For the first time, organized labour in the province has an ear in government, the president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour says.

While he said the labour movement still faces challenges and he doesn’t agree with every move the Dexter government has made since taking office, Rick Clarke’s speech to the provincial Canadian Union of Public Employees convention in Sydney this week was mostly friendly to the NDP government.

Clarke addressed the convention Tuesday — a day after Dexter did.

“I cannot recall you having a premier come to your convention to talk to you about issues that are important to Nova Scotians, that are important to you, and even some issues that you may not be on the same line with,” Clarke said. “But he comes into your convention, we’ve never had that before, we were lucky to be able to get in to have a meeting with the premier, let alone have one come to address the convention.”

He called that a level of accountability that labour isn’t accustomed to and said he hopes it continues.

Clarke said the government is now facing three oppositions in the province — Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and the media.

“When I say the media, it’s not the people that are out here talking to us, but it appears that the business at the top of it are not favourable of where this government’s going because they are using the front page to go after the most trivial things that are happening within this province,” Clarke said.

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