It is the fourth day of the 31-day election campaign in Nova Scotia.
Do the Conservatives want to privatize health care?
The NDP says so. Let’s look at the facts.
NDP Leader Gary Burrill accused the Progressive Conservatives over the weekend of being “focused on privatizing health care services and listening to their friends in business.”
When reporters asked Burrill to expand on that position on Monday, he said it was based on the Tories’ healthcare platform, released last year, which includes an expansion of telehealth services.
“We are committed to providing Nova Scotians on the waiting list [for primary care] with immediate access to a virtual care service, ”reads a document from the platform.
PCs have said they will tender for these services, and they cite the Maple company as an example of a private telehealth provider. The Liberal government signed a deal with Maple earlier this year to pilot a program that closely resembles the PC plan.
“Telehealth is at the heart of how we are going to provide primary care to people,” said Burrill. “To propose, as they have done, to move forward with telehealth on the basis of the private sector rather than a public health system is in fact an attempt to privatize the health system as a whole.
Houston said Monday his party was not at all interested in privatizing health care services.
“I think anyone who looks at the policy that we publish will know how ridiculous a statement is. We have been very clear on the investments we are going to make in health care. Our goal is to fix health care in this province, ”said the Conservative leader.
The PC healthcare platform is budgeting $ 2.5 million for the proposed telehealth expansion.
Would a Rankin government cut $ 209 million in programs and services?
The 2021-2022 budget tabled and adopted by the Liberal government earlier this year includes an estimated decrease of $ 209 million in departmental spending for 2022-2023 – a fact that was quickly noted and denounced by the NDP.
Burrill reiterated this point in his weekend speeches and in his party’s vision document.
Liberal Leader Iain Rankin, however, said the spending cuts should not be interpreted as a cutback plan. He said this simply represents expenses related to COVID-19 which will hopefully not be necessary next year.
“We’re not going to compromise on basic services,” Rankin said. “We have increased the budget for health care, education, community services every year. We will continue to do so.
The leaders of the three main parties held morning press conferences on Monday. The Conservatives and the NDP proposed changes to emergency medical care, but they had different opinions on what needs to be fixed.
Rankin visited a vegetable greenhouse in the Annapolis Valley to pledge an expansion of an existing rebate program available to businesses in all industries who want to improve their equipment in the name of efficiency. Nova Scotia Business Inc. currently administers the program. Rankin said he would budget $ 45 million over the next five years.
- Liberal Leader Iain Rankin will make an announcement about Col Cobequid in Amherst.
- NDP Leader Gary Burrill will make an announcement on housing in North Halifax.
- CP chief Tim Houston will make a policy announcement in downtown Halifax.
How to vote
Check if you are registered to vote with Elections Nova Scotia.
Once registered, you can vote before election day by requesting a mail-in ballot or by visiting the returning office or advance poll in your riding.
On polling day, the polling stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. AT.
More information on voting is available at electionsnovascotia.ca.
Register tomorrow for the next issue of Electoral Book and follow all of CBC’s election coverage at cbc.ca/ns