Environment Vision

I have always been a strong supporter for the environment, something I have been passionate about even before my time in government.

Below are the first components of my Environment Vision. These efforts will move our Province forward to become more environmentally friendly and move toward decarbonization. I will ensure Nova Scotia is an environmental leader with a proper plan to make our Province green. My commitments include substantial reinvestments to make this a reality and not simply an aspirational goal.

Reinvesting Resource Based Royalties

A Labi Kousoulis government will redirect all Provincial royalties from resource-based activities such as mining, forestry, and petroleum extraction, into a green fund. This fund will be reinvested into green jobs such as in technology and start-ups, drive carbon reduction strategies, and investments in green energy to name a few.

This move will be transformative for our Province and put significant investment dollars to seeing our vision implemented.

Implementation of the Lahey Report

Five years ago, I approached Premier McNeil to outline the need for an independent report to government on how to protect the future of our forests. These actions led to the Lahey Report.

This Report should have already been acted on, and as the Premier, I will move the Report forward for immediate implementation prior to calling the next election.

Lands of Ecological Importance & Biodiversity

Areas of ecological value and homes to endangered species will be protected by a Kousoulis government.  As Premier, I will ensure that our endangered species such as the Mainland Moose are protected from threats.

Provincial Action on Carbon Reduction

Nova Scotia will lay the groundwork toward decarbonizing our Province by making key investments in energy storage. We will work with Nova Scotia Power for large scale storage solutions as well as create a subsidy for home battery installations. This is vital for allowing Nova Scotia to invest more in wind and solar, and to shift away from burning coal.

We will introduce and invest in the following:

  • Subsidies on the purchase of new electric vehicles
  • Invest in level 3 charging stations throughout Nova Scotia
  • I will work with my Federal counterparts to invest in the Atlantic Loop to reinforce our commitment toward renewables

Environment Vision

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

Agriculture Vision

Food security will be one of my main goals as Premier of Nova Scotia. Working with the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, I have crafted a vision for agriculture here at home. This key industry spans generations of Nova Scotians who one day will look toward our youth to take the lead in supplying agricultural products across the Province.

With a significant portion of land in Nova Scotia classified as agricultural land, we must act now to ensure the sustainability of this industry.

Land Improvement Fund

The agricultural sector has been clear, when it comes to the need for investments in land improvements as well as drainage and irrigation.  As Premier I am committed to the creation of a Land Improvement Fund that will be accessible by the agriculture industry for a period of 5 years with $10 million annual investment.
This fund will allow Farmers to improve their land and therefore increase production.

Commitment To Supply Management & Food Security

During COVID-19, we witnessed the benefits of supply chain management with stable pricing and adequate supply. My commitment comes at a time when we saw first-hand the importance of relying on interprovincial products and supplies during COVID-19. As Premier, I will maintain our supply management system and work with the sector to ensure that we are providing the necessary food security for Nova Scotians.

Creating A Farmland Trust

I am committed to working with the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to establish a Farmland Trust. This commitment will ensure we are protecting critical farming resources across the Province and preserving important farmland for generations.

Investment in Key Infrastructure

For our agricultural industry to flourish, we must invest in infrastructure projects to support the movement of goods to market. In my transportation and infrastructure announcement I stated that connecting our province through investments in cell and internet access, as well as twinned highways. A connected province will create access to revenues and product access across the province.

Agriculture Vision

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

Seniors' Policy

Our Seniors population is among the fastest growing segment of Nova Scotians. After you have spent your life working and contributing to our province and country, you deserve to live in dignity and comfort without fear of housing insecurity or access to world class healthcare.

The following commitments are the first components of my vision for Seniors.

Supporting Long Term Care

As Premier, I am committed to building enough modern long-term care beds to remove seniors from the waitlist within our hospitals and provide every Senior in need with proper living accommodations. Seniors deserve dignity and should not live in fear towards what conditions their living accommodations are in. I will also work with Seniors to ensure that long-term care accommodations have enough staff who are fully trained.

This will also free up essential hospital beds for Nova Scotians and provide additional access to operations and take “hallway medicine” out of the equation. No Nova Scotian should be waiting in hospital hallways for care.

Access to Hospice Care Across the Province

I am committed to working with local stakeholders and community leaders to offer increased access to hospice care across the province.  We have seen an increase in the demand and desire for this service within our local communities. These facilities must be available across the Province, as Seniors deserve to live close to home and in the best comfort we can provide.

From the South Shore to Cumberland, Glace Bay to Yarmouth, we need adequate hospice care.

Investments in Seniors Health And Safety

We know that the health and well-being of our Seniors needs to be a priority, not just for Seniors but for loved ones who take care of family members should the need arise. As Premier I am committed to the following;

A high dose flu vaccine for all Seniors who want it (Health officials recommend an increased dosage of the flu vaccine for this specific age group).

Work with the Federal government to implement a national pharmacare program urgently.

Support the implementation of SHIFT (Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population)

Protect vulnerable Seniors from fraud and fraudulent activity.

Continue and increase funding so Seniors can continue to live in their own homes.

Housing Strategy

In my previously released housing strategy, I addressed the issues of supply and demand. Seniors and others must have access to the right housing in their own communities. I’m committed to building purpose-built seniors housing in regions across the Province. I will also work to expand co-operative housing and work to increase development through a housing committee that includes a Seniors advocate. More information can be found in my housing strategy.

Seniors’ Policy

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

Tourism Strategy

Tourism is essential to Nova Scotia’s economic success. Prior to COVID-19, the tourism sector saw record growth and our Province was attracting tourism from many parts of the world.

We must support this essential sector through COVID-19 and ensure there is a return to the sector being a booming part of our overall economy. Tourism operators bring new dollars into the Province. This infusion of spending has further positive impacts across other sectors of our economy as well.

As Premier, I am committed to:

Matching Advertising Dollars from Tourism Operators

Our government will match the advertising investments of tourism operators through TIANS. This will help speed up the COVID-19 recovery and connect more new tourists with operators across Nova Scotia.

Maintain the Tourism Rebate on Commercial Property Tax

Maintain the commercial property tax tourism rebate for an extra year. This will help tourism operators lower expenses in this time of crisis.

A New Innovative Marketing Fund

Funding innovative ways of marketing the province both externally and internally through TIANS. This includes a new marketing program for the fast-growing staycation segment.

Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Fund

We will invest and enhance our Nova Scotia attractions which will be a further draw to new tourists. This includes:

  • Extend shoulder seasons to move towards year-round tourism
  • Target eco-tourism development
  • Connect our snowmobile network into New Brunswick
  • Connect our trails systems in Nova Scotia
  • Accelerate the enhance of the Seawall trail
  • Enhance Beaubassin, an important Acadian settlement, and tie in the Chignecto Ship Railway
  • We will showcase Cape Breton Island, recently named Travel and Leisure’s number one island in Canada
  • Further promote our world class wine tours, and further market our shoreline attractions

Tourism Strategy

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

Transportation and Infrastructure

Fast, efficient, and available transportation and infrastructure networks are critical to the day to day lives of all Nova Scotians. The free flow of goods and services, as well as tourism and a host of other industries depend on bold generational investment. That is why as premier I commit the following:

Connecting Our Province

Cell and internet service are essential for every Nova Scotian to live and work. As a government we have made some progress on both fronts, however further investment is needed to ensure we are offering broader coverage and services.
As premier I am committed to further investing in cell and internet networks. This investment will allow residents to be connected in their homes and small business to grow and reach broader markets.

Twinning Our Highway

We must invest in our roads and transportation links across the province. This will keep Nova Scotians, goods, services, and tourism among other sectors moving. We know that a twinned highway is a safe highway, and it will more efficiently allow the movement of residents and goods.
As premier, I have a vision to work with cabinet and regional stakeholders to ensure we bring forward a plan to twin our highways from Yarmouth to the CBRM. I also commit to the full twining of our highway to Bridgewater.

Cross Provincial Priority Transit Projects

I will work with municipalities to invest in transit priority projects to ensure that Nova Scotians have an environmentally friendly and accessible means of moving around their communities. We will not be afraid to look at solutions for our smaller communities and that of our larger ones.

Cobequid Pass Toll Free For Nova Scotians

I am committed to removing the toll on the Cobequid Pass for all Nova Scotia vehicles. We should not deter Nova Scotians from moving around their communities or visiting other regions of our Province. This measure would be in my Spring 2021 budget.

Transformation and Infrastructure

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

COVID-19

Covid-19 is top of mind for me and many Nova Scotians. We must celebrate and recognize how well our Province and residents have done when responding to this global pandemic, relative to other jurisdictions. We must also recognize the work our health care professionals have done and that of our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Strang.

During my time as the Minister of Labor and Advanced Education, I worked closely with Dr. Strang to safely bring in 4,000 international students earlier this year. These actions ensured that we did not unnecessarily bring COVID-19 back into the province.  Throughout my campaign, I have been working to ensure that we continue to support Nova Scotians through COVID-19 and plan the post pandemic economic recovery.

A Vaccine for Nova Scotians

Currently the Federal government is responsible for procuring and distributing vaccines throughout Canada. We anticipate that in early 2021, vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna will become available in the province.
There will be national guidelines in place to ensure that the most vulnerable Nova Scotians receive assistance first. As Premier, I will ensure we work with Dr. Strang to administer these vaccines as quickly and broadly as possible.

Supporting Nova Scotians Through COVID-19

As Premier, I am committed to doing whatever it takes to support Nova Scotians and our economy to make it through COVID-19 and emerge from this pandemic without lasting economic damage. If we do not take all necessary steps, Nova Scotians may be out of work or see reduced working hours long-term. Further, small businesses could fail and never return.

Economic and Small Business Recovery

As Premier, I am committed to returning to the record low unemployment levels that we had pre-COVID-19. I am also committed to the return of record tourism which we have seen steadily increase year-over-year pre-pandemic. All of this will be accomplished with the input of stakeholders and community groups, along with strategic investment in several services and sectors.

Previously I announced a $60 million dollar investment for a small business tax credit. This relief over the next year will ensure small businesses can withstand COVID-19, keep people employed, and pay their taxes to municipalities.

COVID-19

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

Education Strategy

A solid education is a foundational building block for every Nova Scotian to succeed. As a parent, MLA, and now as a candidate for Premier, I have heard from parents and families as well as educators about what has been working and what needs improvements.

With this in mind, I’m pleased to share my vision on Education.

Working with Educators

As Premier, I will work with the NSTU on our common goal of improving the learning environment and ensuring our children have the best education we can provide.

Expanding Pre-Primary Hours Across Nova Scotia

The Pre-Primary program is something I believe in and have been extremely supportive of. Unfortunately, the hours are not meeting the needs of working parents.  I will address this by expanding the hours or providing funding to our private sector daycares to pick up the shortfall.  The workday for most of us does not end at 3:00pm. Therefore, we must match the program to what will work for parents, and through this action deliver more savings into the pocket of Nova Scotia families.

Enhancing the Breakfast Program

One of my favourite programs across government is the breakfast program.  Children cannot learn if they are hungry. We must ensure that every child will have access to breakfast and healthy snacks.  This will help our children and improve the atmosphere in the classroom.

Program and Curriculum

As Premier, I will work with government and stakeholders to bring forward the following program/curriculum initiatives:

  1. A collaborative review of the current Mi’kmaq and Indigenous curriculum, as well as an emphasis on teaching treaty rights.
  2. Additional resources to improve on anti-racism education. We will build on and support the work that NSTU and teachers are doing such as the recommendation to make use of literature like “This Book is Anti-Racist”.
  3. We will invest in an Outdoor Education Curriculum to promote health, wellness and inclusion. Additionally, investments in outdoor classrooms will improve the mental well being of our children.
  4. Bullying prevention will have an even greater emphasis.
  5. I have had meaningful discussions with the CSAP and as Premier would bring forward their education legislation in the Spring of 2021.
  6. A new emphasis on teaching important skills to students relevant to everyday life. This includes: managing mortgages and loans, interest payments, credit cards and debt, doing taxes, and other skills.

Education Strategy

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

Housing Affordability & Accessibility Strategy
Putting a Cap on Rent Increases

I will implement a rent cap on all existing leases limiting increases to 4% per year. This cap will be in place for the next 4 years while we review other housing strategies and the housing market. This measure will continue to encourage new housing developments while protecting tenants from high annual rent increases.

Purpose Built Housing Support

As Premier our government will provide funding subsidies specific to developing purpose-built seniors housing and co-ops. I have heard about the need for these in many regions across Nova Scotia, and every region will be able to take part in accessing these programs. Seniors and others must have access to the right housing in their own communities. I will also have an emphasis on working with non-profits who are building affordable housing units across Nova Scotia.

Provincial Committee on Housing

I will form a committee of housing advocates, the private sector, and municipal and provincial stakeholders. It will include representation from Cape Breton, Indigenous communities, accessibility advocates, and others.

This committee will review and recommend additional measures that our government can implement to further address housing availability and supply. Topics will include municipal/provincial taxation, inclusionary zoning, density bonusing, and streamlining the development application process to reduce red tape.

Assisting Homeless Nova Scotians

Homelessness continues to be a major challenge for many Nova Scotians. As Premier, I will invest in shelters and ensure they provide essential wraparound supports as well. In the short to medium term, I will continue our COVID-19 program of renting hotel and motel rooms to temporarily house those in need during these troubling times.

Housing Affordability & Accessibility Strategy

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

Cape Breton & Small Business Investments
Investing in Cape Breton

Cape Breton serves as one of our province’s economic hubs. It is a region of rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and hard-working Cape Bretoners. We must foster sustainable growth throughout the region in order to propel Nova Scotia forward, together.

I am committed to bringing forward the following four investments to help ensure this will happen. As our campaign continues, we will announce further measures that will support the region.

Nova Scotia Small Business Investment Fund

We must support small businesses in Cape Breton and across the Province who face potentially dire financial impacts as a result of COVID-19. In recognizing the importance of our small businesses, I am committed to investing $60 million dollars to reduce the property tax burden on our small businesses across the province.
This relief over the next year will ensure small businesses can withstand COVID-19, keep people employed, and pay their taxes to municipalities. We must work to ensure the Main Streets across Cape Breton and Nova Scotia remain vibrant during and after COVID-19. Their success is our Province’s success.

Entrepreneurial Seed Investment Strategy

As it stands, the technology industry is one of the largest employers in Cape Breton, attracted by local talent and expertise. We must support entrepreneurs in the region and give them the resources to go on and become the next Protocase.
I am committed to investing $1 million annually to fund new seed investments for Cape Breton startups. Further, I will shift the decision-making for these investments at Innovacorp to be located on the ground in Cape Breton. Growth and prosperity are among my focuses to ensure sustained growth and innovation post COVID-19.

Cape Breton Immigration Strategy

Cape Bretoners have expressed the positive impact that international students have had in growing the local economy and attracting new residents. Many have asked me to work towards increasing rural immigration numbers.
As Premier, I will provide direct staff and resources from ISANS to be located in Cape Breton. This will mean jobs and decision making will be where it belongs and can more successfully work to attract new international students and residents.

Cape Breton Collaborative Tourism 

There are many opportunities available to make the region a destination for year-round tourism. I will work with tourism operations to ensure we expand the tourism season beyond the summer months. Cape Smokey is a fantastic example of how we can attract winter-focused tourism to the region, but there are many other experiences and adventures to offer. This will provide year-round revenues for our operators as well as for businesses who rely on tourism as part of their success

Investing in Cape Breton

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

Health Care
Innovative Health Care Nova Scotians Expect

We know that Nova Scotians expect innovation from their health care system. As we have seen the direct successes of virtual care and telehealth in the province, we must continue to invest in innovative health care technologies allowing us to serve more Nova Scotians.

Therefore, I am committed to extending virtual care and telehealth until 2021 with a full system review by year end 2021. I am also committed to seeking other innovative approaches to strengthening our system, especially in rural and remote areas of the province.

Access to Care Across Nova Scotia

I believe that health care must be accessible and inclusive to all Nova Scotians. I am committed to investing $10 million dollars annually into our overworked #811 telehealth infrastructure to service Nova Scotians who are waiting for a family doctor. We can see our telehealth service expand with the support of Nova Scotian physicians who are slowing down from their practice or are retired.

Collaborative Strategies to Strengthen Our Health Care System

It is time to usher in a new layer to health care services across Nova Scotia. With the creation of the Health Care Nursing Fund, I am committed to establishing a series of financial resources, available to medical practices for the purpose of hiring nursing professionals who will work in tandem within physicians’ practices. We are confident this has the capability to lower wait times within physicians’ offices.

Health Care

Labi Kousoulis for Nova Scotia Liberal Party Leader.

A Better Way Forward compared to Iain Rankin and Randy Delorey.

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