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Premier Blaine Higgs is losing credibility on the health care file

February 24, 2020News

Carleton-Victoria MLA Andrew Harvey says every day that goes by sees Premier Blaine Higgs lose more credibility on the health care file.


“It’s hard to trust him when he can’t seem to get his facts straight on this file,” Harvey said, referring to statements made by health officials before a legislative committee on Wednesday.


On Monday at a news conference Higgs told media Health Authority officials had told him to postpone his cuts to health care at least for now. On Wednesday health officials said the premier was not telling the truth when he said that.


On Monday the premier said health authorities had told him to pause his plan. “Their recommendation was to not proceed at this time,” said the Premier at his news conference. On Wednesday health officials called out the premier on his statement.


“There was no recommendation from Horizon not to proceed at this time,” said Horizon CEO Karen McGrath. 


“It’s little wonder New Brunswickers have lost trust in the premier on the health care file,” Harvey said. ‘Telling New Brunswickers the facts doesn’t seem to matter to this premier. All he wants is to implement his agenda of cuts to health care. He’s put the cuts on hold for one reason, he’s scared for his political life. These cuts will happen if Higgs is in charge. He’s just waiting for a more opportune time to do so.”


People in Harvey’s riding will be deeply impacted by the closure of emergency rooms overnight and the elimination of acute-care beds at hospitals in Grand Falls and Perth Andover. People living in Plaster Rock for example will be hours away from an emergency room in bad weather if Higgs is given the opportunity to follow through on the cuts.


“This first round of cuts targets rural New Brunswick but officials confirmed this weeks the next phase will likely see cuts to services at Hospitals throughout New Brunswick. The premier says he’s basing these decisions on plans that have been around for years. Those plans calls for more ER closures in more communities. It includes taking a number of clinical services away from hospitals around the province. Again probably for political reasons Higgs decided to start with rural New Brunswick, with cuts mainly impacting ridings represented by other parties. But there’s more to come.


“The premier might come out and deny this but as we’ve seen this week, being upfront with New Brunswickers on his real agenda is not really his priority.”