We mourn the loss of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He was always a friend to Nova Scotia.
On behalf of Nova Scotians, we send our sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen and the whole Royal Family.
What else happened this week:
- If you qualify by age and you live with a family member who is a long-haul trucker who is travelling outside the province, we learned this week that the vaccine booking system will not allow you to book your appointment. The system asks if you have been in contact with anyone outside of the area. Of course, the answer is “yes” for these long-haul truckers and their immediate families. We’re hearing that it’s not just long haul truck drivers, but flight attendants and pilots as well. MLA Tory Rushton asked the Minister of Health about this on Thursday. The Minister said he would take the issue and discuss it with Public Health and the vaccination teams. We hope this gets resolved as soon as possible. These men and women, who have ensured the movement of essential goods, services and people, need to be protected.
- Wednesday during Question Period, Liberal Health Minister Zach Churchill punted and dodged a series of questions about hospital services and local decision-making, stating that they were not his responsibility, and pointing the finger of blame at the NSHA in Halifax. PC MLAs Murray Ryan and Brian Comer were left wondering: who is in charge of healthcare on Cape Breton Island? When our members raise questions about healthcare concerns for their constituencies, we expect the Minister of Health to do more than hide behind decision-makers at the NSHA in Halifax.
- MLA Karla MacFarlane re-introduced legislation that would ensure children are taught about the dangers of human trafficking as a part of the provincial education curriculum. Human trafficking rates in Nova Scotia are among the highest in the country. The more children are taught to recognize signs of human trafficking around them, the more difficult it will be for them to be coerced, groomed and victimized by these gangs. There’s a national conversation about this issue and Karla’s efforts were mentioned in this article.
In 2013, this government promised a family doctor for every Nova Scotian.
We now know that this was nothing less, nothing more than an election soundbite.
We’ve come to learn a lot about how the Liberals govern over the years and a key observation is that they don’t plan past the podium. They’re more interested in grabbing headlines than doing the important but necessary work with Nova Scotians to fix the problems.
Late Thursday, the list of Nova Scotians looking for a doctor was updated, and to no one’s surprise, the list has grown. More and more people are hoping to be matched with a primary healthcare provider.
We are now at 64,921 Nova Scotians on the registry. The breakdown of increase by zone is: 2.3% in the Western Zone, up 5.2% in the Northern Zone, up 8% in the Central zone and up a whopping 35.6% in the Eastern Zone.
These are not simply stats, these are people. People who are searching for primary healthcare and not receiving it.
We’ve done our work. We released Hope for Health, a plan that would get these Nova Scotians access to primary care sooner. The plan also tells you how we would attract more doctors and how we would make sure the ones that are here feel valued and heard.
If you know someone on the registry looking for a family doctor, please send them our plan. We want Nova Scotians to know where we stand on healthcare.
Tip of the hat
On Thursday, an Act to Open Adoption Records passed with all-party support. We’re pleased that this legislation passed for Nova Scotians who would like access to their adoption records.
You may remember that my colleague, MLA Barbara Adams, introduced similar legislation in 2019. Barbara introduced the legislation because a constituent came into her office and said, “I need to get access to my adoption records, but I can't.”
Barbara looked into this matter and discovered that we were one of the only provinces that had not taken steps to address this. This legislation came about because of so many Nova Scotians who came forward, participated in consultation and told their stories. We thank them for their advocacy.
Law amendments will meet on Monday to consider the following Bills:
Bill 98 MGA Virtual Meetings;
Bill 103 HRM Charter Halifax Commons;
Bill 105 Financial Measures Act;
Bill 92 CCA Registry Act;
Bill 95 Parenting and Support Act; and
Bill 97 Electricity Act
On Tuesday, the Standing Committee on Health will meet to discuss human resources within our healthcare system. The witnesses include the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Halifax, the Department of Health and Wellness and the IWK Health Centre.
On Wednesday, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet to discuss the Auditor General’s July 28, 2020 report on contaminated sites overseen by government. The witnesses include the Department of Transportation and Active Transit; Department of Lands and Forestry; and Nova Scotia Lands Inc.
Until next week,