Pugwash Hospital a Political Football
Residents of a widespread area around Pugwash have been waiting for years to see a replacement for the nearly 60 year old hospital in the village. The two main party leaders in tomorrow's election agree it has been a political football. Could it be that this year's promise will actually come to pass?
In interviews today on Six Rivers Radio, both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition have committed their parties to the project.
Premier Stephen McNeil repeated his earlier promise that construction of a new facility will begin next year. McNeil said the final design study is currently underway and the people of the area will have a chance to review that plan before construction begins.
Funding for the project was included in the budget the Liberals tabled just prior to the election call. While the government made specific reference to hospital construction in Halifax and other larger centres, the Pugwash spending referred to a "health care centre." The Premier declined to explain the difference.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Jamie Baillie says his Conservative Party is committed to building a hospital. Baillie says it is costed and contained in the party's financial plan.
Each of the party leaders slammed the other in this morning's interviews on "Morning Talk". The Premier says Baillie has no real plan, while the Tory leader says he has mapped a financial strategy to cover ten years.
Baillie continued with a common attack on McNeil's abrasive nature, suggesting the Premier was more a dictator than a leader. The PC boss says he has a far more agreeable style of leadership that made him successful in the financial sector.
The leader of the new Atlantica Party also appeared on today's radio program. Jonathan Dean suggested the province's current financial situation is proof positive that Nova Scotia needs dramatic change. Dean admits his strategy is long term, suggesting that electoral victory is not expected tomorrow, but down the road, as his party continues to grow and make inroads with voters.