This weekend was our PC AGM. It’s widely known as the best political event in the country.
It looked a little different this year… but, like everything over the past year, we adjust and adapt (although, that won’t stop me from looking forward to seeing everyone’s smiling faces next year!)
To hear my Friday night speech, click here.
Thank you to everyone who participated virtually this weekend!
What else happened this week:
- When Nova Scotians call 9-1-1 with a medical emergency, they expect help to be minutes away. Unfortunately, this is too often not the reality in our province. It’s completely unacceptable that Nova Scotians continue to face long waits for ambulances, and delayed offload times that keep paramedics tied up at the hospital. An education campaign by the paramedics' union, the International Union of Operating Engineers 727, is exposing shocking gaps in ambulance service in every corner of our province. If left to continue, there will be deadly consequences. The PC Party is calling for an immediate emergency meeting of the Standing Committee on Health to address the issue. Unfortunately, the Chair for the committee, Liberal MLA Ben Jessome, has refused to poll Committee members on this important issue. We’re going to continue to bring attention to this, it’s too important to simply ignore. I also want to send a special shout out to my friend, Dan Boyd for his work as a volunteer firefighter, who felt the need to lend a ‘voice of the people’ on the ambulance crisis in the Chronicle Herald this weekend.
- I connected with Lois from the Guysborough Journal this week. Here’s a little preview from our chat: For the third time since the start of the pandemic, I visited Guysborough and nearby areas – meeting local stakeholders, hearing local issues and suggestions, while also spreading the party message on policies regarding healthcare, infrastructure and revitalization of rural communities. Click here to read the full article. The driving conditions weren’t great the day we visited, but the conversations in beautiful Guysborough County made it worthwhile. Healthcare, high-speed internet, cell coverage and the economy were all discussed as important community priorities.
- I was pleased to read Dennis E. Curry's opinion piece calling our healthcare plan "super-bold" and "a game changer" in the Chronicle Herald this week. Dennis is a senior medical student studying at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Thank you for the feedback on our Hope for Health plan — it motivates me to keep working hard for Nova Scotians.
Tip of the hat
Four years after filing a Freedom of Information request, and two years after announcing to Nova Scotians that we would take the government to court because they refused to disclose the Yarmouth ferry management fee, we have received our decision.
The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has sided with the PC Caucus and ruled that the Yarmouth Ferry management fee should be public knowledge.
This is a win for taxpayers.
When asked by the media, Premier McNeil decided to slam the Court’s ruling in our ferry case. This is wrong.
The outgoing Premier believes a recent decision to disclose how much the province pays in management fees for the Yarmouth to Maine ferry sends the wrong message. I find it rather concerning that he’s going this far, publicly discrediting a judge and the Court.
Our judicial system works because there is judicial independence. A sitting Premier should not be calling out a judge’s decision.
Now, the incoming Premier has his first big test.
I’ve called on Premier-designate Iain Rankin to commit to releasing details surrounding the ferry fee, immediately. His predecessor refused on multiple occasions to make this information public.
Just weeks ago, while a candidate in the Liberal Leadership, Mr. Rankin touted the promise he would be different and more transparent. On the one hand, he disclosed his campaign donations during the leadership race in the name of transparency, but since the Court decision has come down, he has gone with “no comment.”
This is his opportunity to demonstrate that commitment, and restore transparency to government.
Premier-designate Rankin faces a choice: Follow the Court’s decision and release the management fee or carry on the culture of Liberal secrecy.
On Wednesday, Human Resources will meet to discuss the Safe Return to Class Fund, as well as appointing people to Agencies, Boards and Commissions. The witnesses will be from the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development.
On Thursday, Natural Resources and Economic Development will meet to discuss Housing, Housing Affordability and Economic Development. The witness is Catherine Berliner, Deputy Minister from the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Until next week,