The Tories have approved $130 million in stimulus spending this week, contradicting what they threatened wouldn’t happen if they were to go to the polls.
Premier Rodney MacDonald had repeatedly said opposition parties forcing an election would cost Nova Scotians jobs. MacDonald said his government was out of money, and if the budget didn’t pass, they couldn’t approve new projects.
But Tuesday the Tories approved $130 million in new projects through a special warrant. That allows cabinet to spend money without it being approved by the legislature.
Finance Minister Jamie Muir confirmed Thursday the government was planning on using the special warrant last week, at the same time MacDonald was claiming jobs would be lost.
“We knew it was likely we were going to have to come up with some additional dollars through a special warrant, yes,” he told reporters.
Governments have a cap on how much they can spend until a new budget is passed. The Tories ran out of money April 30. The budget was introduced May 4 and couldn’t have been put to a vote until next week.
Muir said the job crisis referenced by MacDonald still exists. Only, that crisis will now occur if the Tories aren’t elected.
“We presented a budget which would have enabled us to address those projects,” Muir said. “If you listen to what the other two parties have said, they are not prepared to commit the money to enable those projects to go ahead.”
Both NDP Leader Darrell Dexter and Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil accused the Tories Thursday of dishonesty and playing politics with the jobs of Nova Scotians.
The new projects weren’t revealed, but Muir said they included new ambulances and school buses, expanding broadband technology and paving roads.
Muir said the $130 million in funding will last until July.