Health care expected to be focus of upcoming fall session of Nova Scotia legislature – Halifax

For the primary time for the reason that starting of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nova Scotia legislature will sit Tuesday with a full complement of 55 members.

The autumn session will open with a speech from the throne that may set the course for the province’s new Progressive Conservative authorities, which swept to energy within the Aug. 17 election.

Learn extra:
Nova Scotia voter turnout in Tuesday’s election was 55 per cent — near historic low

The Tories captured 31 seats after operating a marketing campaign nearly completely on fixing the province’s ailing health-care system – a spotlight Premier Tim Houston stated gained’t change as soon as the sitting is underway.

“I believe Nova Scotians can count on to see a continuation of the stamp we placed on the marketing campaign,” Houston stated following a cupboard assembly final week. “We now have our mandate from Nova Scotians and that’s to repair well being care and that may stay our focus.”

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The premier gave few particulars about pending health-care laws, however stated numerous different areas may also be addressed akin to the dearth of psychological well being providers and the scarcity of reasonably priced housing.

“I actually don’t know what number of items of laws but,” the premier stated about his upcoming agenda.

The get together’s election platform projected $553 million in new spending through the first yr in workplace – together with $430 million only for well being care. That cash, Houston promised, would go towards a pension plan for medical doctors, extending working room hours on weekdays and including 2,500 extra long-term care beds.

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Since coming to workplace, the federal government has revamped the provincial well being authority – firing its CEO and dismissing its 14-member board and changing it with a four-person “management group.” Houston and his well being officers additionally performed a provincewide tour final month, talking with front-line well being staff on methods to reform the system.

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Liberal Chief Iain Rankin, nonetheless, whose get together misplaced energy within the election, stated the federal government’s prime precedence needs to be tackling the “immediacy of the housing difficulty,” significantly within the Halifax space, the place tent encampments for the homeless have been sprouting up in numerous metropolis parks.

Rankin stated the hire management order that was imposed firstly of the COVID-19 disaster ought to stay till the housing scarcity and the problem of shortly rising rents are addressed. The Liberals may also have an interest to see what the federal government proposes for the health-care system, he instructed reporters earlier this week.

“We will probably be holding them to account with their promise to Nova Scotians that they’ll repair well being care,” Rankin stated.

NDP Chief Gary Burrill stated the Tory authorities has talked in “great generalities” about its agenda since being elected and can now must come clean with its guarantees.

“Key areas akin to housing, well being care, the surroundings – they really must be addressed,” Burrill instructed reporters final week. “They really must carry ahead issues which can be wanted.”

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As for its conduct within the legislature, Houston stated his authorities will proceed with an open thoughts. He stated a authorities ought to have interaction in correct consultations earlier than it brings laws to the ground of the home.

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“If any individual brings a perspective or a degree a view that simply hadn’t been thought of, it needs to be thought of,” Houston stated. “If it leads to modifications to laws, our authorities can have the arrogance to make these modifications.”

The members of the legislature haven’t met to debate payments for the reason that sitting that concluded in early March 2020. A hybrid format was in place for the current spring sitting, which restricted most members to digital participation.

The returning members should present proof of vaccination in opposition to COVID-19 and will probably be required to put on masks through the fall session.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Oct. 11.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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