Dexter: Visit doesn't foreshadow election

Jennifer Hoegg
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By Jennifer Hoegg

Premier Darrell Dexter was in Kings County last week to stroll through Wolfville and Kentville with MLAs Ramona Jennex and Jim Morton.

Downtown walkabouts are not a hint an election is coming soon, Dexter said Jan. 28 in Kentville.

“I get that question any time now when I do an event of any kind,” the premier said while visiting Kings Riverside Court. “Mainly because it has been three-and-a-half, four years into the mandate.”

Dexter spent roughly an hour shaking hands and chatting with residents and staff at the assisted living home and helped Morton deliver 90th birthday greetings to resident Stewart Brown.

“This is really just a continuation of what we have been doing for sometime,” Dexter said. “I think people like to see their members of the legislature, like to see their premier. They have to know that we’re not just a figure on television… we’re people who have the same cares and desires and priorities that they have.”


Talking Economics

Dexter answered a few questions on rural economic challenges while in town, including the municipalities’ mixed reaction to the province’s proposed model for regional economic networks (RENs) to replace regional development authorities.  

“Our obvious desire is to facilitate what is going to work,” Dexter said. “My hope is that after people have a chance to look at it they’ll decide (to participate.)

Both sides have the same interest, he added.

“We have rural communities right around the province where the model of economic sustainability has changed… over the last 20 or 25 years.”

Dexter said relatively good economic times masked the economic decline in some parts of Nova Scotia.

“As soon as we had a recession, especially a deep one, all of a sudden all of those cracks in the economy really started to show.”

Forestry, Dexter said, is not alone among rural industries facing massive change.

“What we need to do is ensure that we’re carving a path forward where people can see a good result.”


Moving Jobs

Dexter pointed to his government’s decision to move offices outside of Halifax as an investment in rural Nova Scotia. When asked about moving the maintenance enforcement employees from the Department of Justice from Kentville to New Waterford, Dexter said the jobs would have moved regardless.

“The offices were being consolidated, so the only question was where they were going to be consolidated,” the premier said, adding the department’s plan had been to centralize in Halifax.

“There was already an office there in New Waterford with significant presence,” Dexter said. “We’re choosing to support rural communities.”


High speed hope

Dexter says 99.5 per cent of rural Nova Scotians can now get high-speed Internet service.

“It’s an ongoing process,” he said.

Residents in Hall’s Harbour and other western parts of the county have been vocal on the issue in recent months.

“Obviously the last hookups are the most difficult ones to get to and they are in the most difficult positions. We’re trying to find ways to make it a reality.”

Kings North MLA Jim Morton said the Department of Economic and Rural Development is considering a proposal from Eastlink to offer a pilot project with satellite Internet service.

 “They want to make sure the proposal has a good chance of succeeding, of meeting the standards of the contract,” Morton said.  “I think they’re close to getting some sort of an understanding.”


Organizations: Department of Justice, Department of Economic and Rural Development

Geographic location: Kentville, Kings, Wolfville Nova Scotia Halifax New Waterford Nova Scotians

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Recent comments

  • Public Committee for High Speed Internet Access in Nova Scotia
    February 05, 2013 - 20:30

    "Dexter says 99.5 per cent of rural Nova Scotians can now get high-speed Internet service" That a bunch of lies! Throughout the province people still have no access to high speed internet. Berwick North, Medford, Dell Haven, some areas around Digby to name a few. Nova Scotians living in rural areas are tired of this. We have recently created a Public Committee to help bring High Speed internet to every Nova Scotians. Join us on Facebook: High Speed Internet Access Nova Scotia or email us at if you wish to have high speed internet. We invite you to send us your name and address as we are populating a map showing the location of every citizen who do not have High Speed Internet. Please share with your friends and neighbours who are in similar situation.

  • Julie
    February 05, 2013 - 09:00

    I like the plan to move government jobs from Halifax to different towns. We deserve our fair share. It's good to see a long-range plan for the economy too - instead of short term fixes.