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Nova Scotia Election 2017: Tracking party promises on education

A teacher is seen teaching students at a desk in a Nova Scotia classroom. File/Global News

EDITOR’S NOTE: Throughout the 2017 election Global News is tracking the promises each party makes on education, health care, infrastructure, transparency, budgets, diversity, and more. The stories will be updated as parties roll out their promises.

Education was a hot-button issue prior to the election and continues to take centre stage as the province’s leaders attempt to woo the general public and a variety of interest groups, including teachers.

After a lengthy labour dispute between the province and teachers resulted in the Liberal government legislating a contract — known as Bill 75 — each party’s approach to issues facing Nova Scotia classrooms has come to the forefront of the campaign.

The bill established a council to improve classroom conditions, which presented its first report only a few days before the election campaign began. The council has called for expanded class caps and more teachers to be hired in Nova Scotia.

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Bill 75

Liberal

  • The Liberals have not said how they will handle Bill 75

Progressive Conservative

  • The PCs will repeal “every word of the bill that imposes a contract on teachers.”
  • Will scrap the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions
  • The party says it will negotiate a new contract with teachers

NDP

  • The party says it would immediately repeal Bill 75

Schools

Liberal

  • Have not said how they will address classroom conditions 
  • Will hire 51 mental health clinicians through the expansion of the SchoolsPlus program, previously announced in last month’s proposed budget

Progressive Conservative

  • Will scrap the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions and put $20 million into classroom caps and educational assistants

NDP

  • Will put classroom caps in place to the cost of $9.3 million annually

Early education

Liberal

  • The Liberals committed to the pre-primary care plan previously announced in the 2017 budget — which didn’t go to a vote. Their proposed $3.7 milllion increase would create 30 new pre-primary locations throughout the province. While the location of the centres hasn’t been determined, the province says it could save families as much as $10,000 a year

Progressive Conservative

  • The party has not made any promises yet on early education

NDP

  • The NDP have yet to make promises on early education

Post-graduate

Liberal

  • The party has promised $45 million towards initiatives aimed at keeping youth in the province, including increasing investment in the Graduate to Opportunity program which provides payroll subsidies to employers who hire recent graduates

Progressive Conservative

  • The PCs have pledged to bring Nova Scotia tuition fees down to the national average, but have not given cost estimates.

NDP

  • The NDP have yet to make promises on post-graduate education 

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