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Cape Breton health-care workers march across causeway to protest cuts
A piper led more than a hundred people as they crossed the Canso Causeway to the mainland side and they planned to march on Health Minister Randy Delorey’s office.
They're upset with what they call a health-care crisis on the island, and this summer's announced closure of two community hospitals.
They’re also frustrated at Delorey’s seeming reluctance to meet with them.
“He's been asked to, I'd say, a dozen different town halls, rallies, events about health care,” said march organizer Ronald Crowther. “He hasn't attended any. He wouldn't come to us, so, today, we're crossing the causeway and we're coming to him.”
The RCMP closed the causeway to vehicle traffic, as the marchers slowly made the crossing.
The march across the causeway tied up traffic for about half an hour. And protestors made no apologies for their actions.
“Citizens of Cape Breton are so, so incredibly frustrated with not having access to adequate medical care that we felt the need to go to extreme measures,” said Lisa Bond, another organizer.
After crossing the plan was to bus 50 more kilometres to the minister's office, but the weather turned, and the trip was cancelled.
The protestors were skeptical that Delorey was in his office Friday, but it turns out he was.
Delorey cites previous commitments, for not being able to attend the community meetings.
“You know, I've been to Cape Breton,” Delorey said. “I've met on many occasions with health care workers and others in the area and I do that with other Nova Scotians throughout the province and will continue to do so.”
Neither Delorey nor the group could say, when they might get a chance to meet in the future.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.