N.S. Tory leader pledges $100 million for universal mental health care

Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston is expected to make an announcement about mental health on Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Ted Pritchard

As the month-long Nova Scotia election campaign moved into its second full week Monday, the Progressive Conservatives pledged that if elected Aug. 17, all Nova Scotians would have access to publicly funded, universal mental health care.

At an estimated cost of $100 million, leader Tim Houston said his party would create a separate department dedicated to mental health and addictions and open provincial billing codes to allow private practitioners to deliver mental health services to all residents.

Houston also promised to create a mental health crisis phone line.

Read more: Keeping track of the N.S. election and promises from main party leaders

Meanwhile, the Liberals said they would spend $69 million over four years to assist the Nova Scotia Community College in training more skilled workers. The plan would increase base enrolment by 800 in order to meet evolving labour market needs, including 400 new seats in health-related disciplines and 400 in residential construction trades, information technology and green energy programs.

Story continues below advertisement

The health-related expansion will include 270 new seats for licensed practical nurses.

Read more: N.S. Progressive Conservatives project Year 1 election promises at $553 million

NDP Leader Gary Burrill campaigned in Sydney, N.S., on Monday, where he highlighted his party’s commitment to bolster health care in Cape Breton. The party repeated a pledge to keep hospitals open that are slated for closure in New Waterford, N.S., and North Sydney, N.S., and to create 400 more long-term care beds.

“The NDP has a plan to invest in Cape Breton that is based on the real needs of the people here,” Burrill said in a news release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

Sponsored content