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New Brunswick PCs make campaign pledge to bolster mental health services

New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs speaks at his official nomination in Quispamsis, N.B., on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. James West/The Canadian Press

New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative leader is vowing to address a shortage of psychologists in the province if he’s elected premier.

Blaine Higgs says more than 4,500 children in the province are waiting for psychological assessments for learning disabilities and even more are waiting for treatment.

READ MORE: All our New Brunswick election 2018 coverage

He says over half of the government’s psychologist positions are unfilled, resulting in wait times of up to three years.

Higgs calls that unacceptable, and says the children need help now.

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He says a Tory government would hire 20 new private sector psychologists and create up to 10 internship positions for post-graduate psychologists.

Higgs says the government needs to examine the workload and wage gap between the private and public sectors in order to address recruitment and retention.

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