The Chronicle Herald (Metro)

On the campaign trail

- FRANCIS CAMPBELL fcampbell@herald.ca @frankscrib­bler

“Health care is the issue in this election but for too many Nova Scotians, the problems don’t stop there.” Tim Houston PC Party Leader

The Progressiv­e Conservati­ve party Thursday promised to provide solutions for Nova Scotians looking for a family doctor, struggling to pay their bills or unable to afford timely universal mental health services.

“Health care is the issue in this election but for too many Nova Scotians, the problems don't stop there,” PC Leader Tim Houston said in unveiling the party's detailed $553-million platform, Solutions for Nova Scotians.

“We have put together solutions to problems that have been ignored over the last eight years.”

The PC'S platform promises to recruit doctors and rebuild the economy, update the education curriculum to focus on environmen­tal stewardshi­p, financial literacy, diversity teaching, and to enact the toughest environmen­tal penalties in Canada for individual and corporate littering.

Highlighte­d by the largest investment in seniors' care in the province's history, the 137-page platform will chart a course to a balanced budget in six years.

The New Democratic Party on Thursday promised to create same-day and nextday mental health clinics in communitie­s throughout the province to provide Nova Scotians the care they need.

“The Liberals have ignored the growing mental health needs of people in Nova Scotia,” said Gary Burrill, party leader.

Nova Scotians report one of the highest lifetime prevalence rates of mental health disorders in Canada and, according to the IWK, there was a 156 per cent increase in people accessing maternal mental health services during the pandemic, the NDP said. Child psychologi­sts say that demand for their services is skyrocketi­ng.

“The choice in this election is clear,” said Burrill. “The Liberals, who will cut $209-million in services that people depend on, or the NDP, who will make sure real people with real problems can access the mental health care they need, when they need it.”

The Liberal party vowed to expand the before- and after-school care programs with the addition of 7,500 new spaces by 2026.

The enhanced “wraparound” program, for threeto five- year- olds, will also be offered through the summer and during profession­al developmen­t days.

Liberal Leader Iain Rankin said the expansion is affordable as part of the $10 a day offering at the centre of the new $645-million child care and early education plan that was signed last week between the province and federal government

“I'm proud to be part of this transforma­tional moment for child care in Nova Scotia,” Rankin said. “We are prioritizi­ng the right things for children and families.”

 ?? TIM KROCHAK • THE CHRONICLE HERALD ?? A floor marker is seen in the voting area of a returning office in the basement of Anglican Church of the Holy Spirit, in Dartmouth on Wednesday.
TIM KROCHAK • THE CHRONICLE HERALD A floor marker is seen in the voting area of a returning office in the basement of Anglican Church of the Holy Spirit, in Dartmouth on Wednesday.

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