The government sure is in a generous mood these days.
Why, it seems hardly a week goes by when the NDP is not sprinkling buckets of cash around the province.
One moment they are promising $14 million over three years to hire more guidance counsellors and improve youth mental health services in schools.
The next its another $1 million to fund a program that helps senior citizens pay for repairs to their homes. This on top of $4.9 million in funds previously announced.
Let’s not forget, too, that the province is now offering $21 million over seven years to restart the Yarmouth-to-Maine ferry service. This comes nearly four years after the government cut its subsidies. What has changed we ask?
This is more. Much more.
The point here is that a government in spending mode is a government gearing up for an election call, the announcement of which only premier Darrell Dexter and his inner circle are privy to.
And if there are still any doubts about the likelihood of a fall election, consider this. The government issued a news release yesterday, just hours, coincidentally enough, before acting Finance Minister Graham Steele presented a budget forecast update.
According to the release, two third-party rating agencies gave the province's four-year fiscal plan good ratings.
Standard and Poor's reaffirmed its A+ (stable) rating on July 31 and predicted the ‘province's outlook would remain stable, with continued economic growth in 2013 and strengthening economic growth in 2014.’
Moody's reaffirmed its Aa2 (stable) rating and stated that the ‘province’s plan to a balanced budget is on track, the province has had continued success in managing expenses, and that major projects on the horizon are expected to have a positive impact on our economy.’
Earlier this summer, the Dominion Bond Rating Service upgraded Nova
Scotia's rating to A (high) (stable), giving the province its highest rating ever.
That’s music to NDP ears and the message of sound economic management, combined with Steele’s budget update, is one the government is going to stress over the next few days and if poll numbers start to trend upwards, an election call will follow in short order.
A call later this week would even mean an election before Thanksgiving weekend. Makes sense to us.