McNeil Backtracking on Day One of Campaign Puts Services for Families at Risk

September 8, 2013

(Halifax, N.S) The newly announced children’s dental program is at risk of being whacked a second time by a Liberal government after Stephen McNeil changed his position on fulfilling announced programs in an interview today.
Mr. McNeil announced today on News 95.7 that he would not commit to fulfill ongoing programs announced by the NDP government since the budget but instead would only commit to capital construction projects.
“What I said was that we would honour the capital commitments that they’ve made to communities across the province. We don’t believe it’s fair for any in coming government to break a commitment that was made to communities…
There’s some commitments in and around community infrastructure that we think should be honoured. What we said around the program spending is we have to determine what is an election promise and what was a commitment to the people and then we’d review those by themselves,” McNeil said today on News 95.7.
The announcement mirrored comments the day before in a scrum and were a clear backtrack from his commitment just a week earlier when McNeil told the Chronicle Herald on August 28 that a government he led would indeed follow through with the announced programs. “I think there is an unwritten rule, quite frankly, that incoming governments need to honour a commitment made by previous governments that communities have counted on, that businesses have counted on, that families have counted on,” McNeil said when asked if he would fulfill the all the commitments.
“Stephen McNeil specifically endorsed children’s dental when it was announced, but he is such a Liberal he couldn’t even wait to get elected before breaking that commitment,” said NDP MLA Mat Whynott. “The Liberals whacked children’s dental when they were last in office and Stephen McNeil is getting ready to whack it again.”
Other known capital programs include the seniors navigator program, the new long term care bed program, and the mainstreet improvement program, which was another program whacked by the previous Liberal government are all at risk because of McNeil’s change of heart.
“Mothers and fathers in the subburbs and around the province who are worried about dental care for kids, seniors in need of long term care placement and small towns lining up for mainstreet improvements are going to hear what McNeil said and think, ‘Whoa, wait a minute. Isn’t that exactly what the previous Liberal government was like?’” said Whynott.
“The McNeil Liberal risk is real and it is staring Nova Scotians in the face every time he speaks,” Whynott said. 
“The last Liberal government closed 1,600 hospital beds and drove 1,000 nurses out of the profession. McNeil’s plan for a super bureaucracy in health will mean more of the same, throwing health care into chaos and causing seniors to leave their communities for surgeries, according to one community health volunteer in Cumberland County. McNeil’s opposition to the NDP plan that is reducing ER closures will mean more closures across the province.”
The NDP is building a better future for Nova Scotia families The NDP has already rolled out its platform. It involves seven practical steps for today’s families to keep building a better future right here in Nova Scotia.
The NDP will; deliver better health care where and when people need it, fight for good jobs and stronger communities, Keep the HST off home energy and take it off more family essentials, give our kids a better start, stand up for seniors, build the Maritime Link and keep the budget balanced to protect services for families.