“Mounting public pressure on the McNeil government to address the health care crisis in Nova Scotia seems to be the main reason for today’s announcement,” says CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen.

“We welcome the improvements to be made to the hospital; however, the Liberals were clearly in a rush to make their announcement,” says McFadgen. “We are deeply disappointed that Minister Delorey and others on the redevelopment team refused to answer questions from the public.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents workers in acute care, long-term care and home support, says the province refuses to hear the voices of Cape Breton.

“People residing in Cape Breton lost their voice with the demise of the Cape Breton Health Authority. Since then, health care decision-making has been centralized in Halifax,” says McFadgen. “If the new structure is to work, local voices must be heard.”

“Also, the McNeil government needs to put ‘emergency’ funding and resources into Cape Breton’s immediate health care needs, including acute care and long-term care. That means more funding, more staff and more beds this year – not years from now,” says McFadgen.