Baillie challenges McNeil to debate healthcare issues in Cape Breton

May 08, 2017 at 7:39 am

Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie is challenging Stephen McNeil to debate the future of Nova Scotia’s healthcare system in Cape Breton.

Baillie says Cape Breton has become ground zero for a healthcare system in crisis and is the right place for the party leaders to debate the way forward.

“Our healthcare system is struggling all over, but Cape Breton has been hit especially hard over the last four years. Cape Bretoners deserve to hear from the party leaders directly,” said Baillie. “Stephen McNeil has denied the crisis in mental health, brushed off the doctor shortage and stripped local communities of decision-making powers in healthcare. He needs to face the people of Cape Breton and answer for his actions.”

A weekend rally, led by doctors in Sydney Mines, attracted hundreds of people. A similar meeting in Sydney last June attracted another large and engaged group of attendees.

“The people of Cape Breton have sent candidates a clear message. They want their political leaders to recognize the critical state of our healthcare system and work on a solution immediately,” said Baillie. “I’ve heard the message. It’s time for Stephen McNeil to show he gets it too.”

The Progressive Conservatives are prepared to extend a similar invitation to NDP leader Gary Burrill should Stephen McNeil answer the challenge.

Baillie says the Progressive Conservative Party is ready to work with the other parties on debate rules, format and a host.

Baillie plans to visit Cape Breton and discuss healthcare issues with voters directly in the coming days.