PCs: Why are the McNeil Liberals withholding Pandemic Pay Information from Healthcare Workers?

Frontline workers hailed as heroes by Nova Scotians during COVID-19 are now being refused information on their pandemic bonuses by the McNeil Liberals.

Progressive Conservative MLA Colton LeBlanc is calling on the Premier to finally announce details surrounding the cash bonus for frontline healthcare workers who are part of the province's COVID-19 response.

 

“It’s been a very challenging few months for frontline healthcare workers in Nova Scotia,” says LeBlanc. “That’s why, when the Federal government offered to recognize frontline healthcare professionals with a modest bonus, Nova Scotians welcomed this news.”

 

For weeks, the Premier resisted, before begrudgingly agreeing to accept federal funding for those workers in the sector. It has now been two months since the Premier made the commitment, and to date, there has been no plan on how the program will be rolled out.

 

“It is hard to believe that they haven’t worked this out by now,” says LeBlanc “and quite frankly, it’s unfair to frontline workers that they haven’t.”

 

The government announced on May 7 the Essential Health Care Workers Program’s eligibility, including the four-month work period beginning March 13. That four month period is coming to an end next week.

 

Tracy d’Entremont, a Licenced Practical Nurse from West Pubnico who also volunteered to go work at Northwood says workers deserve to be treated fairly.  

 

“Premier McNeil calls us frontline ‘heroes,’ but hasn’t actioned his commitment. One day we are put on a pedestal, but the next day our work is disregarded.”

 

PC leader Tim Houston agrees and calls it lip service.

 

“Frontline healthcare professionals gave up a lot. Over the past number of months, they risked their safety and that of their families, and they deserve what they have been promised,” says Houston. “It’s disrespectful that a plan cannot be communicated.”