Fi­nal push for votes

Nova Sco­tians head­ing to the polls to­day

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton/Province -

Nova Sco­tia Premier Stephen McNeil cov­ered hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres Mon­day in his fi­nal push to win back-to-back ma­jori­ties, as the other ma­jor party lead­ers again fix­ated on health care in a bid to oust him to­day.

Tory Leader Jamie Bail­lie spent much of Mon­day in the Hal­i­fax sub­urbs and told a health-care rally in Dart­mouth that the prov­ince is fac­ing a health-care cri­sis that needs an ur­gent re­sponse.

Bail­lie — sur­rounded by a few dozen sup­port­ers clad in Tory base­ball caps and T-shirts — said Lib­eral ne­glect has left about 100,000 peo­ple with­out a fam­ily doc­tor and ser­vices for men­tal health need to im­prove.

“He says there is no cri­sis. He is wrong. We know there is a cri­sis,’’ said Bail­lie, who will be in Springhill when the polls close this evening.

“Stephen McNeil may have his head in the sand about health care but we, as Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives, we hold our heads up high and tell peo­ple we can do so much bet­ter than this.’’

NDP Leader Gary Bur­rill started the day in Syd­ney, but spent most of it in Hal­i­fax and its sub­urbs. He said he will mea­sure his party’s suc­cess by a ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment with 26 New Demo­crat mem­bers of the leg­is­la­ture — which would be a sig­nif­i­cant leap for the third place party.

Bur­rill gave his con­clud­ing news con­fer­ence out­side a fam­ily medicine clinic in Hal­i­fax, say­ing dur­ing the cam­paign the main mes­sage he heard from Nova Sco­tians is they’re in need of fam­ily doc­tors and other im­prove­ments to the health sys­tem.

“In ev­ery part of the prov­ince you hear peo­ple speak about the need ... in their fam­ily for a doc­tor, about the need of some­one in their fam­ily for a nurs­ing home,’’ said Bur­rill, who is at­tempt­ing to oust a Lib­eral in­cum­bent in the Hal­i­fax Che­bucto rid­ing.

How­ever, Bur­rill faced crit­i­cism dur­ing the cam­paign for pro­ject­ing close to $1 bil­lion in deficits over the next four years for new spend­ing.

“We have to wait and see what hap­pens to­mor­row. We have the ad­van­tage of look­ing the prov­ince squarely in the eye and telling our peo­ple the truth: there is no way for­ward with­out mak­ing these in­vest­ments,’’ he said.

“I think there was an ad­van­tage to a clear-eyed ap­praisal of where we are.’’

McNeil, who ranged from Port Hood to Amherst Mon­day, de­fended his record, say­ing his gov­ern­ment has worked to im­prove the med­i­cal sys­tem. He said his party has laid out a sub­stan­tive plat­form to en­sure the progress con­tin­ues.

“We’re the only party that has laid out a real vi­sion about how we can deal with health care,’’ said McNeil in a phone in­ter­view as he trav­elled to Ox­ford.

McNeil is hop­ing to do what no other leader has since 1988 — win con­sec­u­tive ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ments.

“We be­lieve there’s a ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment out there and we’ve been work­ing hard to achieve that,’’ said McNeil, who will be in his home­town of Bridgetown to watch the results to­day.

At dis­so­lu­tion, the Lib­er­als held 34 seats in the 51-seat leg­is­la­ture, the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives had 10 and the NDP 5. There was one In­de­pen­dent and one seat was va­cant.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.