Liberals put public health sector workers on notice at public accounts update

July 31, 2014

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says public health care jobs could be at risk judging from comments made by Finance Minister Diana Whalen during the release of the province’s 2013-14 public accounts today, July 31.

“Health care jobs in rural communities are often the best jobs that exist in those communities. We are very concerned that eliminating public sector health care jobs could be a central feature of the Liberal’s plan to amalgamate district health authorities,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald’s comments came in reaction to warnings by the Minister of Finance today that government is closely examining, “how it provides services to Nova Scotians, and how to offer them more effectively.”

The government is facing an operating deficit in the range of $250-275 million dollars. MacDonald fears government is planning to turn to privatization as a method for closing that gap.

Whalen also had to answer questions about why the Liberal government allowed department spending to balloon to nearly $60 million over budget after promising to cut department spending by 1 per cent across the board.

“Not only was the Liberal government unable to hold the line on department spending for the first time in several years, they allowed it grow to the tune of $60 million dollars,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald says she is also concerned about the lack of a government plan to deal with weak revenue.

“When the Minister talks about positive things on the horizon to address the issue of weak revenue, all four initiatives were started by the previous NDP administration. It’s time for the Liberal government to start earning their stripes.”