POLITICS

A chronology of major events in the first term of Nova Scotia's NDP government

09/07/2013 03:27 EDT | Updated 11/07/2013 05:12 EST
HALIFAX - June 19, 2009: Darrell Dexter becomes Nova Scotia's 27th premier and the first New Democrat to lead a government in Atlantic Canada as he and his cabinet are sworn-in.

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Nov. 13, 2009: A panel appointed to look at the province's finances says the new NDP government should break a series of election promises by cutting spending, raising income taxes, increasing the harmonized sales tax by two percentage points and delaying a promise to balance the books in the 2010-11 budget until 2012.

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April 6, 2010: The government hikes the HST by two percentage points, bringing it to 15 per cent, and tables a 2010-11 budget that forecasts a deficit of $222 million. A year later it announces it will end the fiscal year with a $447-million surplus.

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May 18, 2010: The RCMP confirms it is investigating possible criminal wrongdoing by five Nova Scotia politicians after the auditor general releases a report questioning constituency allowance spending by all three parties. Three former politicians and one sitting member of the legislature are eventually charged with fraud and breach of trust.

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Nov. 18, 2010: The governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador announce a plan to develop the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project. Known as Muskrat Falls, the $7.7-billion development in Labrador will bring power to the island of Newfoundland and continue on through subsea cables to Nova Scotia.

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June 14, 2011: A subsidiary of Korean company Daewoo opens a manufacturing plant for wind turbine components in an old railcar factory in Trenton after the provincial government buys a 49 per cent stake in the operation.

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Oct. 19, 2011: The federal government announces the Irving Shipyard in Halifax has won a competition to build the navy's next fleet of warships, a program worth $25 billion that Dexter describes as the biggest industrial opportunity for the province since Confederation.

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May 30, 2012: Maureen MacDonald becomes Nova Scotia's first female finance minister after Graham Steele decides to step down and leave politics at the next election.

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June 15, 2012: Resolute Forest Products closes the former Bowater Mersey paper mill in Brooklyn, throwing 320 people out of work about six months after the province announced a $25-million forgivable loan to the company and bought woodland from Resolute for $23.75 million.

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Sept. 22, 2012: The government reaches a deal to get the shuttered New Page Port Hawkesbury paper mill operating by signing a $124.5-million aid package in addition to $36.8 million it spent to keep the mill ready to restart.

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April 4, 2013: The government tables a budget forecasting a slim surplus of $16.4 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year. In a fiscal update four months later, it says the surplus has risen to $18.3 million.

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May 9, 2013: Percy Paris resigns as minister of economic and rural development after he is charged with assault and uttering threats following an alleged scuffle with a Liberal member of the legislature.