Here in Canada, in case you haven’t heard, we are in full election campaign season.
So far there’s been a lot of yelling back and forth about what so-and-so is going to do if we vote him into power. Personally, I don’t have a care in the world about this kind of hate, propaganda, attacking style of campaign. What I want to hear is how the parties are going to address the issues I care about.
Today I’m going to address some of the issues I see as important to my own community.
I live in an economically depressed region of the country. We have extremely high unemployment (some estimates are better than 50%), huge dependency on welfare, and drug (and thus crime) problems.
So, if you want my vote this coming election, you need to address these issues for the community in which I live:
1. Access to social programs and infrastructure. The people in my town are trapped in difficult lives. Many are dependent on drugs or alcohol to get through the day. Families struggle to make ends meet, and children are being lost in the battle. This area needs more social workers, more access to support that can help them beat their addictions. I know for certain, the churches would be more than willing to help this cause.
2. Help for low income families. This point falls out of the first point. There are many low income families here. There are many single parent families here. Families who have no where to go and no idea how to get there even if they knew where to turn. There are many children who are struggling to be productive members of society, this shows a lot about their home life.
3. Jobs! As mentioned, this area has extremely high unemployment. But there’s also a problem with motivation. This area has a large dependency on the government providing jobs by giving huge tax incentives for companies to move here. Auto parts plants have come and gone, same with pharmaceutical companies and call centres. Here’s what I would like to see: more incentives for local entrepreneurs to build and keep businesses in their own home towns. Our best and brightest have left for greener pastures, what if we were able to keep them locally and help them build their businesses and hire local people? It breaks the dependency on large corporations who pull out as soon as the tax incentives dry up, and it builds hope and pride in what our own people can do.
4. Crime. These above should help with the crime in the area, but more can always be done. There have been drug battles in our streets, break-ins, and more. Something needs to be done in this area.
These are the areas of concern I have for my community.
Thankfully, when we look at the representatives for the two major parties in Canada, we have two excellent local candidates. It’ll be a shame to see one of them come second in the election.
Stay tuned as in the next few days I’ll address some of my own personal issues for the election beyond our own local community.
Hi Rev. Phillips,
It was great to meet you at the debate yesterday. You are indeed an inspiration to your community and an important leader within it.
I share your sentiment about the worsening vitality of all Nova Scotia communities, especially in Cape Breton. Let me offer you an idea of what the Atlantica Party’s vision for Nova Scotia would mean for communities like yours.
Communities represent the collective strength of the families and individuals who live in them. On a daily basis, the local community is the unit that people interact with the most, and thus the local community has the most meaningful impact on a person’s day-to-day life. The community (and the leaders like yourself within it) are the best able to respond to the needs of your area.
Unfortunately our political infrastructure doesn’t actually reflect this important truth; political power is concentrated at the federal and provincial levels instead of the local level. The result is a strange dichotomy: the community is the best able but the least empowered to make an impact on the lives of families who are struggling with joblessness, substance abuse and crime.
The Atlantica Party’s goal is to drastically alter the way that we think of government; the Provincial government is not the wise oracle of truth, it doesn’t have the right answers, and on average Halifax is more likely to not meet the unique challenges in Sydney Mines with effective solutions because bureaucrats do not have a stake in the future of the Northside like you do. We want to give you the power to make change yourself instead of having to wait for the right government program. We would do this in the following ways:
1. Get government back to its basics. Government has over-extended its reach – in the economy, in our culture, in our society. Nova Scotia is the highest-taxed but one of the least prosperous Provinces in Canada. The government spends our hard-earned tax dollars on corporate subsidies, gold-plated MLA/bureaucrat pension plans and ineffective social programs. We want to make substantial cuts to the Province and allow communities to become the leaders of their communities. We want to pass on the savings from a much smaller government directly to you and your families so that the residents of Sydney Mines can have the means to set up their own community infrastructure, based on the knowledge and compassion of leaders like yourself.
2. We want to get government out of the way of real prosperity. Government can’t create jobs; at best, government can provide the low-tax, low-cost conditions necessary to attract business to the Province. This means lowering taxes for all Nova Scotians, eliminating barriers to trade and reducing the size of government so that resources can be free for community enterprise.
3. Make local government the facilitator of community services, not the Province. Local communities know their families best, which is why the Atlantica Party wants to devolve powers from the Province to municipalities in areas like community services, health and education. A one-size-fits-all solution drafted in Halifax by senior bureaucrats cannot and will not respond to the unique challenges of the diverse communities that make up the Province.
I hope this gives you a glimpse of what the Atlantica Party stands for and why we are excited to contest this by-election as a first step in becoming a real alternative for Nova Scotians. At the core of our platform is the understanding that you know your community best, not us. And I hope that you will see the proposed solutions of the mainstream three for what they are: a continuation of the failed way of doing politics in Nova Scotia.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Atlantica Party Candidate in CB North and Leader of the Atlantica Party of Nova Scotia
Thank you Jonathan. I am intrigued by your call to democratic reform and fiscal plans, which I think I got a sense of last night, in your post, and through the website.
I’m curious about your social and environmental plans.