Tag Archives: Nova Scotia Elections 2009

Michelin File: Why is the Michelin man stopping over in South Carolina?

Michelin threat advertisement

Canadian Press is reporting: “Premier Darrell Dexter is travelling in the United States until Wednesday to promote the province’s life sciences and energy industries.

“One of his stops will be in Washington. D.C., where he will attend the world’s largest biotechnology conference. Continue reading

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For your information: Premier Dexter’s remarks to the arms dealers

The Merchants of Death – lithograph by Mabel Dwight

By TONY SEED

THE DEXTER NDP was brought to power on June 9, 2009 promising “a better deal for Nova Scotia families.” We didn’t have long to wait to see which “families” he had in mind nor the “better deal.”

On July 1st, Mr Dexter attended the opening of the new offices of Lockheed Martin. Now, precisely three months following the election to the day, the new premier is appearing before the military-industrial complex gathered at the DEFSEC Atlantic arms show in Halifax with declarations thataerospace and defense industry in Nova Scotia is helping to build a more prosperous economy in this province” and promising that “This government is committed to supporting the aerospace and defense industry in Nova Scotia…” He lists the U.S. arms manufacturers – Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and General Dynamics – as “partners” and decisive for his fictitious “prosperous economy.” As always, “a better deal for” the Irving family, which is looking to make the big score from the militarization of shipbuilding, lurks in the background.

Mr Dexter’s obeisance to the forces of war and empire does not represent a volte-face, even though the NDP base is upset and haunted about the seeming turn-around.

Before the election, we analyzed that “a Dexter government will be poised to negate the rights of various sectors of the population of Nova Scotia, as well as around the world, while it will use the state political and judicial power to defend monopoly right, fight for ‘their monopolies’ in the international marketplace under the banner of ‘making Nova Scotia competitive on world markets,’ and facilitate the all-round militarization of the economy and ports.”

At a time of deepening economic crisis, the Nova Scotian government immediately began to abdicate its duty to provide for the immediate needs of the working class and people for social programs to sustain them, the economy and the society. Mr Dexter openly advocates arms production and war as the solution to the objective economic, social and political problems facing the people of Nova Scotia. It is unacceptable and must be condemned.

Tamara Lorincz, who sent me the text of this speech, notes:

“The federal government gave Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and producer of nuclear weapons, cluster bombs and hellfire and PAC missles, $2 billion dollars (our tax dollars) to upgrade the combat systems on the frigates in Nova Scotia, and then the provincial NS government gave Lockheed $1.8 million dollars for a payroll rebate on those jobs. We could have hired nurses, child care staff, teachers and energy auditors instead. Please tell the federal and provincial governments that you do not want your tax dollars to go to weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin.”

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The Michelin File: Drive to empire

Michelin Usine
Michelin rubber plantation in Vietnam, circa 1930 | Photo from Francois Dennis Fieve’s website, History of French Rubber Plantations (http://belleindochine.free.fr/Caoutchouc.htm)

Seventh in a series of articles on the Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*

THE MEDIA DISCOURSE around Michelin promotes that the “average” salary at a Michelin factory in Nova Scotia is $49,000, a product of a “union-free environment.” This disinformation aims to hide the source of wealth, the exploitation of labour in America and France and the super-exploitation of plantation workers in Brazil and Indo-China. It conceals that it is Nova Scotian labour which contributed to creating the material base of modern productive capacity in the province, whose fruits are controlled by a predatory French multinational.

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The Michelin File: Michelin’s ‘exemplary citizenship’

Sixth in a series of articles on the Nova Scotia elections by TONY SEED*

Michelin threat advertisement

NOVA SCOTIA NDP leader Darrell Dexter, to whom the polls have ascribed victory in the June 9 provincial election, has stressed that Michelin Tires Manufacturing of Canada, a subsidiary of the world’s leading tire monopoly that controls 20 per cent of the world market, has been “a good corporate citizen in this province.”

The statement does not represent any change in NDP policy as some media want to divert. In an address to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce on February 12, he went even further in his accolade: Continue reading

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The Michelin File: No more deals – Nova Scotians must reject the politics of ‘pragmatism’

Fifth in a series of articles on the Nova Scotia elections*

By ENA BOUTILIER and TONY SEED

110501-OttawaMayDay-32cropAT A RECENT campaign stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia MLA – and prospective Premier – Darrell Dexter proclaimed that, if elected, his NDP government will not repeal the anti-labour “Michelin Bill” of 1979. “I have no interest in fighting battles that happened 30 years ago,” he said on May 11. Far from contesting ancient history, Mr. Dexter has declared that his Nova Scotia will fight to remain an open shop for the exploitation and plunder of the province by monopoly capital, for monopoly right, for militarizaton and for annexation to the United States through such projects as the Atlantic Gateway. Continue reading

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Nova Scotia election and the Bard Dan Alec MacDonald – ‘tonight, she walks the streets with Yankees’

Fourth in a series of articles on the 2009 Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*

LOOKING at how the establishment parties – the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP – are behaving towards the people of Nova Scotia, one is reminded of the bard Dan Alec MacDonald of Framboise, best known for composing “Song to Cape Breton” (Òran Do Cheap Breatainn – the island’s “national anthem”). Continue reading

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‘Real Life’: Democracy 251 and ‘devotion’ to ‘a mature democracy’

Third in a series of articles on the Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*

ElectionIncubatorCartoon“IT’S important that everyone vote,” the three Nova Scotian party leaders repeated as one in their closing remarks in the Leader’s Debate on May 19.

In this, the second “great debate,” the three leaders were asked to address the decline in voter participation. Tories, Liberals and New Democrats joined together to blame the people. It is noteworthy that not a single leader advanced any substantive proposals for democratic renewal. For these individuals, Nova Scotia represented the best system in the world. Incumbent premier Rodney MacDonald touted the great work of the multi-party Democracy 250 project amongst youth in promoting Nova Scotia as the self-styled home of “responsible government” going back to 1758. For his part, NDP leader Darrell Dexter blamed the fact that the assembly had only been convened for a grand total of thirteen days in 2008 for “people not buying in”; his government would make people “buy in.” Continue reading

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Atlantic Gateway: The politics of pragmatism and the elephant in the room

Second in a series of articles on the Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*

THE Nova Scotia NDP has won unprecedented accolades in the 2009 provincial election from the private and public monopoly media for its “pragmatism” and “measured policies.” Pragmatism worships the absence of principles. If something works in the interests of the status quo, it must be applauded, applied and fought for. The Nova Scotia NDP has taken the vow that “the end justifies the means.” Continue reading

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Nova Scotia elections 2009 – There is an alternative!

First of a series on the Nova Scotia elections by TONY SEED

Nova Scotia Elections 2009
Nova Scotia elections 2009 – There is an alternative!
• Atlantic Gateway: the politics of pragmatism and the elephant in the room
‘Real Life’: Democracy 251 and the ‘devotion’ to ‘a mature democracy’
• The Nova Scotia election and the bard Dan Alec MacDonald — ‘tonight, she walks the streets with Yankees’
• The Michelin File: No more deals — Nova Scotians must reject the politics of ‘pragmatism’
The Michelin File: Michelin’s ‘exemplary citizenship’
• The Michelin File: Drive to empire

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ON MAY 4, Nova Scotia’s opposition parties defeated the MacDonald government’s finance bill. The defeat was quickly followed by the fall of the minority Conservative government, and the setting of a provincial election date for June 9. The bill proposed an amendment to the Provincial Finance Act which would have allowed a portion of the $830 million dollars from the so-called Atlantic Accord to be used for purposes other than financing the province’s $12 billion dollar debt, the highest per capita debt in Canada (much of which is held by private Wall Street financial interests), on which Nova Scotians now pay an annual interest of nine hundred million dollars. Both the NDP and Liberal parties accused the MacDonald government – which forecast a surplus of $4 million for 2009-10 – of using money from the Atlantic Accord to cover up the deficit. For its part, the MacDonald government claimed that no alternative source of funding was available to live up to the cost of the programs and services tabled in the bill. His cabinet then exercised special spending powers through orders-in-council to expend $130 million for paving and building projects under the pretext of “stimulus.” Continue reading

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The Nova Scotia Elections 2003

The provincial elections have once more concluded without a solution. We look for the human factor. By TONY SEED

HALIFAX (August 6, 2003) – THE provincial elections have once more concluded without a solution. The John Hamm Conservatives retained power with 25 seats on August 4th while the New Democratic Party and the Liberals increased their total to 15 and 12 seats respectively. The Tories lost five seats. For the second time in the past three elections, there is a minority government.

More significantly, thiry six per cent of the registered electorate did not vote (some reported it as forty per cent), the highest in 43 years. The media and the parties are already attributing this to the fact that the election was held in mid-summer, conveniently overlooking that in the preceding provincial election, held in the summer of 1999, thirty two per cent of the electorate did not vote. In fact, there were four parties participating in the elections, including the Nova Scotia Party (qua Canadian Alliance), but the media portrayed only the first three as serious and it was impossible to find out through the media what the fourth party stood for. Continue reading

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