Positive efforts towards attracting new doctors
I suppose everybody knows that there is a shortage of doctors in Queens County. We also know that those that we have, are overworked. As retirement approaches for some of our well loved and appreciated doctors, this situation looks like it will get worse. There is hope, that with action we can turn things around.
Nova Scotia Health Authority has been making a feeble and unsuccessful attempt at recruiting doctors for many places in Nova Scotia. They have recently given permission for Queens to do it›s own recruiting with the proviso that anybody we find be approved by them. We now have a website called doctors-wanted.ca. It is a well crafted and user friendly site designed by Ryan Chandler for the Queens General Hospital Foundation. It can be used by advertising it in medical journals where it can be found by doctors who might be considering a change, and on bulletin boards of medical colleges where students are considering where they might go upon graduation. Like the Retiretoliverpool.com site, it extols the virtues of this area but has information of particular interest to doctors as well.
When the retire-to-liverpool site was launched in 2016, it was put on Facebook and the site had nearly 3,000 visitors within the first two weeks. That got it noticed by the search engines which means that a few key words now gets the site near the top of the list of suggestions. Since then there have been over 9,000 visitors to the site. Most are from Canada, and many from the US and UK. I like to think that the site has something to do with the lively real estate market in Liverpool, and demand for new apartments.
I only mention the success of the retire site to plant the idea that similar success might be had with securing new doctors if there were a repeat of the enthusiasm with which the retire site was visited and shared.
You know what to do.
Peter Ripple Liverpool
Jamie Baillie took the job no one else wanted, but will leave it as possibly the biggest prize in Nova Scotia politics.
Baillie announced his intention to step down as Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative leader just five months after taking the party to within a few thousand well-placed votes of government. Nova Scotia’s Liberals won a slim majority last May, but hung on to several seats by razor thin margins.
Baillie leaves with the Tories next in line for the provincial government. His successor will be within a Liberal folly and an election call of the premier’s office.
The decision could not have been easy for Baillie. The lifelong Tory from Truro wanted to be Nova Scotia’s Premier after watching the job up close while serving as John Hamm’s chief of staff in from 2002 to 2005.
Baillie won the leadership of the province’s PCS by acclamation, the only declared candidate for the post, in 2010.
It appeared the party was at its lowest ebb. After 10 years in power, many of them as a minority government, the Tories finished third in the 2009 provincial election, and seemed headed for an extended stay in the political wilderness.
Things got worse when Karen Casey, who served as interim leader in 2009-10, left the Tories to join Stephen Mcneil’s opposition Liberals just three months after Baillie’s leadership became official. Casey made no secret that she had little taste for Baillie, although she didn’t have much time to acquire one.
Baillie entered the legislature as leader of the third party after winning a byelection in Cumberland South, a seat vacated for the new leader by MLA Murray Scott.
As leader, Baillie has consistently outperformed expectations. When the Liberals swept into office in 2013, the election was seen by most observers as a two way race with the incumbent NDP.
The Tories baffled the experts by placing second, and Baillie became leader of the Official Opposition, the job he continues to hold.
Last spring the Liberals were expected to win re-election handily, but again, the Tories emerged as the election-night surprise, gaining seven seats and trailing the Liberals by just four percentage points in the popular vote.
Baillie’s term as leader has been plagued by polls showing low personal popularity. While he often polled behind his party, his strong election showings kept the rankand-file firmly united behind his leadership. There were no Tory knives out for Baillie after either election loss.
Until a new leader is chosen, Baillie will continue to lead a strong 17-seat opposition and a caucus rich in potential successors, many of whom he recruited.
Rob Batherson was among those candidates Baillie recruited to run in 2017.
Batherson, who also served in John Hamm’s office, has been considered leadership potential for some time, although his loss to Liberal incumbent Labi Kousoulis in Halifax Citadel may hurt his chances.
Although he finished third, he was less than 150 votes behind the NDP candidate in a riding with strong NDP tradition, and he could make the case that the party’s re-birth in Halifax is essential to regain power.
The Tory legislative caucus has five women MLAS, any of whom could be considered for the leadership.
Among the newcomers, Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-mccrossin has gained exposure as health critic, and Barbara Adams from Cole Harbour-eastern Passage, is a consistent and strong performer in the House. Cape Breton Richmond Tory Alana Paon is a giant killer, having defeated long-serving Liberal Michel Samson.
Karla Macfarlane from Pictou West is another possible contender, although geography may be an issue, given Tim Houston from Pictou East will almost certainly give the leadership serious consideration.
Cape Breton will deliver a candidate, likely in the person of Allan Macmaster from Inverness, a former party staffer who holds his own in the House. Another party staffer turned MLA, Chris d’entremont, from Argyle-barrington is the party House Leader and would seem a natural contender, but some insiders believe he does not want the top spot.
Kings North MLA John Lohr’s name was mentioned by some party faithful as a strong potential contender.
Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke is a former PC MLA and cabinet minister who some see as leadership material. The timing of the leadership race may determine whether Clarke is in. He was re-elected mayor in 2016 and at the time indicated he intended to serve a full four-year term.
With the premier’s office in sight, there will be no shortage of possible candidates. The field will narrow considerably once those with aspirations start testing the waters. But given the stakes, this time the provincial Tory leadership won’t be won by acclamation.