Glace Bay MLA intends to run again provincially
MacLellan acknowledges health care could affect support
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.”