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Nova Scotia NDP leader says party is election ready, announces housing plan

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s NDP leader announced a program aimed at easing the cost of housing during a rousing campaign-style speech before the party’s annual convention in Halifax today.

Claudia Chender later told reporters her proposal could be considered a major plank in her party’s platform ahead of a provincial election, which can be held no later than July 15 of next year.

The NDPs proposal would prioritize the use of prefabricated housing to expand stock, increase home downpayment help under an existing provincial program and establish rent control while also providing a tax credit for renters from low and middle-income households.

Chender says the New Democrats are signalling that they are ready for an election whenever it’s called by the governing Progressive Conservatives.

The third-place New Democrats currently hold six seats in the 55-seat legislature and are preparing for a byelection to be held in the rural riding of Pictou West on May 21.

Chender says the NDP has a strong candidate in the riding, but she doesn’t view the outcome as a barometer for her rural rebuilding efforts because the byelection was called quickly following a surprise retirement. She says the hasty call put opposition parties at a disadvantage.

Following her election as party leader in June 2022 Chender said her party needed to focus on making “real inroads” outside of the main urban centres of Halifax and Sydney, N.S., where it currently holds seats.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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