In­terim NDP leader comes to Cape Bre­ton

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY GREG MCNEIL gm­c­neil@cb­

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.


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