NDP leader Burrill praises McNamara’s Pictou West bid

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PICTOU — Nova Scotia NDP leader Gary Burrill welcomed Shawn McNamara to his mission to steer the province away from its focus on fiscal balance.

Burrill was guest speaker after McNamara was officially named — to rousing applause — to contest the Pictou West constituency in the next provincial election on Sunday during a
nominating meeting at the Maritime Oddfellows home.

Burrill castigated the Liberal government of Stephen McNeil for what he called “fiscal  fundamentalism” in its zeal to run balanced budgets.

“We ignore long-term investment for this short-term balanced budget,” he said. “We need to make a big shift from

‘We can’t’ to ‘We can do this.’” Burrill pledged to lift out of poverty everyone who is consigned to accessing food banks to eat and the hundreds more children who are being fed at food banks over the past year.

One of his aims is to lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “What kind of false economy
is that?” he said. “We can make our little province a place where everyone can go to a grocery store to get their food.”

He said the province could use its projected $18-million surplus  in this fiscal year to deliver
the services teachers say they need to work effectively in school before they agreed to a
contract.

More than 50 people attended to hear McNamara accept the nomination that was moved by
Peter Boyles and seconded by Kent Corbett.

McNamara bemoaned the government’s decision to not reopen the visitor information centre in Pictou, reduce local mental health services, the loss of the school in River John and the impending closure of schools in Pictou.

He said he would be committed to the people of Pictou West, should he get elected, and praised the work of Charlie Parker, who previously represented the constituency.

“I personally learned a great deal from listening to Charlie Parker,” he said. “He listens, he gets the facts and then he acts.”


From left: Pictou West NDP candidate Shawn McNamara is congratulated by provincial leader Gary Burrill, guest speaker at the nomination meeting that formally proclaimed McNamara’s candidacy on Sunday in Pictou. (Goodwin photo)

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