My position on support for small business owners in Nova Scotia has been made clear and I continue to acknowledge and appreciate their contribution to the economy of Nova Scotia. I have also expressed my concern about the lack of support from the Dexter government for small business in the province.
First the NDP gave over 600 million dollars of taxpayers’ money to 6 large corporations and those corporations have failed to deliver on the employee targets that were set. Some have gone bankrupt, others have closed their doors. I have stated, “this is not in any way an effective use of tax dollars”.
Just last week the Dexter government once again turned its back on small contractors. He has failed to protect them in a receivership issue with a housing co-operative. The North End United Housing Co-operative in Halifax went into receivership last year. This is a provincially-owned housing co-operative and last month the Dexter government took it over. At that time the Co-op owed eleven contractors more than one million dollars for renovations they had completed. At the request of government, the court allowed government to wipe out the 1.1 million dollar debt, leaving eleven contractors on the hook for the cost of those renovations. One more time Stephen McNeil has spoken out on behalf of small business owners.
“Our small businesses employ half of Nova Scotia’s workforce, yet Darrell Dexter refuses to respect the people who own and operate those businesses. If you don’t run a bank or a multi-billion dollar corporation, this government will not acknowledge your commitment to the economy of this province and to its people”.
This is not the first time the Dexter government has turned its back on small business. In 2011, when the Regional Development Authority in South West Nova Scotia was shut down, the Royal Bank of Canada and 50 small businesses were left on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The NDP ensured that the Royal Bank of Canada receive what it was owed, yet did nothing for the 50 small businesses.
This NDP government fails to recognize that investment in small business is critical to the growth of our economy. Rather, they brag about providing “a new free tool to help small business to become more productive”. This is a lame attempt by the NDP to show support and Nova Scotians and small business owners know the difference.
What we need in this province is leadership, a leader that treats all business partners fairly, regardless of their size. We need a leader who puts Nova Scotians first. That leader is Stephen McNeil.