Nova Scotians have re-elected the Liberal government with a reduced majority. The Liberal Party led in the polls throughout the campaign and was able to hold off a late surge from the Progressive Conservatives to provide Nova Scotians with consecutive majority governments for the first time since 1988.

The re-election of the Liberal government will likely result in renewed consultation and a plan of action from the Department of Environment regarding environmental stewardship programs for packaging and used oil. There will also be steps taken to reduce the amount of plastic bags and textiles ending up in landfills.

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) was active in the lead up to the election. RCC met with members of the major parties to address issues of importance to the retail sector including minimum wage, environmental stewardship, and labour standards. RCC launched its Vote Retail NS website and sent its election questionnaire to all the parties prior to the commencement of the election.

Background:

There were two upsets on election night with surprise losses for former Economic Development Minister Michel Samson and Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard.

The campaign was a referendum on the leadership style of Premier Stephen McNeil. McNeil’s first term in office saw his government clash with many of the province’s unions while making tough decisions to balance the province’s books.

Health care and specifically the lack of doctors in certain parts of the province was also a much-publicized issue during the campaign.

The NDP ran a traditional campaign, which included promises of tax increases on those in higher income brackets, free tuition at the Nova Scotia Community College and a $15 minimum wage. The NDP finished in third place.

One third of the legislature will now be comprised of female MLAs.

Next Steps:

RCC will continue working with the Liberal government and with the new cabinet.

RCC will advise members of the new cabinet and any potential impact the cabinet may have on the retail sector.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Jim Cormier, Director, (Atlantic) at: [email protected] or 902-422-4144