Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Three Weeks Left in N.B. Election as Health Care, Jobs Remain Top of Mind

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Three Weeks Left in N.B. Election as Health Care, Jobs Remain Top of Mind

Article excerpt

Three weeks left in N.B. election campaign

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FREDERICTON - Politicians in New Brunswick made promises regarding labour and health care on Monday, with three weeks to go before the province heads to the polls.

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant says that if re-elected, his party will modernize New Brunswick's labour laws by partnering with the Government-Labour Steering Committee and other stakeholders to update multiple labour acts, including the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

"Ensuring that workers in New Brunswick are well supported and protected will help us continue to grow the economy in a way that ensures fairness for everyone," said Gallant in a news release.

He also recently pledged to increase the province's minimum wage from the current $11.25 to $14 an hour by 2022.

Over its previous mandate, the government said it began providing paid leave and job protection for victims of domestic, partner and sexual violence, added workplace harassment and violence protections to the Occupational Health and Safety act, and supported enhancements to the Canadian Pension Plan.

The Tories, meanwhile, spent the long weekend campaigning on the issue of health care, promising on Monday afternoon that their government would reduce wait times by 50 per cent for hip replacements, knee replacements and gynecological surgeries.

Party leader Blaine Higgs said the Progressive Conservatives would achieve this by recruiting more doctors, training more nurses and using technology to match patients with the right care.

The party said it will invest $23.9 million over the next four years, which would cover the hiring of 10 specialists, eight family doctors and six physician assistants.

"New Brunswickers deserve world class health care," Higgs said in a release. "Delaying access to needed care through government mismanagement adds cost -- but more importantly, it adds unnecessary suffering. …

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