Last week journalist Stephen Wentzell sat down with Gary Burrill, the leader of the provincial NDP, to have a wide-ranging conversation about issues dear to the Nova Scotia Advocate’s heart, things like the climate crisis and the threat to biodiversity, the sale of Owls Head Provincial Park, poverty and social assistance, housing and rent control, healthcare and many other issues
Inclusionary zoning allows a municipality to mandate a certain percentage of affordable housing in new developments. With an affordable housing crisis growing more urgent by the day, why don’t we use this tool in Nova Scotia? Stephen Wentzell investigates.
Rent control and the provincial paid sick leave program both have built-in end dates and are likely to end fairly soon., says Gary Burrill, the leader of the provincial NDP. The Liberals never wanted these programs in the first place, says Burrill.
Yesterday afternoon the Dalhousie Board of Governors voted in favour of a three percent tuition increase and an $1473 increase in international student differential fees. This comes an hour after students rallied to freeze fees. The tuition increase works out to an extra $243 for arts students and $276 for science students.
There is a substantial wage and benefits gap between Early Childhood Educators employed by child care centres and those who work at the provincial pre-primary program. At a press conference hosted by Nova Scotia NDP MLA Claudia Chender, early childhood educators explained why this is not only unfair, it’s also creating all kinds of problems for child care centres throughout the province.
Gary Burrill: “The cancellation of the fall session of the House means that a whole series of legislative proposals, including those we in the NDP have ready to bring forward — from paid sick leave, to permanent rent control, to the establishment of a cross-sector, multi-Party Economic Recovery Task Force in Nova Scotia — will not at this time see the legislative light of day.”
The Nova Scotia NDP is calling for an immediate moratorium on all harvests equivalent to clearcutting in the entire province. We talk with Lands and Forestry critic Lisa Roberts.
When journalists recently asked whether the Nova Scotia government is willing to institute paid sick days in Nova Scotia, premier Stephen McNeil flat out refused. There’s a federal program that takes care of it, he said. That’s not quite how it works, NDP labour critic Kendra Coombes tells the Nova Scotia Advocate.
Landlords raising rents, renovictions, homelessness and the underlying acute shortage of affordable housing in Halifax and elsewhere in the province have been getting a lot of attention. I spoke with NDP MLA Susan Leblanc about what residents of Dartmouth North are telling her, and how rent control is urgently needed.
Lisa Roberts: There was rent control here in Nova Scotia until 1993, when the then Liberal cabinet eliminated it with no fanfare or debate. The current Liberal government could re-establish it through a similar cabinet decision or it could pass our bill. Either way, it would be an important first step towards stabilizing the rental market and protecting renters from massive increases.