Burrill campaigns with McCarron in Grand Lake, Fall River

NDP Leader Gary Burrill (right) and Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank candidate Christina McCarron cross the bridge at Laurie Park in Grand Lake. (Healey photo)

GRAND LAKE: The leader of the N.S. NDP Party recently visited the Grand Lake/Schwarzwald subdivision in Fall River to go door knocking with candidate Christina McCarron.

Before the two got their feet a walking on July 19, they met with The Laker News and talked about the campaign that lay ahead at Laurie Park in Grand Lake.

McCarron said she hurried back from a trip away when she got word that the writ had dropped, and the 30-day campaign was underway.

“I’ve talked to a few people who knew the election was called,” said McCarron, who admitted she didn’t find many people home in the first hours of the campaign, but figured they were on vacation. “I talked to a woman on the street who said, ‘wow, you didn’t waste any time. You got right out there.’ I said, well, that’s the way you do it.”

Burrill said two topics that keep coming up as concerns for Nova Scotians are affordable housing, the crisis of housing in all its dimensions.

“You know, rent, how much how prices have skyrocketed, putting them out of reach for an awful lot of people, how terrible the homeless crisis, all these dimensions of housing,” said Burrill, sitting at a picnic table off one of the roads in Laurie Park. “People want to talk about the fact that there needs to be more provision for the counseling and the therapy and the support that people need.

“We know a lot of people who may have had some struggle with depression or anxiety related things before the pandemic that this last year and a half hasn’t helped them.”

Burrill said this is an issue across all the age groups from the from the very old to the quite young.

“The need for improved mental health services is very high on the list, and health care, too,” he said. “COVID-19 has accentuated and heightened people’s sense of a health care crisis that was really there before we ran into the pandemic, which only intensified people’s understanding, I think, in particular of the situation and long-term care.”

Burrill was asked if he was elected premier of N.S. what his goal would be to get done within the first 100 days.

“If we are able to form a government, we will not need 100 days to bring in permanent rent control,” he said. “We will bring it in as soon as we were able to get a cabinet sworn in and we won’t need 100 days in order to bring in a $15 minimum wage.

“At the very first session of the house, we will bring in paid sick days for every employee in Nova Scotia. We will go to work immediately on establishing a network of walk-in clinics where you can be seen today or tomorrow for mental health related problems across the province, as they have in all the other provinces, the Atlantic region. These things will be done quickly.”

McCarron was asked with previous MLA Bill Horne not re-offering what she has to do to get the voters to cast their ballot with her name on it.

“I have to knock on as many doors as possible and be as visible as possible,” said McCarron. “I didn’t really see much of our former MLA out and about.

“It’s really important to me to just be out and about talking to people. I like to do that. So, it’s easy for me.”