If they had listened more often perhaps they wouldn't be in the jam they're in politically right now. Justice Minister Ross Landry admits public pressure was the reason behind the government's about face with its decision yesterday to pull the cork so to speak on its law banning U-Vint small businesses from making beer and wine for their customers on store premises. "The key point about this is that Nova Scotians have spoken out loudly," Landry told reporters yesterday, adding that his government is conscious of "public opinion and feeling." Opposition to the government's efforts through the NSLC to crack down on these small business operations was overwhelming on talk shows, in letters to the editor and obviously, as per Landry's comments, in e-mails and such to the government. Good for the little guys. We win a round. It's too bad it took so long for the government to come to its senses.
I've supported Ross Harrington of Halifax's Wine Kitz and his fight with the government. Making your own wine and beer at home, but not being able to do so at a business like his was a stupid law. I'm not convinced however the government needs to compensate him. Harrington is looking for compensation and may go to court to get it. He told my radio show yesterday he lost thousands in business and legal fees have cost him thousands more. BUt he would have known the risks involved when he continued to produce wine and beer at his store after the law was passed giving the liquor corp the authority to shut him down. And lawyer's fees are a cost of doing business. I think Ross should open up a bottle or two of wine and toast his victory tonight, then get on with life.
Premier Darrell Dexter's attempting to stomp out another fire after his finance minister's been stomping about the province suggesting she might not be able to balance the budget, but that's okay because people are telling her so. The preem says balancing the coming spring budget isn't out of the question, something about changing financial data. He also says the government will follow through on next year's 1% cut in the HST. On both issues, we'll see.
City councillor Jennifer Watts is fortunate we're 4 years away from the next municipal election. She's suggesting a tax hike. Now before you get all worked up and in the mood for some tar and feathering, it's a small increase and it could help this city move around more efficiently. Watts is suggesting a $10 per household increase in the city's transit tax to pay for improved transit services rather than the 25 cent fare increase city council is now considering. If a $10 increase would help alleviate the growing traffic congestion in this city and give us a better public transit system, it's something that would benefit us all. And shouldn't we all share the cost of improving that transit system? Her suggestion is certainly worth some serious public discussion.
Have a great weekend. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.