With a provincial election sometime in the next year, the opposition gang-up on the Dexter government is heating up. Both the Liberals and the Conservatives are suggesting the premier's promise to cut the HST by one point in 2014 is at risk. The charge comes as the province releases its audited financial statements for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The deficit's about $140 million less than estimated and stands at $248 million, proof Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald says of the government's strong fiscal management, that the province is poised to balance the books by next spring. Liberal Andrew Younger says the government can only keep the HST cut promise by slashing spending, even more cuts he says to education and health care. MacDonald says when the government will be in a position to "provide some tax relief to Nova Scotians than we certainly should do that." A true political answer if I ever heard one.
Don't you just love politics.
Where are they getting the guns people wonder as the city struggles to deal with a gun violence problem. Police say most of the guns used in crimes come from house break ins, weapons stolen from private gun owners. Others believe most of the handguns the bad guys are using are smuggled into the province, mostly from the U.S. Details are still sketchy, but perhaps a bust this week by the Canada Border Services Agency lends some credence to that possibility. Two 19 year olds have been charged with gun smuggling counts after raids on two homes Wednesday,Craig Redmond of Connolly Street and Conor Lively of Edinburgh Street. Among the weapons seized, several 9mm handguns and a .357.
An interesting court case this week in Amherst provincial court. 74 year old Melville Taylor of Fox River is accused of trying to hire a hit man to commit murder. His victim was a 45 year old man also from Fox River. The two apparently knew each other. Again, not many details are available, but I wonder if the hit man turned to be an undercover cop??
We're getting a look at some of the salaries high-earning public servants are making these days. Under the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act, public servants earning over $100,000 a year must make that information public. The deadline is still some weeks away, but this week a number of salaries have been publicly revealed. Trade Centre Ltd prez Scott Ferguson makes $174,494. Premier Dexter hauls in $198,065 while Nova Scotia Liquor Corp president Bret Mitchell earns $266,488. St Fx president Sean Riley has a salary of $291,160 while SMU's Calvin Dodds earns just about $100 less. Dalhousie's Tom Traves has yet to file his earnings but last winter he told the media he made just over $393,000 making him the top dog of them all. All other university presidents by the way earned well over $200,000 each.
Have a great long weekend. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.