On September 15, workers from long-term care facilities in Cape Breton and Halifax joined other Unifor members and supporters in front of Northwood Manor to protest Premier Stephen McNeil’s cuts to long-term care funding across the province.
The Victoria Haven facility in Glace Bay, Cape Breton and Northwood Manor in Halifax have suffered recent layoffs as a direct result of budget cuts brought down by the McNeil government over the past two years.
“These cuts to long-term care are painful for the elderly residents and for the workers in these facilities,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “During the last provincial election, the McNeil Liberals ran on promises that they would be the party to ‘improve health care’. But now that they’re in government they are trying to balance the books on the backs of our senior citizens. It’s appalling.”
Members of both opposition parties attended the rally to show their support for long-term care workers and to speak out against the McNeil government’s cuts.
“During the recent by-election, I canvassed Northwood Manor,” said newly-elected NDP MLA for Halifax-Needham Lisa Roberts. “So many residents talked about how the cuts are affecting them in their daily lives.”
Roberts attended with Nova Scotia NDP leader Gary Burrill who highlighted the hidden costs of these cuts to seniors’ care.
“We accessed the figures through a freedom of information request and the real numbers are staggering - over $6 million in cuts from long-term care across the province,” said Burrill. “Mr. McNeil promised us better health care - he did not tell the truth!”
Conservative leader Jamie Baillie also voiced his support. “Anyone who opposes cuts to food, staffing and services for our province’s seniors - I stand with them,” said Baillie.
Unifor circulated a petition for attendees to sign, and pledged to keep up the pressure on the Premier. Unifor has been, and will continue to be, a powerful voice in support of public health care in the province of Nova Scotia and across the country.
To learn more about the campaign to defend long-term care in Nova Scotia and to sign the petition, visit: www.unifor.org/NovaScotiaLTC