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Halifax, N.S. – The president of CUPE Nova Scotia, Mike McNeil, says Premier McNeil and Finance Minister Randy Delorey need to take a serious look at the alternative budget released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA-NS).

McNeil says, “The document rightfully points out that the Nova Scotia economy desperately needs a lift. Fortunately, it says, our government’s fiscal position is strong. So it’s in a position to do some of the heavy lifting.

“The sky is not falling in Nova Scotia.  Our deficit is actually quite small at $123 million, which is only 0.3% of our GDP.  That’s among the smallest of any province” explains McNeil.

The CCPA-NS document shows that Nova Scotia’s debt-to-GDP ratio, which is the best measure of a government’s ability to pay off its debt, is forecast to fall from 48.7% in 2000 to 36.3% in 2015–16. To put that in perspective, Ontario and Quebec have debt-to-GDP forecasts of 39.9% and 49.5% respectively.

McNeil says the alternative budget also makes some terrific suggestions for green jobs and a green economy. “That’s where the new jobs are,” says McNeil, “and where forward-thinking governments are heading.

“With leaders around the world meeting in Paris to tackle climate change, and provinces like Alberta introducing a carbon tax, Nova Scotia has to do a much better job of reducing our emissions. A full 60% of our province’s electricity is generated by coal. That’s just not acceptable in 2015,” he says.