During an event at the Emera Centre in North Sydney last week, Rankin MacSween, President of New Dawn Enterprises, declared his intention to seek the Mayor’s office in this October’s municipal election. This week he will start to address some of the issues, and his plans for the future.
“People are very hopeful about the future, yet the vast majority seem to recognize that not much has improved over the past four years,” noted MacSween, during the announcement. “Indeed, in many ways, the last four years have been about lost opportunities to make a real difference.”
MacSween has served as President and CEO of New Dawn Enterprises over its last four decades of growth and expansion. Most recently, New Dawn opened the Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration and the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation in the former Holy Angels High School in Sydney. These projects complement the organization’s activities in real estate, health care, education, and its multi-million dollar local investment fund.
Looking back to promises made in the 2012 election campaign MacSween observed, “the City Charter is nowhere to be seen; the proposed $300 million federal-provincial-municipal infrastructure program has been abandoned; the idea of the CBRM being the most business-friendly municipality in Atlantic Canada is not supported by the fact that we have been evaluated as the third worst place to live in Canada; and the CBRM’s signature economic infrastructure initiative, the construction of a second berth at the cruise terminal, has been in limbo for several years.”
MacSween’s message to the crowd was clear – we can do better. We must do better and we must tackle the real issues, not shy away from our biggest challenges.
He focused on a need to address the tax burden of CBRM residents, the highest in the province of Nova Scotia, resolve the dangerous state of municipal roads and infrastructure, attract immigrants to the area to offset the substantial annual population loss and its impact on our schools, and deal with the area’s shamefully high rate of children growing up in poverty.
This Friday, MacSween will be in Glace Bay to discuss part of his election platform, the property tax crisis in the CBRM.
Looking at the disparity between property tax rates in the CBRM and other Nova Scotia municipalities (of which CBRM’s is by far the highest), MacSween will detail a plan to address the hardship facing, among others, new home buyers and small business owners.
It is not simple coincidence that the speech will be held in Glace Bay. In Glace Bay, we find businesses and organizations exemplifying incredible resilience and determination in the face of great economic decline – the Savoy Theatre, Undercurrent Youth Centre, Town Day Car, and Talo Cafébar, among others. This stark contrast is at the very heart of MacSween’s underdog campaign.
MacSween’s speech is scheduled for 11AM, Friday, August 19, at the Glace Bay Fire Hall.