Glace Bay MLA in­tends to run again provin­cially

MacLel­lan ac­knowl­edges health care could af­fect sup­port

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY NANCY KING [email protected]­

Glace Bay MLA Ge­off MacLel­lan says he will re­of­fer in the next provin­cial elec­tion and ac­knowl­edges that high emo­tions around the top issue of health care could af­fect his sup­port.

MacLel­lan, who is also Min­is­ter of Busi­ness, was asked about his in­ten­tions by re­porters Thurs­day.

Premier Stephen McNeil has said he in­tends to con­sult with mem­bers of his cabi­net to de­ter­mine who in­tends to re­of­fer and who does not. He will then shuf­fle his cabi­net in the spring ac­cord­ingly. MacLel­lan said he hasn’t been asked for­mally yet by McNeil.

“I’m go­ing to run again, ab­so­lutely,” MacLel­lan said. “I’m proud of what we’ve done, I’m happy to be a part of his gov­ern­ment, our gov­ern­ment, and I hope the peo­ple of Glace Bay see it the same way but that’s a few years away and we’ll see what hap­pens when the writ’s dropped, but that’s cer­tainly my in­ten­tion.”

The prov­ince’s plan to re­de­velop health care in the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, an­nounced last June, has sparked protests from those par­tic­u­larly op­posed to the clo­sure of emer­gency de­part­ments in New Water­ford and North Sydney. There is also wide­spread crit­i­cism of on­go­ing doc­tor short­ages in the re­gion.

Health care is the “num­ber one” issue, MacLel­lan said, adding it will have an im­pact on elections mov­ing for­ward. He didn’t specif­i­cally say that the im­pact would be los­ing votes or po­ten­tially gain­ing votes if the prov­ince turns the cor­ner on doc­tor re­cruit­ment.

“I don’t think it’s the changes. I think that, quite frankly, again, ev­ery­one has their opin­ion and per­spec­tive with re­spect to the new hospi­tal in­fra­struc­ture, that’s been largely pos­i­tive,” MacLel­lan said. “It’s ob­vi­ously the greater is­sues of doc­tors and ac­cess to pri­mary care and the is­sues hap­pen­ing with the ER, I think that that’s the big­ger issue.”

He added he be­lieves the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment’s plan will have a pos­i­tive im­pact both on the phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture but also re­cruit­ment ef­forts.

“We have con­fi­dence in what we’ve done, but it’s got to begin to bear fruit,” MacLel­lan said.

“A good thing about rep­re­sent­ing a place like Glace Bay, you know where you stand.”


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