Month: February 2010

Federal Stimulus Funds for Yarmouth YMCA

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It was a great day for the residents of Yarmouth County, West Nova MP Greg Kerr announced an investment of $375,578.00 in the Yarmouth YMCA.
The investment represents about 1/3 of the dollars required to do some needed repairs and maintenance on the building.  YMCA Executive Director Barrie McGregor said, “The Yarmouth YMCA is a long-standing institution in this community and I’m pleased that the Government of Canada, through ACOA, is able to help fund these extensive renovations so that its facilities can be enjoyed for many years to come.”
Upgrades include refurbishing the youth change rooms (I have two boys in the swim program and can say the change rooms are well beyond their expiry date!), replacing existing lighting, completing electrical and mechanical improvements, replacing the roof and windows and a variety of internal repairs.
The local municipalities, who help in the operation of the area’s only pool, will also be helping in the community’s 2/3 contribution.  The glaring omission is the lack of funding from the Provincial Government.  Usually this kind of project is supported in a 1/3 1/3 1/3 funding arrangement, but after tons of meetings and proposals, the Province did not want to help the project in Yarmouth like they did in other communities recently and stuck the area in finding 2/3 on their own.
Thank goodness that we have strong federal and municipal representation on this project, looks like once again the NDP forgot that there is a Nova Scotia beyond an hour’s drive from HRM.

Graham’s Wonderful Traveling Roadshow

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Nova Scotia Finance Minister Graham Steele is looking for your help.  Quoting from the “Back to Balance” page on the Provincial Government’s consultation with Nova Scotians in regards to the 2010-11 budget;
The Government of Nova Scotia has a serious problem—and needs your help to solve it.  
As a province, we are spending more than we are taking in.  The resulting shortfall, or deficit, must be covered each year by borrowing money. This adds to the large debt the province already has.
I know what your thinking, your thinking, “Chris, your just sore that you lost the last election and don’t want to be blamed for the deficit.”

If we were responsible for the deficit, we’d admit it and move on, but the NDP’s own review of the books showed, that after the election, the province was only 53 million dollars in the red.  An amount that could have been delt with over the course of the year.  That 53 million grew to become 590 million, what a great shell game the government was playing while we were out summer vacationing.  Minister Steele is now saying the sky is falling and that within 3 years the Provincial deficit will be close to 1.4 billion

Friday saw the Steele Show roll into town.  I’ve gotta give credit where credit is due, Graham was masterful in his manipulation of the 140 or so people in attendance.  He knew that if he didn’t address the Ferry issue that the rest of the  meeting would go bad so he mentioned it and then, to his credit, spoke directly with the 20 or so ferry workers in attendance.  (the first time any NDP Cabinet Minister has come to Yarmouth and spoken to those affected)

After the tables worked on the questions that were asked in the workbook it was time for presentations.  Each table took 60 or so seconds to speak to things like more dollars for eduction, streamlining government departments and keeping the ferry link to New England in order create tax dollars.

There were lots of great ideas but of course the over arching idea was to keep the ferry service in place.  Again to Graham’s credit, he allowed Ken Winters from the CAT to have the last word.  Ken of course reiterated all of our disappointment in how this file was handled by Percy Paris and the Premier.
I can say, quite opposite to Minister Steele’s desired outcome, there was no consensus on increasing the provincial portion of the HST by 2 points.  It was really felt that the government has enough tax dollars now.  

Much to the credit of the residents of the area, there was a great consensus in keeping our Ferry!