NS social gathering leaders promise care, small companies and motorway partnerships

The Tories remembered the tragic death in Northwood, the New Democrats sat down with a small business owner, and the Liberals promised to ask Ottawa for cash for the twin highways.

It was a varied program on the election program of the three major Nova Scotia parties on Wednesday, but the theme each party highlighted was accurate.

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston, who has focused only on health care this election campaign, was flanked by two women who lost their father to COVID-19 at the Northwood nursing home last year.

Darlene Metzler said her father, Gerald Jackson, was moved to the Northwood facility in Halifax about a year before his death. He was 84.

“I feel like the staff did their best with what they had … but what they had wasn’t appropriate,” she said.

Houston is flanked by Charlene Chiddenton (left) and Darlene Metzler, who lost their father to COVID-19 last year. He lived in Northwood in Halifax. (Jonathan Villeneuve / Radio Canada)

Metzler highlighted a topic that has plagued the care industry for years: the shortage of staff.

“If you have a minimum of staff and cannot take breaks or possibly use the bathroom, how are you supposed to care for patients with these high needs? It’s like a time bomb waiting to explode. And that’s what happened in my opinion, “she said.

Houston said his party will hire 2,000 more long-term care workers and is open to raising wages for workers – especially care assistants, who make up the vast majority of long-term care workers.

The PCs released a major long-term care improvement plan last year that promises to build at least 2,500 new beds over three years. Houston said he remains committed to these plans.

Charlene Chiddenton holds a photo of her late father Gerald Jackson. Jackson died of COVID-19 in 2020 while living in the Northwood long-term care facility. (Jonathan Villeneuve / Radio Canada)

“I know that a lot of people have become very cynical on this issue. Every electoral politician makes promises. We take this very seriously, we treat it differently,” he said.

He said his plans to pump millions into long-term care set him apart from the Liberals, who turned down Northwood funding requests three times between 2017 and 2019.

“The long-term care sector released report for report on its funding concerns and under-staffing, but they have been ignored and ignored and ignored by the Liberal government,” Houston said.

“Northwood was just one of many houses pleading with the government for more money. They wanted and needed and knew they needed more money to give their residents the dignity of a single room, but they kept being denied.”

In January and again shortly before the elections were called, the Liberal government announced plans to build several hundred new care beds and to renovate or replace hundreds more.

NDP puts small businesses before large businesses

NDP leader Gary Burrill spent his Wednesday morning at the One Block Barbershop, a hair salon in northern Halifax, where he asked owner Kat Cochrane how she had kept the business afloat for the past 16 months.

Cochrane said tackling the pandemic had been “a literal nightmare” and government support was inadequate.

“That was a drop in the ocean,” said Cochrane.

“If at the end of the month, at the end of a tax period that your quarterly payments are due, you’re not long before you quit, you have two weeks of payroll to split up, rent, all of your first of the monthly expenses – weeks on any one Waiting for any kind of response, let alone some kind of government help, is unacceptable. “

Burrill said the government could have brought more relief to small businesses if it hadn’t given a $ 70 million corporate tax rebate in the 2020-21 budget.

Cochrane, left, speaks to Halifax Needham candidate Suzy Hansen and NDP leader Gary Burrill outside her business deal. (Robert Kurz / CBC)

“That was a fiscal mistake,” said Burrill.

“If only the government hadn’t given away this $ 70 million, [there’s] So much support could have been done with that, and of course there are a lot of small businesses that don’t get out because of the inadequacy of the support provided.

Burrill promised to abolish the tax rebate and use some of the money for small businesses.

On Monday, Burrill said a portion of the revenue recovered would also be used to cover ambulance fees, which his party promised to lower.

Further town twinning of the Liberals

Liberal leader Iain Rankin visited Antigonish, where he said that if re-elected, his party would continue its twinning efforts.

Left to right: Joe MacDonald, the Liberal candidate for Pictou East; Lloyd Hines, Liberal candidate for Guysborough-Tracadie; and Liberal Leader Iain Rankin at a construction site in Antigonish. (Jean Laroche / CBC)

“We’re building a highway belt that will bring trade and talent and so much opportunity to Nova Scotia’s towns and villages,” he said.

It targeted two stretches of freeway: the 104 from Antigonish to Port Hawkesbury and the 103 from Hubbards to Bridgewater.

The Liberals estimated the total cost of the projects at $ 475 million. Rankin said he would ask Ottawa to pay half of the National Trade Corridor Fund.

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