By Kirk Starratt
Partnership was one theme of Nova Scotia Liberal leader Stephen McNeil’s address to supporters at the Kings South Liberal Association nomination meeting April 26 in Wolfville.
McNeil said small business operators want a government that believes in them and recognizes our economic problems can be solved by working together. As a small business owner himself before being elected to the legislature, the Annapolis MLA said he didn’t see just an employee when looking at a worker.
“I saw someone who believed in the community that I believed in and they had the same views and values of how we were going to move forward,” McNeil said.
He said he did what every Nova Scotian entrepreneur does: believe in employees and invest in them. Entrepreneurs don’t look beyond their own communities or businesses to have someone else solve their problems, McNeil said, they work together with their employees to build a better community and a better province.
“I want to lead a government that bets on Nova Scotians, that puts Nova Scotians first,” McNeil said. “I believe our economic challenges can be solved with Nova Scotia small business owners.”
McNeil said the best investment any government can make in tough economic times is in public education and equipping the next generation with skills required to prepare them for an ever-changing economy, province and world.
“Give them the chance to seize an opportunity that will be before them,” McNeil said.
He said the Liberals, if elected, would reinvest the money cut from public education with a focus on literacy, numeracy and creative thinking.
McNeil also spoke about the importance of universities in drawing young people to the province; the importance of innovation, research and development; affordable energy and renewable energy development; the wine and apple industries and agriculture in general.
Kings South Liberal candidate Keith Irving has taken the first step toward being elected,” the leader said, but can’t do it alone.
McNeil urged supporters to work with Irving in their communities to convince friends, neighbours and family members “it’s time to put Nova Scotia first.”
He said there is a great opportunity to defeat the Minister of Education in Kings South, and to send a message to the NDP government not to “balance the budget on the backs of our children.”