New Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill announces Spring legislative agenda

April 13, 2016

Halifax, NS – At a media conference today, newly elected Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill announced a number of measures the NDP will bring forward in the Spring legislative session.  These measures are designed to reduce inequality, protect public health care and protect our environment.

“Stephen McNeil’s austerity agenda is hurting Nova Scotians.  The NDP Caucus will work diligently to hold the Liberals accountable while introducing a positive, progressive agenda for our province,” says Gary Burrill.  “Income inequality is a major crisis of our times.  Government must take urgent action to increase wages, eliminate poverty, and close the gap between the rich and the rest of us.”

Burrill announced four pieces of legislation the NDP will introduce:

–          Legislation requiring the government to develop a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

–          A Grocery Security Act which will make sure all Nova Scotians have enough income to get their food at a grocery store or farmers market, not at a food bank.

–          Legislation requiring the government to do a study on the question of a Basic Income Guarantee for all, as has been discussed by the Federal and Ontario Liberals

–          A bill to eliminate the HST on funerals.

NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson, MLA for Sackville-Cobequid, also outlined the NDP priorities for protecting and strengthening public health care.

“Stephen McNeil and the Liberals can’t be trusted to protect public health care.  The Liberals have picked fights with health care workers instead of focusing on front-line care,” says Dave Wilson. “Now the Liberals are talking about privatizing the Victoria General Hospital and blood services.  Privatization means we will pay more and get less.”

Wilson outlined a number of measures for protecting public health care:

–          Legislation that prevents government from making major changes to Seniors’ Pharmacare without a vote of the legislature.

–          Encouraging the Liberals to pass Bill 43, the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, to ban pay-for-plasma clinics as has been done by the Liberal governments in Ontario and Quebec.

–          Holding the Liberals to account over the major increases in wait times for home care and long term care.

–          Opposing the use of P3s for health care infrastructure, including legislation to shed light on the details on any P3 scheme so the public has access to all the information.

Burrill spoke on behalf of NDP Environment Critic Denise Peterson-Rafuse, who is away from the legislature for health reasons.

The NDP will introduce an Environmental Bill of Rights, which will ensure all citizens have the right to information and public participation on environmental issues that affect them and their communities.

“Climate change is a major crisis of our times, and the NDP’s Environmental Bill of Rights will give citizens the tools they need to hold polluters accountable,” says Burrill.


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For more information contact Kyle Buott at (902) 237-4063