NDP Calls Grocery Security and banning Pay-for-Plasma clinics for debate

April 20, 2016

Halifax, NS – Gary Burrill and the Nova Scotia NDP Caucus will use today’s Opposition Day to call two pieces of important legislation.

The first is a bill to address income inequality and seeks to ensures all Nova Scotians can get their food at grocery stores and farmers’ markets, not from food banks. The NDP introduced an amendment to the Employment Support and Income Assistance Act, Bill 151, last week. The amendment requires the government to set the social assistance rates so everyone can afford to buy their food according to the guidelines in the National Nutritious Food Basket as developed by Health Canada.

“With 44,000 people using food banks each year – one third of them children – grocery security and ending hunger in Nova Scotia should be a priority for Stephen McNeil and the Liberals,” says Gary Burrill, newly elected Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP. “The NDP will not sit idly by while people go hungry in our province.”

The second piece of legislation is designed to ban private, for-profit pay-for-plasma clinics, as has been done in Ontario and Quebec. The NDP introduced the Voluntary Blood Donation Act, Bill 43, in October 2014. There are currently attempts by at least one private company to open a pay-for-plasma clinic in the province.

“Allowing corporations to buy and sell blood and plasma is a slippery slope that could lead to patients being required to pay for care. Nova Scotia should follow the example of the Liberal Government in Ontario who have banned these clinics from opening,” says Dave Wilson, NDP Health Critic and MLA for Sackville-Cobequid.

The NDP will call these bills for second reading debate. It is then up to the government to call them for third reading and to be adopted.

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Bill 151 – http://nslegislature.ca/legc/bills/62nd_2nd/1st_read/b151.htm

Bill 43 – http://nslegislature.ca/legc/bills/62nd_2nd/1st_read/b043.htm