Cape Breton group wants answers on health care
A group of health care protestors in Cape Breton say they are angry that the Health Minister never met with them, and vow to continue protesting until he does.
It’s been two days since more than 200 protestors marched across the Canso Causeway to bring attention to health care concerns on the island.
But Gordon MacDonald says there has been no word from government officials in the 48 hours since the protest.
“We reached out to the Premier and Minister Delorey. We would like for them to come and sit with us as a group and maybe give us some of the answers we’ve been seeking into what’s happening with healthcare here in Cape Breton,” says Gordon MacDonald, a member of the group ‘Capers 4 Healthcare’.
MacDonald says they’ve been seeking answers since June, when Premier Stephen McNeil announced the province would be closing both the Northside General and New Waterford Consolidated Hospitals.
A number of Town Hall meetings have been held since, but the group says nobody from the Liberal Party has attended.
“I think they heard us, and they hopefully recognized us as more than noise. Hopefully if they got the message they will contact us,” says Ronald Crowther, a member of the group ‘Capers 4 Healthcare’.
Protestors had planned to visit the Health Minister’s office in Antigonish on Friday, but weather conditions made them turn back.
Randy Delorey says he was waiting and willing to meet with the group.
“You know, I’ve been to Cape Breton and I’ve met on many occasions with health care workers and others in the area, and I do that with other Nova Scotians across the province and will continue to do so,” says Liberal Health Care Minister Randy Delorey.
“That was nice of him to show up on the media and say he was. We had somebody phoning his office that morning to see if he was going to be there, but had no answer from his office,” says Gordon MacDonald.
The groups says they aren’t going away anytime soon, and are planning sit ins at their local Liberal MLA offices in the near future.
“Everyone has the fear of getting sick, they know they might be forced to travel 30 or 40 minutes to the Regional Hospital, and when they get there they might have to wait 8, 10 or god knows how many hours, if everyone is heading to the one hospital,” adds MacDonald.
The provincial government has promised to build new long term care facilities and community clinics to replace the older hospitals.
But members of ‘Capers 4 Healthcare’ pledge, the protests will continue if questions aren’t answered soon.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.