N.S. Liberals gather in Halifax for annual general meeting
Published Saturday, October 13, 2018 6:35PM ADT
Last Updated Saturday, October 13, 2018 6:48PM ADT
HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia Liberals have gathered at the Westin Hotel in Halifax this weekend for the party’s annual general meeting.
The meeting is generally used to vote on the party’s provincial board, but with a federal election scheduled for next October, delegates were looking forward to discussing how the party can preserve its Nova Scotia stronghold in 2019.
“We had tremendous success in 2015, but for us that only gave us the right to work even harder,” said President of the Liberal Party of Canada, Suzanne Cowan.
“We cannot be complacent, we need to work hard every day to make sure we return the 11 seats we have here and all the liberal seats and continue to grow across the country.”
The AGM kicked off on Friday with Premier Stephen McNeil hosting an event where he addressed the controversial announcement to close the Northside General and New Waterford Consolidated Hospitals in Cape Breton last June.
“My message to them, and to other communities: We are not abandoning you, we’re not going to leave you alone, we’re going to come in and provide you with health care infrastructure that reflects today’s reality,” said McNeil.
Delegates at the meeting also voted on 15 different policy resolutions today. One of the most contentious being minimum wage, after Nova Scotia’s $11 an hour became the lowest in the country just last week.
While the Liberals have already rejected the NDP’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, they discussed looking into the impacts of raising the minimum, while keeping a focus on the differences in cost of living between rural and urban areas.
“Raising the minimum wage is reasonable, I don’t really have a number specifically, I do think $15 is high,” said N.S. young Liberals presidential candidate, John Grant, “Alberta maybe can do it, but we’re not in the fiscal situation that Alberta is in.”
Other topics on the table before the meeting concluds tonight include the coverage of expensive HIV drugs, and presumed consent for organ donation.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April