Tim Houston on comments made by Deputy Minister Kevin Orrell at the Public Accounts Committee

Statement from PC Leader Tim Houston on comments made by Deputy Minister Kevin Orrell at the Public Accounts Committee.


Today, I was in Cape Breton to announce our Party’s vision for improving healthcare in Nova Scotia. Hope for Health builds on the commitment made in our Dignity for Seniors and Universal Mental Healthcare plans. Together, these plans aim to address the gaps of a decade of healthcare decisions and put the focus on patient care.

I am focused on solutions. I am not interested in simply criticizing or pointing fingers.

This is no time to downplay the crisis level situation in our health system. I was shocked to learn that while I was announcing today’s health plan, the Deputy Minister of Health said the following:

“The situation at Northwood was certainly not as dramatic as was seen on the news and reported by many other provinces and jurisdictions across the country...”

That a Liberal health leader would make such a dismissive statement is beyond comprehension.

53 people died in Northwood. This government had choices. Requests from Northwood sat on desks, ignored for years. Deputy Minister Orrell should have seen the deterioration of healthcare, maybe not from an office in Halifax, but from the operating rooms in the very hospital in Cape Breton we stood in front of this morning. He would do well to remember the people he used to work alongside on the front lines, instead of the Liberals who got us in this mess.

Clearly mistakes were made leading up to COVID’s arrival. Nova Scotians expect that when mistakes are made, they are acknowledged and addressed, not brushed under the rug or devalued. I hope the Minister of Health and this Liberal government will encourage the Deputy to apologize to Nova Scotians.