First, they make the decision to flood the under-capacity convention market with more space to be more under-capacity in downtown Halifax.
Then they decide it’s in the public interest to commit taxpayer money without showing the taxpayers who are funding this the business plan that says it’s a smart thing to do. They do this despite complaints from other downtown hotel owners and those considering the construction of new hotels in the area that they are effectively funding the construction of competition. (Could there be a legal avenue here?)
Then they try to force together a deal that leaves the city holding the bag for money lost in the old convention centre, as well as the tax revenue on a high-priced property in the city core.
And now they suggest to the federal government that their “contribution” to this white elephant could come from infrastructure money normally used for roads and bridges – you know, stuff we use on a regular basis. Though in fairness, as a runner and eight months of the year cycle commuter here in metro, you don’t know how many times I’ve traveled along Windmill Rd. on the way to work saying “man, this road is fucking perfect!” Obviously the roads don’t need the cash. And it will be obvious when the bridge commission raises their rates again later this year that they don’t need it. And it’s very obvious from the 2011 tax assessment on my home that the city doesn’t need it.
What about the school boards that are looking at cuts in the neighbourhood of 20%? Bloodykids – let ’em learn like the business leaders did –
private schools funded by their rich parents the school of hard knocks. Education is a privilege we evidently can’t afford, but hotels and empty conference rooms – whoah, baby! I gotta get me some of this action!
Could Darrell Dexter have bought that old chestnut that socialism is for kids who don’t know any better and that real governance means making the “hard decisions” that hurt the average man in favour of business? Could it be that he feels he’s not really at the adult table until he’s carrying water for them?
Could it be that as of today I am no longer a member of the Nova Scotia NDP? Yes, why I think it could.
I once thought that I too would outgrow my commitment to social democracy, that at some stage I would turn all conservative. I think I assumed there was something genetic in that saying attributed to Churchill that “all men with hearts are communists at twenty and all men with brains are conservative at thirty”. But you know what? It didn’t happen to me. It didn’t happen because reality is on the side of the left; that selling out to corporate interests is a series of denials and delusions that there is something more natural about a “free” market, that it’s “God’s way”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the falsehoods in Ayn Rand.
Darrell has apparently decided that in order to be take seriously, to be seen as a “real” premier of Nova Scotia he has to throw money hand over fist toward failed business ventures that will benefit no one but the immediate owners and those directly involved in the construction of bone-white elephants. Put that way, in light of this province’s history of electing idiot after fool after criminal, he’s likely right.
But sadly he’s not right in any way that I want to be part of. I’ll figure out who I’ll vote for next time at some point, but from this point forward, I’m no longer a member of the NDP.