Month: May 2012

NDP long-term care let down

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NDP’s decision to stop building long-term care beds is
extremely shortsighted in light of new census data from Statistics
Canada.

Statistics Canada released the second part of its 2011 census
information today, which shows Nova Scotia has the highest percentage of
people over 65 in the country and our population over 80 is expected to
increase by 90 per cent by 2026.

The waiting list for a long-term care bed in Nova Scotia grew to almost
1,900 people according to the NDP’s Minister of Health. It has increased
25 per cent since the NDP took office. The NDP have not announced a
single new bed since they formed government.

“The lack of planning and action by the NDP when it comes to building
long-term care beds is causing serious hardship for our seniors and
their families,” said d’Entremont. “With no new beds being built, we’re
falling further and further behind in meeting the needs of the 1,900
Nova Scotians and their families who are being overlooked by this NDP
government.”

Nova Scotia’s 2006 Continuing Care Strategy planned for 846 beds by 2010
and 1,320 beds by 2015 but the NDP has not even reached the 2010 target.

This past March, the New Brunswick government, facing similar
demographic circumstances, announced a 10 year plan to add more than 1,000 beds. A demographic analysis showed “an overall growing need for
services for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia” according to
a government news release.

“It’s quite clear that our population is getting older and that all
indicators are pointed in that direction,” said d’Entremont. “You cannot
build these facilities overnight and the NDP are now three years behind
where we should be in terms of providing for the needs of the very
elderly.”

In 2008, when in opposition, Darrell Dexter told the Cape Breton Post,
“The growth in the senior demographics will quickly outpace the
government’s plans to establish 832 long-term care beds by 2010.”

The NDP government cancelled the completion of the final 200 beds of that
plan.

Spring 2012 legislative session ends

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After about 6 weeks in the legislature, I’ve got say that this was one of the most bizarre sessions in my 9 years as MLA for Argyle.

As a quick explanation of legislative sessions, the Government is in charge of the daily operation of the house, calling bills and business for us to debate and work on. They of course call their pieces of legislation and try to keep the house open for at least the hours that were called the previous day. Towards the end of the session the longest hours were Wednesday when we, the opposition, get to call bills and resolutions for debate. Otherwise we only sat for a couple of hours during the daily routine, which is a set agenda for introduction of bills, resolutions and petitions. It also includes the prescribe hour long question period.

What I am trying to get at, beyond the budget, this NDP government had no legislative agenda to present to Nova Scotians. It reminded those who have been elected a while, like an old government that is out of good ideas. Unfortunately there were a number of good ideas presented by the PC Caucus that would be important legislation for Nova Scotia. The following is our end-of-session press release that was sent out criticising the government for it’s ineffectiveness.

Darrell Dexter’s NDP government failed to take action on the major issues Nova Scotians care about during the Spring session of the legislature which ended today.

“Nova Scotians should be rightfully disappointed to hear their government did nothing to protect them from hospital shutdowns and rising power rates in this House session,” said PC leader Jamie Baillie. “Parents should be rightfully disappointed in the NDP’s weak stance on bullying.”

The NDP government refused to pass PC legislation that would end the type of healthcare labour shutdown that led to over 500 cancelled surgeries and thousands of cancelled appointments at Capital Health last month. The NSNU’s 6,500 nurses are going into negotiations now.

The NDP government also refused to pass any of the five PC bills that tackle higher power rates. Instead the Premier is moving forward with the expensive Muskrat Falls project without knowing how much it will cost ratepayers. The deal was apparently sealed with Emera executives on their corporate jet and there is mysteriously no paper trail available for Nova Scotians to learn how much they will be expected to pay for the deal or how the deal came together, in spite of repeated questions and FOIPOPs.

The NDP passed weak legislation on bullying that is very narrow in focus and ineffective in addressing a problem that has caused great harm to too many Nova Scotia children and their families.

“The NDP have let down Nova Scotians on power rates, heathcare shutdowns and bullying,” said Baillie. “The NDP should not have ended the House session without addressing these important matters.”

Baillie noted the NDP began the session by presenting their fourth consecutive deficit budget and announcing a $260 million forgivable loan to Irving Shipbuilding, with no details yet provided to Nova Scotians.

The NDP failed to pass legislation that would give grandparents’ consideration in custody arrangements, but did pass a law that allows them to push government propaganda messages to Nova Scotians’ cell phones.

The PC’s also demanded the resignation of the NDP’s Community Services Minister for her mishandling of confidential information regarding Talbot House and failing to warn a daycare of an alleged child abuser in their employ. The Premier stood by his incompetent Minister.