LETTERS – Houston listens, Bill 75 account, federal overspending

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Responsive and Responsible Prime Minister

Subject: “Houston’s greed will cost us all, not just the poor” (June 14 op-ed by former NDP Congressman and Family Court Judge Bob Levy).

I don’t remember Levy’s tenure, but I’m sure he did a lot of wonderful things on behalf of Nova Scotians.

One thing I know for sure is that we now have a Prime Minister—for the first time in 50 years—who has the courage to openly admit that his decisions are not acceptable to many New Scottish and is taking steps to correct these decisions.

Initiating change is always a process with many pitfalls. But we have a young premier who is smart, enthusiastic and committed to improving our province in an open and participatory way. It is refreshing !

Elmer MacDonald, New Glasgow

Law 75 recourse

Now that the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) has won a favorable ruling on Bill 75, there will likely be negotiations to remedy the actions taken by the McNeil government.

Some options that I think would be explored include:

1. Reimburse teachers a dollar amount equal to the union dues they paid for the two years for which they received a 0% increase because their union’s bargaining power was negatively affected by government policy.

2. Reimburse teachers who retired as a result of the imposition of Bill 75 for the dollar amount of seniority bonus forfeited because it was unilaterally removed by the government.

3. Either reinstate the seniority bonus in the collective agreement or replace it with an additional wage increase in the collective agreement to reflect years of service worked for the province.

Ultimately, you want a remedy that will strike an appropriate balance between fairness to those who have been disadvantaged by government actions while ensuring fairness to the taxpayer. Hopefully, whatever remedy is negotiated between the government and the NSTU, it will strike the right balance. I don’t think most people want the labor disputes and union bashing that marked the previous administration.

Robert Roe, Halifax

Lack of insight

Isn’t it ironic that our former Premier, Stephen McNeil, whose leadership led to actions against the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union that were described by a Supreme Court Justice of Nova Scotia as punitive and vengeful, was hired by a leading law firm as a strategic business advisor?

Bill Spears, Ketch Harbor

Astronomical bill

It has been revealed that one of the Governor General’s most recent overseas trips cost $80,000 in in-flight catering bills, plus more than $200,000 in fuel costs.

Most of us understand that Canada has commitments all over the world. But right now, with rising gas and food prices, that just doesn’t look good. Canadians are struggling to stay afloat financially and no relief is in sight.

Government officials may want to choose where they want to go, as the cost of these trips will no doubt be made public again.

It will be interesting to see what the Prime Minister or any cabinet minister has to say about this.

Gregory Boudreau, Halifax

Roll out the dough

Subject: Recent speeches by Federal Finance Minister Christia Freeland to a business audience in Toronto (June 16). One of the most important causes of inflation is increased money supply and spending related to the COVID-19 deficit – and that’s exactly what the Trudeau government is doing in its recent announcement of 8, $9 billion in social spending, ostensibly to mitigate the effects of inflation.

We are paying the real price for all of this now. We need to realize what government largesse does. After all, we, the taxpayers, foot the bill.

I’m not against the relief for some, but given the scale of these donations, I wonder if this isn’t just another vote-buying tactic by the Trudeau regime. Sound familiar?

Douglas Millar, Liverpool

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