NDP MLA Denise Peterson-Rafuse says the province needs to rally behind Pictou County following the loss of 500 jobs at Michelin. To that end, she will introduce a motion later this week to have the Provincial Economic Development Committee meet in Pictou County before the legislature reconvenes on March 27th.
"What Pictou County needs right now is the support of the government and all members of the provincial legislature," said Peterson-Rafuse. "Given the significant loss of employment about to take place, I think it only makes sense for the provincial economic development committee to visit the region. We need to hear first-hand from the business community about what can be done to strengthen the local economy."
Peterson-Rafuse will introduce her motion at the committee meeting this Thursday. While she says it will be up to the Liberals if the committee travels to Pictou County and when, she is proposing the meeting be held as soon as possible.
"500 jobs were just lost so the priority of the all-party committee should be finding a way to replace those jobs promptly," said Peterson-Rafuse.
Peterson-Rafuse says anyone from Pictou County who has an idea about how to create and protect good jobs should be invited to present to the committee. She will also be asking the staff from the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism to appear at the committee to discuss current projects and/or opportunities being pursued to support the region.
"Given the circumstances, I think the residents of Pictou County have a right to know what steps the government is currently taking to create new jobs in the area," says Peterson-Rafuse. "The Liberals have promised to be an open and transparent government, so if there are specific projects currently being considered they should be willing to put them on the table for discussion."
She added, "The Ivany report was clear it's time to take a more proactive approach to growing our economy. So let’s be proactive and demonstrate some leadership for Pictou County."