Cape Breton deserves Collaborative Emergency Centres

March 17, 2017

For Immediate Release

New Waterford—NDP leader Gary Burrill says Stephen McNeil owes the people of Cape Breton an apology for doing nothing to help them as emergency room closures continue to rise, leaving people worried about getting hurt or sick during a closure.

“Flashy press releases and inaction are what the people of Cape Breton have seen from the Liberal government,” said Burrill. “Stephen McNeil and Leo Glavine think that Cape Bretoners can’t have access to the emergency room care they deserve. The truth is, we have a solution for ER closures and we can put it into action.”

The NDP opened Canada’s first Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) to provide 24/7 emergency care and same-day or next-day appointments. Even though the Department of Health’s own evaluation report has shown CECs are working for people, the McNeil Liberals have not opened one additional CEC.

“The NDP knows we can deliver emergency health care to people in Cape Breton,” said Burrill. “An NDP government will open CECs in North Sydney, Glace Bay and New Waterford because people deserve to know that if their children, parents or friends are sick, they can get the emergency care they need.”

Greg McKinnon is a respiratory therapist at New Waterford Consolidated Hospital and knows first hand the impact ER closures are having on people. “The health of people in Cape Breton should be a priority, but all we’re seeing is cut after cut,” said McKinnon. “We need emergency rooms that work, we need family doctors in our communities, and we need a government that will listen.”

In June 2015, Health Minister Leo Glavine said that CECs would be opened in North Sydney, Glace Bay and New Waterford. To date, the government has stalled progress and communities have been left waiting.

“The McNeil Liberals promised a doctor for every Nova Scotian, and promised to open more CECs,” said Cape Breton Centre NDP candidate Tammy Martin. “Yet all they’ve done is create a centralized health care bureaucracy in Halifax. Cape Bretoners are tired of having our needs ignored.”

The NDP would continue to expand the CEC model across Nova Scotia, beginning with a $3.3 million investment to bring CECs to these three Cape Breton sites.


For more information, contact Mike Poworoznyk at 902-423-9217.