Liberals wreaking havoc among public sector health care workers in Nova Scotia

March 1, 2014

Today the NDP caucus voted no on Bill 30. NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says over the past few weeks the Liberals have created an extremely dangerous situation that both weakens the collective bargaining rights of workers while placing health care at risk.

“What the Liberals have done is play a game of chicken, pitting home care workers against their patients,” said MacDonald. “On Friday, we had a situation where home care workers were being stripped of their ability to collective bargain while their patients were being forced to find their own home care. It was Draconian and the worst part is, this is just the beginning from the Liberals.”

The NDP forced the Liberals to allow dozens of people to speak at Law Amendments after government members tried to limit time and block others from speaking at all.

“Everyone deserved a chance to speak,” said MacDonald.

Meanwhile, given the impact the strike was having on vulnerable health care patients, the NDP felt it was important to let the legislative process play out over the weekend.

“Let’s be clear, this entire conflict could have been avoided if McNeil had accepted binding arbitration. It could have been avoided if the Premier hadn’t shut down negotiations. It could have been avoided had the Liberals brought back the House a week ago,” said MacDonald. “Unfortunately, the Premier did none of those things. He is using these vulnerable Nova Scotians and the people who care for them to send a clear message to the rest of the public sector- they could be next.”

MacDonald added, “As the third party, we may not have been able to stop this bill from passing, but we certainly pushed hard to let the voices of those affected be heard and to protect the safety of those who depend on them.”