TRURO - Education, health care, roads and many other challenges facing the province shouldn't be as severe as they currently are says the PC leader of Nova Scotia.
Jamie Baillie, a former Truro resident who now represents Cumberland South, addressed about 75 people from the Truro and area business community during a Truro and District Chamber of Commerce gathering on Tuesday.
One area Baillie was adamant about was that the NDP government should not be closing schools.
"I would not have that as premier," said Baillie, saying there should be a moratorium on rural school closures until the NDP government releases the "Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy" report on rural economic renewal.
Baillie also said there's a formula that would help get Nova Scotia on track.
"Lower taxes, stop wasteful government spending and create more jobs," said Baillie.
"Stop the giveaways, cut bureaucracy, lower taxes for everybody and allow entrepreneurs to create more jobs," he suggested.
He added a 30 per cent increase in power rates in the past three years is unacceptable.
"We need to freeze power rates. Our plan is to freeze power rates by buying as much renewable energy as possible."
Baillie also told the Truro Daily News he's aware of many issues in Colchester County that need to be rectified, including the state of roads.
"It's not the 102 or 104 that people are complaining about. It's the secondary, trunk or local roads ... they have been neglected for years and years, partly because money is tight," he said. "Currently there is no rhyme or reason which roads get paved or don't."
Regarding local health care, Baillie used Tatamagouche's Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital as an example.
"The (hospital) is at times full of seniors waiting to set into a nursing home. It's a 50 per cent higher wait than four years ago," Baillie said. "A study needs to be done county by county and plans (need) to (be made) to build beds. Part of that is home care (which) frees up hospital beds."
Incoming Truro chamber of commerce president Mike Michaud told the Truro Daily News Baillie presented some good ideas.
"Rural communities are the life blood of the area ... pulling schools out (of a community) would pull more people out of communities," said Valley-based Michaud. "We all pay taxes and deserve the same opportunities."