Protesters rally to oppose passing of Nova Scotia ‘austerity’ budget

HALIFAX – More than 100 people gathered Friday outside the Nova Scotia legislature to protest the passing of the new provincial budget, in what organizers called a “rally against austerity.”

Among the crowd were members from unions, the film industry and the Canadian Federation of Students.

“We don’t think that everyday people should pay for political decisions made by people who are out of touch with Nova Scotia,” said Chris Parsons from the University of King’s College Students’ Union.

READ MORE: Many Nova Scotians shocked and concerned with provincial budget outcome

Hours later, the budget was approved by the Liberal government in a final vote, despite being voted down by both the Progres

“There’s no possible way we could support this budget,” said NDP Interim Leader Maureen MacDonald. “Look at the film tax credit fiasco.

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“This is about the most ass-backward kind of approach to public policy I’ve ever seen. They’re making it up as they go along.”

PC Leader Jamie Baillie said he couldn’t vote in favour of the budget because he had no confidence in its numbers

“I asked the premier about this new film fund and whether it’s capped [and] they don’t have an answer to that question,” he said. “That’s one line item in the budget, so how can we trust any of the other line items in the budget?”

Premier Stephen McNeil continued to defend what he is calling a “fair” budget.

“Government cannot continue to operate the way it has operated for decades, under all political parties, and expect that we’re going to get a different result. It just simply won’t happen,” he said.”We have to change the way we deliver services to Nova Scotians and this is the beginning of a step in that direction.”

Parsons said while little can be done to change this year’s budget, he’s hoping this rally will have an impact down the road.

“This isn’t about today, this is about tomorrow,” he said. “This is about next year’s budget. It’s about making sure that we can build something that can actually fight against these policies.”


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