SPRING SITTING: McNeil Liberals lack accountability on major issues facing Nova Scotia

April 18, 2018 at 7:11 pm

MacFarlane points to FOIPOP scandal, healthcare crisis and cannabis strategy

Progressive Conservative leader Karla MacFarlane says the McNeil government’s lack of accountability is the common theme of this sitting of the legislature, which wrapped up today.

She points to the FOIPOP website scandal, the crisis in healthcare and the recreational cannabis distribution strategy as prime examples.

“The Liberals are shutting down the House when there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the FOIPOP scandal,” says MacFarlane. “There has been no accountability from this government for leaving people’s personal information wide open on the internet. The Premier has failed to answer simple questions about why his government misled Nova Scotians about the breach.”

MacFarlane says this was a defining moment for the McNeil Liberals.

“When the Liberals had an opportunity to be honest and tell the truth, they chose to cover it up to try protect their own political skin,” says MacFarlane. “They got caught and now the story keeps changing by the day. It’s unacceptable from our government leaders and has left a black mark on our province.”

MacFarlane says there is a serious lack of accountability from the McNeil Liberals over the crisis in healthcare.

“We’ve heard story after story about people suffering from mental illness and being turned away from emergency rooms, palliative care patients being left on a stretcher in the ER for their dying days and the lack of family doctors forcing the closure of community emergency rooms,” says MacFarlane. “There needs to be more accountability from the Premier and the elected leaders to address the crisis in healthcare.”

In addition to the FOIPOP mess and the concerns with healthcare, MacFarlane is disappointed in the path the Liberals are paving for the distribution of recreational cannabis in the province.

“We’ve raised some serious questions about the health and safety of young people when recreational cannabis becomes legal in the province,” says MacFarlane. “It’s like McNeil government is not even taking it very seriously. They are ignoring expert advice and it seems like they are doing what is easiest for government, even if that’s not what is best for the people.”

In the House, the PCs raised concerns about the age the Liberals have chosen for someone to legally use recreational cannabis, the government’s choice to allow people to smoke it in prime public places like golf courses and their decision to allow the co-location of cannabis and alcohol sales.

MacFarlane is pleased two PC Bills passed the legislature this session. Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act designate September 12 as First Responders Road Safety Awareness Day in honour of Constable Frankie Deschênes and will help create more awareness about Nova Scotia’s ‘move over’ law. Amendments to the Volunteer Services Act mean people who use an automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in an emergency situation will be protected from lawsuits.

“These are two very important pieces of legislation that will save people’s lives,” says MacFarlane. “We are grateful to all MLAs for supporting these proactive and practical amendments.”

The PCs introduced 13 pieces of legislation this spring, including:

Cancer Survivors Day Act
Education Act (amended) – Mandatory Civics Course
Education Act (amended) – Mandatory Life Skills course
Frankie’s Law
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (amended)
Health Authorities Act (amended)
Mental Health App Act
Motor Vehicle Act (amended)
Municipal Grants Act (amended)
Pre-primary Education Act (amended)
Supporting People with Disabilities Act
Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act (amended)
Volunteer Services Act (amended)