Solutions for Nova Scotians

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The care your family needs, when they need it. A real plan to recruit doctors and speed up surgery wait times.

DIGNITY FOR OUR SENIORS › More beds › More staff › More respect

EDUCATION Investing for the future.


Creating jobs, increasing wages and bringing more businesses to Nova Scotia; starting right now.


A compassionate plan where mental health care is treated like physical health care. No bill.



A father of two, an accountant and Nova Scotia’s next Premier. Why Houston’s ‘Solutions’ will jump start our economy and fix a healthcare system in crisis.

Dear Nova Scotian, Successful teams share a common vision. We are a team. A team of proud Bluenosers with a common vision. This campaign is about hiring the right leader, the one with the ability and courage to move us forward, together. I share your vision for this province: More and better paying jobs, access to healthcare and dignity for our seniors. Rebuilding our economy and fixing healthcare is not for the faint of heart. It will require strong leadership, and a willingness to take bold action. If you want someone to tinker around the edges and tick boxes, that’s not me. I could tell you why it matters that I am an accountant, which is a critical skill as we rebuild our economy or why Carol and I also chose to raise our children here (which grounds my love of community), but let me tell you why you matter more than I do. It’s because I’ve been there. I’ve heard and seen elected people say one thing and do another. It’s disheartening, causes mistrust, and frankly, is the reason voter turnout is so low. Here’s my story. In 2012, I met with a sitting provincial minister. I was excited. The meeting went well … or so I thought. In actual fact, that minister left and promptly forgot about us. I never heard from him again. This set me on the journey that led me here - fighting to form a government that will never forget you. You deserve better. And I will see that you get better, because growing up in a military family, I still value the strength of my word. This platform is my word. It’s honest and about as far from politics as you can get. If you like it, if it makes sense, hire me and let’s get to work so you can earn higher wages, access healthcare, and above all else, know that your government respects you and will do what it can for you.




A Plan for Healing a System in Crisis THE SOLUTION ›

The Problem: ACCESS to Healthcare Healthcare continues to be the most pressing concern of Nova Scotians. Access to care means either having a family physician (or a primary care provider), who is able to see a patient and provide timely access to the care they need (i.e., surgeries, consultations, etc.) when they need it. One thing we can all agree on is that we have incredibly dedicated health professionals here, and once you’re in the system, you do receive extraordinary care. The trouble is ... getting in. Over 69,000 Nova Scotians are on the waitlist for a family doctor, while many more have stopped looking. As a result, emergency departments are clogged up with non-urgent patients, threatening the health of Nova Scotians who are seriously at risk and needlessly costing the health care system millions of scarce tax dollars. Liberals promised “A doctor for every Nova Scotian.”

25,000 people on the waiting list for a family doctor.

Over 69,000 on the waiting list.




The Problem: Unacceptable Surgical Wait Times Wait times for orthopaedic and other critical and life saving surgeries are well above the national average, reducing the quality of life for tens of thousands of Nova Scotians; putting the lives of many others at risk; and, costing Nova Scotia’s economy untold millions in lost productivity.

Instant access for everyone on the waitlist for a primary care provider. › Telehealth/virtual care for everyone. › Expand telehealth to allow specialists and other healthcare providers (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, etc.) to see patients virtually, so all Nova Scotians have timely access to primary care services. Recruitment and Retention. › Respect and value our healthcare providers through improved salaries for family physicians and increased local decision-making. › Establish a physician pension fund tied to return of service agreements. › Establish a clinical health services plan in every region. › Implement a focused strategy to support internationally-trained graduates, including increasing the number of residency seats for Canadian students trained abroad. › Create mentoring relationships for new graduates.

THE SOLUTION › Increase the use of operating rooms beyond the current hours of Monday to Friday from 9-5 to address the waitlist backlog and bring wait times to or below the national average.

› Waitlist for knee replacement in Kentville: 1,085 DAYS › Waitlist for gallbladder surgery in Bridgewater: 268 DAYS › Waitlist for colorectal cancer surgery in Antigonish: 243 DAYS


SOLUTIONS FOR HEALTH CARE The Problem: Lack of Prevention Services Nova Scotia has an aging population, as well as many of the country’s highest chronic disease rates, with over 100,000 Nova Scotians having diabetes and an obesity rate of over 30%. Prevention and healthy living initiatives are key to improving the overall health of our population, increasing our economic productivity, and reducing the upward pressures on future health care budgets.

THE SOLUTION › › Establish a Chronic Illness Treatment and Prevention program for in-home treatment focusing on those with chronic illnesses. › Introduce school credits for physical activity/healthy living initiatives outside the classroom. › Institute a healthy eating course for every Grade 12 student. › Establish a virtual smoking cessation program through virtual care. › Offer a $500 per child tax credit for registration fees in sports or arts programming.



Chronic Care Costs


The Problem: Lack of Compassion from Government Too frequently, we see signs the government simply isn’t listening to the needs of Nova Scotians. Some groups need a signal or recognition that government cares. Firefighters, who put their lives on the line every day have been denied coverage of various cancer drugs. Those who protect us should themselves be protected by government. One in six Canadian couples face infertility. There is no comprehensive national coverage for assisted fertility treatments. Treatments can cost between $10,000 and $20,000 per cycle, making them inaccessible to most individuals. Our provincial government has never recognized the need to support these families.

THE SOLUTION › › Provide coverage for cancer drugs to firefighters.



Average Canadian



› Offer tax credits up to $20,000 to give families access to fertility treatments. › Total cost of HOPE FOR HEALTH: $206 million




A Plan for Access to Mental Health Services for all

The Problem: Access to Mental Healthcare The shameful lack of mental health and addiction services within our province not only creates tremendous hardships for Nova Scotians and their families, it has far reaching repercussions that negatively impact everything from our justice system, to our social safety net, to our economic productivity. The government’s failure to properly address what is undeniably the most urgent public health issue facing our province costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. It also further stigmatizes those who suffer from mental illness, and denies thousands of Nova Scotians access to the services they need to help them lead healthy, happy and productive lives. Despite the tremendous costs to individuals and society of ignoring this alarming public health issue, spending on mental health services accounts for just 7% of the total healthcare budget. Additionally, studies show that failure to address mental health needs significantly drives up the cost of treating the physical health needs of individuals.

THE SOLUTION › › Become the first province in Canada to provide all of its citizens with Universal Access to Mental Health and Addiction Services. No matter what your income or where you live, you will have access to mental health services in the same way as you do all other publicly-funded health services.


CANADIANS MISS WORK EVERY WEEK due to concerns related to their mental health.

› Create a standalone Department of Addictions and Mental Health with significant new resources and a mandate to marshal a pan-government approach to improve mental health services throughout the province. › Establish a 24/7 provincial Telehealth Counselling Service to provide counselling, carry out initial intake assessments, and make referrals for further treatment. › Create a 9-8-8 mental health crisis line, recognizing that in crisis, no one can remember a ten-digit phone number. › Through a newly-created Department of Addictions and Mental Health, increase the government’s focus on addiction prevention and treatment services throughout the province. › Recognize and support the proven mental health benefits of pets by providing a $500 Adopt-a-Dog Tax Credit for individuals who adopt a dog through a recognized adoption agency. › Total cost of UNIVERSAL MENTAL HEALTHCARE: $102 million



DIGNITY FOR OUR SENIORS A Continuing Care Strategy The Problem: Long-Term Care Budgets Cut as Demand Rises Nova Scotia’s population is rapidly aging, and the demand for seniors’ care is on the rise, yet the Liberal government has slashed long term care budgets. The result: longer wait times for placement, increased costs and bottlenecks throughout the healthcare system as long-term care seniors occupy more costly hospital beds and, unnecessary stress for families searching for the right close-to-home care for their aging parents. We recognize the need to support these families.





Nova Scotia



The Problem: Forgetting Seniors as the Cost of Living Rises With one of the oldest populations and the highest poverty rate among seniors in the country, our seniors need government support. Living at home is becoming more and more challenging with little help.

THE SOLUTION › › Open an additional 2,500 single room long-term care beds within three years. › Address the human resources challenges in our system by normalizing the staff workload and making training more accessible. We will do this by: › Hiring 2,000 health professionals to meet national staff-to-patient ratios (4.1 hours of care/ day), protecting the interests of residents and staff working in long-term care. › Modernizing the Homes for Special Care Act to: achieve national staff-to-patient ratios; strengthen reporting/accountability measures including infection control protocols; and, implement strategies and policies to reduce the risk of harm to patients and staff. › Reinstating and expanding the Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) Training Grant cut by the Liberal Government. › Resuming accredited CCA training programs hosted by long-term care properties. › Treating the staff and healthcare professionals with respect to make sure we don’t lose our most talented and committed professionals.

THE SOLUTION › Establish a $500 Seniors’ Care Grant for help with household services, including: › Telehealth/virtual care for everyone. › Snow removal › Home repairs › Lawn care › Grocery delivery › Total cost of DIGNITY FOR OUR SENIORS: $121 million




Game Changing Strategies to Help Nova Scotia Standout and Succeed. The Problem: Jobs, Taxes and the Economy For decades, Nova Scotia has been using the same old tools and tired approaches to grow our economy; tinkering around the edges with various taxes, tweaking ineffective job incentive programs, and renaming and restructuring costly development agencies. None of it has worked. Despite our strategic location, deep port facilities, quality of life, worldclass universities and strong network of community colleges, Nova Scotia’s economy continues to lag behind almost every other Canadian province, with the lowest GDP per capita in the country, an 8.1 percent unemployment rate and the highest rate of inflation growth in the country. Unless we change our approach, and change it in a big way, Nova Scotia’s aging population will continue to stagnate growth, increase the bottleneck of access to healthcare and other vital social services, and further erode our capacity to climb out of a deeper and deeper economic hole. Too many small- and medium-sized businesses, that help sustain our rural communities, are teetering on the edge of collapse with little or no help from government. In some cases, as we see with Nova Scotia’s craft beer producers, government policies actually hurt local businesses by providing an unfair advantage to their out-of-province competitors. Now is not the time to tinker, tweak or be timid. It’s time to take bold, brave steps that will: attract more young people to come and stay in Nova Scotia; support the growth of small, medium and large businesses throughout the province; and aggressively promote our many attributes to the world.

THE SOLUTION › › The Better Pay Cheque Guarantee. Reinvest 50% of corporate income tax revenues in businesses that hire new staff or increase their employees’ wages. This paradigm shift in fiscal policy will be a huge incentive for businesses and workers to relocate in our province. › Give employers a choice – pay it to the government or pay your employees more/ hire more to provide better paying jobs and stimulate business growth. › Nova Scotia will implement the first of its kind provincial Buy Local program – Nova Scotia Loyal. This initiative will provide a point-of-purchase incentive to all Nova Scotians who buy made-inNova Scotia products. › Develop a province-wide tourism identity program to market existing assets (golf, food and wine, skiing, hiking, ATVing, etc.). › Establish community tourism funding by allocating funds to each region and letting each community decide how best to spend its tourism dollars.


$7.0 Billion 6|

Youth, In-migration Key to Success. The Problem: Too few workers to sustain an aging population. Even with projected increases in Nova Scotia’s population, Statistics Canada projects the number of Nova Scotians under 64 will continue to shrink for at least another 20 years. We don’t have 20 years. We don’t even have 10. The result, Nova Scotia will be less able to attract new business, revenues will continue to dwindle, and government will find it harder and harder to sustain, let alone improve, the vital health, economic and social services Nova Scotians depend on. Even today, there is a dire shortage of trades workers. This shortage not only discourages potential investment in Nova Scotia, it costs the province millions in lost tax revenue.

THE SOLUTION › › All trades workers, aged 30 and under, working in designated trades, including, but not limited to carpenters, ironworkers, electricians, plumbers and heavy equipment operators, will pay no provincial income tax on their first $50,000 in earnings. › Target of doubling our population to 2,000,000 by 2060. › Implement a multi-pronged population growth strategy focused on in-migration that: aggressively promotes the tax advantages of our economic plan for business and workers; promotes Nova Scotia’s quality of life advantages through targeted media campaigns; and seeks fairness from Ottawa by correcting its imbalanced immigration policy (increased immigration allowances and provincial nominee program).

Roads, Bridges, Housing, High Speed Internet — Vital to Support Growth. The Problem: Higher pay, more and better jobs coupled with our real, aggressive population growth strategy will require the biggest investment in infrastructure Nova Scotia has seen in generations to support the growth. In addition to quality healthcare and education, good roads/bridges, affordable housing, community amenities, accessible transportation networks, and high speed internet services are vital for growth in the twenty-first century. There is a critical housing shortage in the HRM, while many areas of rural Nova Scotia are watching much of its critical infrastructure disappear or deteriorate. Despite repeated promises over many years, the government has still not fulfilled its commitment to make high speed internet service available to every Nova Scotian household and business, further eroding economic development opportunities in rural Nova Scotia. Government can no longer operate in a vacuum. Inaction to the regulatory needs of the construction industry and action without consultation has led to a frustrated industry prevented from reaching its competitive potential.


THE SOLUTION › › Extend Internet to every household in Nova Scotia that does not have access by funding the installation costs of household and business satellite service where no high speed service has been secured by Develop Nova Scotia. › Double the budget for the Gravel Road Reconstruction Program and the Rural Impact Mitigation Fund. › Immediately remove tolls on the Cobequid Pass. › Establish a new $1 million Rural Rink Sustainability Fund to support repairs to underfunded community rinks. › To protect Nova Scotians from the inflationary pressures resulting from non-resident housing purchases, implement a deed transfer tax and a property tax levy on individuals who don’t pay income tax in Nova Scotia. › Conduct an inventory of Nova Scotia Crown land and tender eligible properties for the development of affordable housing units. › Total cost of NOVA SCOTIA LOYAL PLAN FOR THE ECONOMY: $64 million


INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE From Start to Finish, P-12 & Beyond.


The Problem: Unprepared for the future. Lack of local input, staff shortages, curriculum gaps and inadequate support for inclusive classrooms are among the areas in need of serious course correction. Students need to be prepared for “what’s next” when graduating high school. We need to give them every opportunity to succeed. That includes giving them more opportunities to find jobs that match the needs of their communities.

THE SOLUTION › › Update the curriculum to include: › Financial literacy, civics, environmental stewardship; › Physical activity and healthy living; and › Diversity teaching at every grade level. › Establish Healthy Living Grant for all schools to allow schools to make purchases to encourage active lifestyles. › Install physical activity credits in grades 11 and 12, allowing students to earn school credit for physical activity outside of school. › Carry out all recommendations of the 2018 Report on Inclusion to ensure students have the appropriate supports and programming. › Free, voluntary, access for all teachers to online mental health programming. › Establish Youth Vaping Focus Group to target limiting youth vaping. › Respect teachers, administrators and school staff. › Decentralize control over local decision-making by modernizing the Regional School Board model. › Double (2,000 students) opportunities for high school students to take skills trade studies to reach a goal of 40% of underrepresented populations.

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› Focus on creating more opportunities for diversity in trade programming. › Amend Government Tendering Practices to provide additional consideration for bidders who use student apprentices. Inclusion Report Recommendations Wholly Implemented

› Total cost of INVESTING FOR OUR FUTURE: $52 million



The Problem: A government whose actions match its words. The Liberals secretly sold a provincial park that was slated to be designated as a protected space, shelved the Lahey Report on forestry practices, and gutted key elements of the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act introduced by a previous PC Government. Their actions belie their hollow words when it comes to their commitments to greening our economy and protecting our environment.

THE SOLUTION › › Introduce Enviro-goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, a new, ambitious bill that will identify and showcase Nova Scotia as a world leader in adopting green energy measures and following climate-friendly sustainable development. › 20% of total land and water mass will be protected for conservation by 2030, including Indigenous protected and conserved areas. › Update existing environmental decision-making process to include diversity, inclusion and equity. › 80% of electricity must be supplied by renewable energy by 2030. › At least 30% of vehicles sold by 2030 to be zero-emission. › Fund up to 50% of the cost of installation for Electric Vehicle Chargers. › All new provincial buildings must be net-zero. › Fully implement the Lahey Report on Forest Practices. › Toughest penalties in Canada for individual and corporate littering. › Total cost of SUSTAINABLE PROSPERITY: $7.4 million


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