I am also very aware of the issues facing the people of Kings North - a microcosm of the issues facing all Nova Scotians - as we head into the next election.
Poverty rates in the riding continue to be at unacceptable levels and are some of the highest in the province. Many residents still do not have a family doctor and the wait times for surgery and other medical procedures at Kentville's Valley Regional Hospital are way too long. There continues to be a lack of government support for young people in the area, especially those that suffer from homelessness, mental health issues, substance abuse, and unemployment.
The Liberal governments in Halifax and Ottawa have failed to provide the essential services needed. Despite the great work done by the local groups such as the food bank, PeopleWorx, Open Arms, and the Portal (among others), the people of Kentville should not have to rely so extensively on charitable organizations. The existence of these agencies and the increased number of families and individuals that have to rely on them speaks to the failure of the Liberal governments in Halifax and Ottawa to meet residents' most basic needs.
An NDP government in Halifax and Ottawa pledges to address the health care and a lack of social services through greater investments in our health care system (including a national pharmacare program), free dental care for school children, the creation of more affordable housing units for young people and seniors, increased job training opportunities and a sustainable economic plan that will create jobs, and help new and existing local industries (including farmers) adapt to the challenges of the 21st century, while reducing carbon emissions.