriculture sector.
- We relocated good government jobs to Shelburne, Digby, Truro, Windsor and New Waterford to make sure more towns get their fair share of government jobs.
- The NDP invested $8 million to ensure that every pre-school aged child with autism gets the help they need – help that was previously only available to half of them.
- The NDP put what matters most first by increasing reading assistance to students, extending high school math to both semesters, and directing money from central offices to the classroom.
- The NDP’s Primary- Grade 3 class-size cap of 25 meant hiring more than 70 teachers in 2013.
- Schools Plus – giving kids and their families a better chance to succeed in more than 100 communities so far.
- The NDP created 250 new community college seats targeted to high-demand trades and professions.
- The NDP fixed Canada’s weakest student assistance program by limiting tuition increases, investing in needs-based bursaries, capping student debt and encouraging institutions to be more innovative.
- The NDP opened nearly one thousand new long-term care beds since 2009.
- The NDP ensured that nearly 18,000 low-income seniors who receive Guaranteed Income Supplement pay no provincial income tax. In 2013 even more low-income seniors paid no provincial income tax.
- The NDP expanded the Caregiver Benefit, restorative care and self-managed programs to allow seniors to manage their own care and stay in their homes and communities longer.
- The NDP increased the Property Tax Rebate for seniors by $200 to a maximum of $800. Seniors receiving the GIS may qualify for a rebate on their municipal property taxes.
- The NDP ended the injustice of having seniors pay security deposits for long term care.
- The NDP enacted Canada’s first Cyber-Safety law to help people deal with bullying.
- The NDP created a Domestic Violence Action Plan to keep our communities safer. New legislation will allow renters experiencing domestic violence to break their lease without financial penalty.
- The NDP’s immigration strategy, Welcome Home to Nova Scotia, helped us nominate the highest number of immigrants to date.
- We worked with the Mi’kmaq to increase their involvement in economic development and training initiatives.
- We affirmed equality by adding gender identity and gender expression to the Human Rights Act.
- The NDP’s $500,000 gave Transition Houses and Women’s Centres the first core funding boost in over a decade.
- The NDP increased our renewable energy goal for electricity to 40% by 2020 and are securing our energy future with stable energy prices from the Muskrat Falls hydro project.
- The NDP extended the moratorium on gas and oil drilling on Georges Bank indefinitely.
- The NDP helped to build the future of forestry with the creation of community forests and enhancing parks as we move toward our goal of protecting 13% of our province’s land, exceeding the United Nations goal of 12% land protection.
- The NDP invested more in local food campaigns, farmers’ markets and help for new farmers, helping to ensure that Nova Scotia was the only province to see an increase in the number of farms since 2009. We legislated a 20% goal for locally produced food bought by Nova Scotians by 2020.
- We put North America’s first hard caps on green house gas emissions for electricity. That initiative was recognized by The David Suzuki Foundation as one of the top 5 best moves on climate change.
- While Stephen McNeil called it “a bad, bad piece of public policy” and voted against the measure, we took the provincial tax off power bills and home heating. In fact, the Liberals voted 8 times to tax home heating and energy.
- The NDP covered the cost of insulin pumps and supplies for eligible youth to age 18 and supplies for people 19 to 25 with type 1 diabetes, who use an insulin pump.
- The NDP increased the Nova Scotia Child Benefit by 40%.
- The NDP introduced and indexed the Affordable Living Credit to provide financial support to 240,000 households who earn less than $30,000.
- The NDP also introduced and indexed the Poverty Reduction Tax Credit to support about 15,000 of the most vulnerable low income Nova Scotians, many of whom have disabilities.
- Over a thousand more children a year have places in daycares and pre-schools around the province, making childcare more affordable for Nova Scotian families.
- The NDP took the HST off more family essentials including children’s clothing, footwear, and diapers.
- The NDP created Nova Scotia’s first Affordable Housing Strategy, with model projects already starting.
- The NDP increased income assistance personal allowances enabling approximately 31,000 adults to better provide for themselves and their families.
- The NDP’s new consumer protection cell phone legislation capped cancellation fees and ensured Nova Scotians are told about any changes that may increase their bills.
Fair enough, many worthwhile accomplishments on that list. However governing parties can generally put together a list of things they would argue they accomplished to make life better for people. Even Bob Rae's NDP would have had a list of such things. As Stockholm said, what was Dexter's legacy? One or 2 signature policies that average people remember and say, "yeah, Dexter brought in that?" I can name a few examples. BC has ICBC and the Agricultural Land Reserve from the Barrett years. Saskatchewan has Medicare from the first CCF government, and the nationalization of crown corporations under Alan Blakeney. Manitoba has MPI and the Keystone Centre from Ed Schreyer, and gay and francophone rights expanded under Pawleys' watch. I have a hard time thinking of a lasting legacy from the Doer/Selinger years, or the Bob Rae years. Honest question, what key policy stands out in people's minds as Dexter having brought in?
Parties that lose are in purgatory for years. However, under these circumstances, the NDP should be able to win back traditional NDP ridings. Right now, that's iffy. Burrill may not even win his own riding that was NDP for 29 out of the last 37 years. We'll see later tonight. Feel The Burrill!
That's true. Look at how the NDP in Ontario kept losing seats in general elections a decade after Bob Rae was defeated. When a party that governs for the first time like the NDP in Ontario or Nova Scotia is defeated that resoundingly, people's immediate response is, "we tried them, they screwed up" and that takes a long time to recover from. True, there are questions that the leader is asked, but don't some of these issues boil down to structural problems within the party that most leaders would be hard pressed to overcome?
You mentioned that under Maureen McDonald the NDP at times polled ahead of the PCs. I'll also point out that under Howard Hampton, the NDP took seats from Liberals in by-elections only to lose them again in the general.
There are a number of traditional NDP ridings in Halifax and Dartmouth that the Tories really aren't a factor in. We need to win those back. However, with the Burrill NDP weaker than the last election, that may not happen. The Liberals continue to poll around 40%. The Tories are up a bit. We're down. After the Stephen "Harper" McNeil years, it shouldn't be a problem to win those back. It is.
It shouldn't be a problem, but remember that most people don't pay as close attention to politics and aren't as informed as us political junkies. I don't know how polarized this election is between the PCs and the Liberals, but I remember in the federal election that people were so tired of Harper that the NDP was defeated in regions of the Atlantic, Toronto, and Montreal on the Stop Harper bandwagon even though Conservatives were not a factor in those ridings either. Remember also that once a long-standing party is defeated in a particualr seat, that incumbency starts to weigh more than tradition.
We'll see later tonight.
We will indeed. Ladies and gentlemen, please keep your luggage stowed, seatbelts on, and remain in your spot until the vote counting comes to a complete stop!
And if you can, go to the election watch parties on Cape Breton. Whoever wins, they'll have great fiddling(that is to say fiddle PLAYING, in case anyone was thinking of anything ELSE when I wrote that).