NDP MLAs stand up for health care system against Liberal attack

October 3, 2014

(Halifax, NS) NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says the passage of Bill 1 is a sad moment for Nova Scotia’s health care system and its workers.

“I’ve been a member of the legislature for over 15 years and I’ve never seen a Premier slam the doors of Province House on public debate like Stephen McNeil has in the past five days,” says MacDonald. “Bill 1 impacts virtually every aspect of health care delivery, from Yarmouth to Sydney, and without providing a valid justification the Liberals have rammed it through the legislature in a matter of days.”

MacDonald says the NDP has a long list of concerns with Bill 1 which the Liberal government refused to address by limiting debate. She says the bill essentially turns the entire health care system upside down and places all the power in the hands of the Minister.

“Bill 1 silences the voice of rural communities in the delivery of health care and centralizes decision making power in Halifax under the direct control of the Minister,” says MacDonald. “Given the large number of missteps and errors Leo Glavine has made recently, this is a cause for concern.”

MacDonald added that the type of health care reform Nova Scotia needs is at the front lines, not in the board room. She says all Nova Scotians would have been better served if the Liberals had directed their energy at keeping ERs open and reducing wait times, instead of picking fights with healthcare workers.

“With Bill 1, Stephen McNeil has taken away the right of health care workers to choose who speaks on their behalf,” says MacDonald. “Hearing their voices outside the legislature while our seven MLA members stood alone against Bill 1 was extremely encouraging.”

MacDonald added, “If there is any solace in what has just transpired it is that Bill 1 could very well be overturned in the courts.”