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LETTER: Nova Scotia politicians continue to ignore equalization fairness group

Robert Krawchuk of Sydney was one of about 200 people protesting at a Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness (NSEF) demonstration Wednesday in front of the provincial building on Prince Street in Sydney.
Robert Krawchuk of Sydney was one of about 200 people protesting at a Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness (NSEF) demonstration in front of the provincial building on Prince Street in Sydney in this file photo. CAPE BRETON POST FILE

Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness (NSEF) and my office have been trying to get the three provincial Liberal leadership candidates to talk to us about equalization.

Iain Rankin, Labi Kousoulis and Randy Delorey have all been sent emails requesting a civil discussion with myself and a few NSEF board members. We would like to know where they stand when it comes to equalization and the funding formula for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) and other struggling municipalities across the province.

We are being ignored at all costs by the politicians of today. We are also still waiting to hear from Cape Breton MPs Mike Kelloway and Jaime Battiste as well but after sending numerous emails we are still waiting for a response. Kelloway made a promise to voters that he was going to get all sides to the table on this issue. What has changed since he was elected?

Cape Breton must not be used to generate billions in funding from Ottawa with the province then misappropriating this funding decade after decade. People are fed up with the unkept promises that politicians say to get elected and when they do they forget their words very quickly. All parties are guilty of this practice.

The NSEF is non-partisan in nature and while we attempt to have our elected officials answer why the Province of Nova Scotia is receiving over $2.14 billion and still only sending $15 million to CBRM, we must demand that our elected officials (of all stripes) answer to the people that elect and pay them.

The concern here is that while Rankin, Kousoulis and Delorey want to lead the Liberal Party and take over as premier, they should have no problem speaking to our group. Instead, they are ignoring us. This is important information for the card-carrying members to know and we urge all members to challenge these candidates before voting for any of them.

The provincial Progressive Conservative leader was also contacted to meet with us, but we received nothing from him as well.

NDP leader Gary Burrill was the only leader of a party to answer our request. We have met with him, on camera, and we appreciated his time.

For some reason, our elected representatives do not want to be on record when discussing equalization and this should concern every resident of Cape Breton and rural Nova Scotia. After 23 years of requesting meetings and 23 years of ignoring the issue, the public wonders what is wrong that politicians cannot answer a few simple questions. Ignoring the issue has worked in the past but we will not allow that to work in the future.

We would like to thank the public for their ongoing support and involvement in the NSEF and we want to let you all know that we will not stop on this issue until the politicians go on record and state their positions. Please ask yourselves this important question. What are they hiding from and why?

Rev. Dr. Albert Maroun

Sydney

(member Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness)

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