Charlie Parker, MLA for Pictou West, says Progressive Conservative candidate Karla MacFarlane is toeing the party line with her recent comments about the Pictou Lodge.
"It's unfortunate that Ms. MacFarlane would use the lodge's troubled circumstance to try and advance her political agenda," said Parker.
He said the NDP government is committed to supporting small business and tourism in the Pictou area.
"It wasn't long ago that we committed $450,000 to the lodge," said Parker.
He said the lodge is an important employer in the Pictou area. I understand that the Department of Economic and Rural Development is committed to working with the company to find a solution to the current situation to ensure these employees get back to work.
PICTOU – Pictou West Progressive Conservative candidate Karla MacFarlane is blaming the fact that Pictou Lodge went into receivership on the closing of the Yarmouth Ferry and the increase of the HST.
“With the canceling of the Yarmouth Ferry and the hike to the HST making Nova Scotia’s taxes the highest in the country, the NDP government has made Pictou West’s tourism suffer,” MacFarlane stated in a release.
While manager Wes Surrett said that business has actually been good last year and was promising for the coming year, he did say in an interview with The News last week the closing of the Yarmouth Ferry cost them about 700 room nights a year.
“It’s not just the people in Yarmouth,” he said. “That had an impact right across the province. You don’t recover that quickly and easily.”
Surrett said their business has come to rely more on conferences and weddings than on tourism.
“It’s just not an easy business in rural Nova Scotia,” he said.
The resort usually employs between 60 and 70 people during the peak summer season and brings hundreds from across Canada and beyond to the local area.
“The Pictou Lodge has been a staple in our community for over a generation. From attracting tourists to our shores, to international gatherings, to a simple wedding on the beach - the Pictou Lodge has played an important role in our local economy,” MacFarlane stated.
She pointed out other businesses that have closed at least temporarily including Scotsburn’s Stonehame Chalets, which closed for the first time last winter. Owner Jeff Gunn did not say when it would reopen.