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Global News (May 31) Nova Scotia election: Here’s what Stephen McNeil’s Liberals have promised

By National Online Journalist, Investigative  Global News

He’s back. Stephen McNeil’s Liberals will be returning to Province House as the Nova Scotia government after voters handed McNeil a second straight majority mandate.

There were several nail-biting races Tuesday night that saw several prominent Liberal candidates lose their seats after a strong showing by the Progressive Conservatives.

Both McNeil and PC Leader Jamie Baillie won their seats, as did NDP Leader Gary Burrill after a tight race in his Halifax riding.

“To Nova Scotians who have supported our vision thank you. It was a hard fought campaign and I’ve lost some colleagues tonight,” McNeil told a crowd of supporters. “I will take energy and inspiration from tonight’s results. I will work for each and every one of you, every day to make this province all it can be.”

Election results swung back and forth all night but when the dust settled the Liberals were elected in 27 ridings, the Tories elected in 17 and the NDP were elected in seven ridings.

Here is a look at what Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil and his team have promised.

Health care

Throughout the election the Tories and NDP repeatedly hammered the Liberals over the state of health care in the province including doctor shortages, long wait times and emergency room closures.

For their part, the Liberals have promised to spend $34 million over the next four years to address mental health and hiring more than 100 mental-health professionals and support staff.

READ MORE: Fact check: Why didn’t the Liberals make good on their 2013 doctors promise?

The Grits have also said they would allow doctors to choose where and how they practise, while also pledging to reduce wait times for hip and knee surgeries and to expand the caregiver benefit program.

They will also roll out a $116.7-million package to establish more collaborative care clinics and recruit more doctors.

Education

The Grits have promised universal, full-day pre-Primary for four-year-olds, which could save families up to $10,000 a year.

Liberals would also expand the reading recovery program, school breakfast programs and reduce waitlists for speech and language help and psychology services.

READ MORE: N.S. Full recap of Nova Scotia Election 2017

However, McNeil’s government faced a number standoffs with the province’s health-care workers and public school teachers over a freeze in public sector wages.

There were protests at the legislature, two brief strikes and back-to-work legislationthat the unions decried as  draconian.

The Liberals will have their work cut out for them in repairing its relationship with teachers and health-care workers.

Job creation

McNeil’s Liberals have promises $45 million over four years to create more than 2,700 jobs for young Nova Scotians through a graduate opportunity program, vocational training in high schools, and other programs.

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Health Canadacihr logo1This initiative has been generously funded by grants from Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the funders.