Premier fails to address doctor shortage, signs bad ferry deal

May 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Time to replace Health Minister, says Baillie

HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says Premier Stephen McNeil has broken an election promise by failing to address the shortage of family doctors.

Today, the spring sitting of the Legislature wrapped up. Through this legislative sitting, PC MLAs repeatedly pressed Premier McNeil for answers about the doctor shortage and the mental health crisis. He refused to answer even basic questions and most often shirked his responsibility to the health authority.

“It is time for a new Health Minister,” says Baillie. “We need someone that will listen to people and take action to address our province’s healthcare crisis.”

Time for a new health minister

Last July, the Premier made a minor cabinet shuffle. Baillie said at the time that it didn’t go far enough and should have included the Minister of Health. In February, the PCs said Minister Glavine should be fired for lying to seniors about their pharmacare premiums.

“Premier McNeil doesn’t have a plan or a vision for our province,” says Baillie. “He is being led around by a group of Liberal insiders. Meanwhile, his Minister of Health shifts all accountability for debacles like the seniors pharmacare attack, the mental health crisis and a growing shortage of family doctors, to unelected officials. The Minister and premier are willfully blind to the real healthcare and economic challenges people are facing. Neither the province nor the health system are being managed competently and big overhauls are needed.”

During this session, Baillie also took aim at the terrible deal the Liberals signed on behalf of taxpayers with Bay Ferries. Last night, we learned the McNeil government isn’t releasing passenger numbers or ticket sales for the Yarmouth Ferry.

“That’s not acceptable,” says Baillie. “Every week we learn about another terrible part of this deal. The Liberals have opted to limit the public outrage by hiding information on a service where the only risk is to taxpayers.”

Baillie says our province’s economy continues to perform well below its potential. The McNeil government depends on increased taxes and federal transfers to pay for its spending.

“It’s a vicious cycle. High taxes make small and medium businesses struggle and fail. Without private sector jobs, this government will raise fees and taxes to maintain its spending,” says Baillie. “Health care is half of Nova Scotia’s spending and without a plan to stimulate jobs, Nova Scotians will face increasing challenges in delivering services like health care.”