South Shore PCs question cuts to sexual assault survivor support

May 12, 2017 at 8:10 am

The South Shore Progressive Conservative team says recent cuts to mental health services for survivors of sexual assault prove how out of touch the McNeil Liberals really are.

According to LighthouseNow, the Nova Scotia Health Authority has ended a program on the South Shore where mental health staff would accompany specialized nurses in sexual assault cases. 

“We want to build a mental health system that helps people in their most vulnerable state, not one that abandons them,” says Julie Chiasson, PC Candidate for Chester-St. Margarets. 

Brian Pickings, PC Candidate for Lunenburg, agrees. 

“We will fight for the services that matter to women and families on the South Shore,” says Pickings. “This isn’t just about cutting this single service. The McNeil Liberals are chipping away at care and dignity.”

A Progressive Conservative government led by Jamie Baillie will invest in the province’s broken mental health system to ensure it meets the needs of Nova Scotians. 

“Sadly, too many people on the South Shore are not able to access the mental health services they need,” says Kim Masland, PC candidate for Queens-Shelburne. “Our party will make the investments needed to build a client-centred system that South Shore families can count on.” 

Carole Hipwell, PC Candidate for Lunenburg West, says the McNeil Liberals owe residents an explanation as to why they’re cutting mental health and sexual assault survivor services. 

“When a survivor is brave enough to come forward, we should be doing everything we can to support them, not take away services,” Hipwell says.

Baillie has been calling on McNeil to be clear about his commitment to survivors of sexual violence. The Progressive Conservative Party is committed to working with Sexual Assault Services Lunenburg Queens to deliver the best survivor-focused services for the community, instead of just surprising them with service cuts. 

Stephen McNeil has come under fire this campaign for “casual misogyny” in relations to his comments about women candidates and his re-hiring of Kyley Harris–who pleaded guilty to domestic violence–as his campaign Director of Communications.

Stephen McNeil is touring the South Shore today.