Nova Scotia PC Leader Tim Houston today introduced Ready for What’s Next, recommendations for our economy that prioritize safety, protect jobs and help struggling Nova Scotia businesses remain competitive.
“Every other province has been open and transparent with its citizens about what is necessary and what is possible and now it's time for Nova Scotia to catch up.” said Houston.
The Progressive Conservative caucus unveiled the blueprint for Nova Scotia’s recovery that highlights the need to support small business, including those in our tourism and hospitality industry, and provide clear direction and assistance to ensure a safe reopening. The proposals have been sent to Premier Stephen McNeil for his consideration.
They can be viewed at www.pcpartyns.ca/ready
Among the proposals, a “Get Going Grant” for businesses to purchase PPE or install plexi-glass, doubling of the allowable tax dedication for business-related meals, and establishing a tax deduction up to $200 for meals and accommodations within Nova Scotia per tax filer, along with a commitment to work with municipalities to increase outdoor dining space.
Ready For What’s Next would also ask the Provincial government to lobby Ottawa for an expansion of the eligibility for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, and require the participation of commercial landlords that have not already made alternative arrangements with their tenants. There is also a call for the federal government to push for concessions with the big banks. In exchange for participating, commercial landlords would see their interest rates cut in half. To date, the banks are one of the few groups who haven’t been as drastically affected by COVID-19.
“Two months have passed and we are still seeing situations where landlords and tenants have not yet reached a new arrangement,” said Houston “It’s time for the Premier to make that program mandatory. Now is the time for support, not surprises.”
The plan also encourages Nova Scotians to invest in each other by spending time and money in our province. It proposes to increase advertising spending aimed at promoting Nova Scotia to Nova Scotians.
“This is the year to stay close to home and enjoy Nova Scotia,” concluded Houston, “We have a beautiful province with lots to see and do, and we can help each other by planning an overnight stay, or taking a family road trip when it’s safe to do so.”