Whenever the NDP calls for better (and much needed) social programs, such as affordable housing and adequate health care, the knee-jerk reaction is: “Yes, we need this; but how do we pay for it?”.
Islanders can recall that in January 2017, the provincial government gave $23 million to Bell Aliant in an untendered contract to improve rural internet service. A few months later, Stanley Bridge, Hope River, Bayview, Cavendish and North Rustico residences spent hundreds of dollars of their own money in a deal with Eastlink for services. What a bonus for Bell! Moreover, the following year, Miltonvale contributed an additional $203,000 to Bell’s coffers. To date, 25% of Miltonvale households are still without adequate internet. Money well spent? We don’t think so!
Imagine if that same amount of money had been allocated to improving health services and to providing affordable housing? Taxpayers would have something to show for their money. In other words, improving the lives of everyday Islanders can only be achieved through sound and transparent fiscal management.