After the highest single-day surge of cases that Nova Scotia has seen since the start of the pandemic, PC Leader Tim Houston says immediate proactive steps are needed to crush this wave, and is calling on the government to do more to keep Nova Scotians safe.
“The health and safety of Nova Scotians must come first,” says Houston. “Public Health is working hard, frontline workers are working hard, and Nova Scotians are experiencing high levels of anxiety with the uncertainty and confusion of each passing day. It’s time for the government to step up and show that it has a real plan.”
Houston says that more pop-up testing sites are needed in rural areas, we finally have to make testing upon arrival at our airports mandatory, and that it’s time to step up the vaccine rollout, including expanded hours.
“Right now, Nova Scotians feel that they’re left on their own without a clear plan,” says Houston. “It’s evident from all the parents who chose to keep their children home from school today and in watching businesses from Sydney to Lunenburg close as a safeguard. Nova Scotians are taking precautions because their Premier hasn’t.”
An April 9th column from the Chronicle Herald’s Gail Lethbridge predicted this exact spike in cases. She noted Premier Rankin was opening businesses to 100% capacity while third-wave chaos was erupting across the country, and did so despite Dr. Strang’s continued caution that has served Nova Scotia so well:
“Meanwhile, back in Nova Scotia, we are opening up more. Even if the numbers are good at this moment, I’m not so sure that easing restrictions is the best course of action right now. It exposes us to the very real possibility of a third wave hitting us here. It also sends a message that everything is good and that we can all relax now. It is based on looking back at what has worked for us in the past.
Dr. Strang has said that Nova Scotia is doing a good job of containing the spread of highly contagious variants. The reason, he argues, is our restrictions.
And now we are lifting them?”
Houston says that apparent disconnect didn’t exist with the last Premier. He also notes that this weekend, when HRM was completely shut down, CBRM was posting its highest case numbers ever, with evidence of COVID-19 in schools—yet Cape Bretoners were still permitted to have events of over 100 people.
“Everyone saw what was happening across the country with new variants,” says Houston. “We had the advantage of watching what happened in other jurisdictions, and now here we are, seemingly with no plan. Instead of planning and preparing for the arrival of the variants, the Premier chose to open borders and surprise neighbouring premiers.”