Paul Strome’s Election Priorities

Editor’s Note: Spectator contributor Paul Strome sent along this open letter to candidates in the upcoming provincial elections, presented as a list of his chief concerns.


Reconciliation and the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are not just federal issues. Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls is not just a federal issue. Issues concerning Indigenous citizens of Nova Scotia are of concern for all of us. The systemic racism that has been practiced for far too long needs to be stopped. Indigenous citizens deserve and need to have the same rights and privileges as every other citizen so we do not need to have politicians at any level hiding behind the idea of “jurisdiction” getting in the way of what is equality and justice for everyone.

What exactly is the platform you are running with in this election? What do YOU think are the most important issues for the next four years and how do you specifically plan to reach those goals?

If you don’t take climate change as seriously as we took World War II then we won’t have to worry about anything else in our collective futures because it will all be irrelevant. We need BOLD, PASSIONATE leaders for the foreseeable future in order to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, so are you up for the challenge?

Nova Scotia made the dumbest move EVER by selling out the public power company to Emera Inc. and every knowledgeable politician should know that. The price for electricity per household has gone up more in Nova Scotia since 1992 than in any other province because Emera has to maximize its profits for the ‘shareholders.’ Shame on us for being so shortsighted in allowing that to happen. Are we stuck with this forever or would you entertain buying NSPI back from Emera?

Public roads, healthcare, infrastructure, clean water, garbage, sewage, parks and all other “public commons” should be financed by the public and for the public. These services and/or maintenance should NOT be farmed out to private companies or corporations. Private companies or corporations are there for one thing only — to make a profit for themselves or the shareholders and the public should NOT be in the business of making these entities wealthy. The public wants these services to be paid for through their taxes in the most cost efficient manner possible. Public Private Partnerships are NOT in the best financial interest of the public and should NEVER be entertained.

There are many priorities in this upcoming election but every political party needs to have an extremely well-thought-out plan to address the climate emergency and they need to be willing to share it openly in their platforms before the voter goes to the poles. Climate change is threatening every single aspect of our lives and addressing it requires our undivided attention.

Lingan coal-fired generating station, Cape Breton (Photo by By Ken Heaton (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Lingan coal-fired generating station, Cape Breton (Photo by By Ken Heaton (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Nova Scotia has the worst provincial per capita performance regarding atmospheric CO2 emissions because of our eight fossil fuel-fired electric generating stations along with the two biomass electrical generating stations. We are NOT going to make our 2030 emissions targets or our 2050 targets at the rate we are going so what is YOUR plan to make voters like me vote for you?

We need a HUGE number of wind turbines, solar farms and truly substantial, green energy projects and we need them sooner rather than later. When will incentives for those kind of projects along with job training programs to support that infrastructure ramp up to noticeable levels?

The public needs rebates for all electric vehicles like municipal transit buses, trucks and cars. What are your plans for this aspect of our future with firm time lines and solid plans?

Pieridae will continue to try and raise the $ to start the Goldboro LNG terminal if Alfred Sorensen has anything to say about it and that is the exact opposite of what we need to stabilize atmospheric CO2. What are you prepared to say and do if this liquefied natural gas issue comes up again? If you are in favor of it I will NOT be voting for you or your party.

Nova Scotia endangered speciesMany of my colleagues were enthralled with the proposed Biodiversity Act and were looking forward to having one of the most sensible environmental bills passed anywhere in Canada. Thanks to the bogus Concerned Private Landowners Coalition (Forestry Nova Scotia), who once again demonstrated they were more powerful and influential with the public than the provincial government, the bill was gutted.

I would personally like to see greater co-operation between the three levels of government in the future especially regarding climate change issues and preparedness.

I admire anyone willing to run for office because I realize how much dedication, time, planning and patience it takes to deal effectively with all the social and environmental justice issues that need to be addressed. I wish each and every one of you success in the future.

Thank you for reading and considering what I have shared with you.


Paul Strome

Paul Strome worked 12 years as an educator in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut where he experienced the culture, language and geographic parameters of Indigenous people. He has petitioned the government at every opportunity to bring about the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. As an elder and David Suzuki Ambassador he has championed the Blue Dot Movement in Unama’ki (Cape Breton) and in recent years was the Atlantic regional representative for the Council of Canadians.