Interim NDP leader comes to Cape Breton
The interim leader of the provincial NDP considers upcoming byelections as a referendum on the performance of the ruling Liberal government.
Maureen MacDonald is in Cape Breton until late Monday to knock on doors with NDP candidates in the Cape Breton Centre and Sydney-Whitney Pier.
At the door, she expects to hear about concerns over health care, the public sector and jobs.
“After July 14 when the ballots are counted Stephen McNeil will still be premier,” MacDonald said outside of the headquarters for candidate Madonna Doucette in Sydney.
“People aren’t choosing a premier but what people have an opportunity here to do is send a strong message to government that many of the measures they’ve taken are hurting people and they aren’t what they expected based on what Mr. McNeil promised in the election campaign.”
Consistently across the province, MacDonald said she has heard concerns over outmigration, the cancellation of debt reduction for recent graduates and the film tax credit.
Potential reduction in public sector jobs, the threat of privatization of home care and the general state of health care are other concerns heard, she said.
“Here in Cape Breton you have an impending doctor shortage, a growth in ER waits and no movement in terms of addressing those patient care issues,” she said. “All of the focus of this government has been on reorganizing administration and it really has abandoned patients to deal with problems in the health-care system on their own.”
Other Cape Breton issues centre around Cape Breton University, including rising tuition and downsizing of staff.
“(McNeil) still has two years to change his course and so this is an opportunity for people to express their desire to see a change in direction for the province.”
MacDonald planned to knock on doors with Doucette Sunday evening and then be in New Waterford today.