FALL RIVER/ENFIELD: The Premier of N.S. addressed questions regarding speeding on Hwy 2 in the Waverley/Fall River/Wellington area; the Corridor of East Hants; and residential subdivision streets; the keys to keeping the two ridings Liberal red; and healthcare.
The questions were ones posed during a one-on-one interview The Laker News had with Rankin as the campaign bus travelled from a stop with Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank candidate Marni Tuttle to Enfield, where he was going door knocking with Hants East Liberal candidate Michael Blois.
ADDRESSING SPEEDING ON HWY 2, SUBDIVISIONS
Rankin, also an HRM MLA, has heard plenty about speeding, noting there are many that in various ridings in HRM that are a mixture of municipal and provincially owned.
“What we need to do is, first of all, give them the authority to make the decisions on subdivision roads and on our own stretches of highway,” said Rankin. “We do have a process where it goes through the engineers at the Department of Transportation.”
He said Tuttle has brought up the concerns of Highway 2, where there are different areas that go up to 70 and 80.
“We would be, if re-elected, looking at if we could bring that down to around 60, if that’s what transportation can agree to,” he said.
MENTAL HEALTH CLINICS
Rankin was asked if the mental health clinics announced this week would help serve youth who can’t access mental health supports in schools. It was also mentioned how several youth had taken their own lives recently due to mental health issues and not being able to get the help they needed.
“First of all, it’s always very sad when people can’t access help, but there is help out there through our crisis line that I want to make sure people are aware of,” he said. “During the pandemic we also had the mental health supports available through text and we need to make sure we’re providing multiple avenues.”
He said at the walk in clinics, they’re introducing around the province’s regional hospitals, so if people visit a hospital and they more appropriately need to see mental health supports that will be made available.
Rankin then spoke briefly on more needing to be done in schools through SchoolsPlus.
“Our school system needs to continuously provide more opportunities through what we introduce with Schools Plus.”
VIDEO by Dagley Media:
KEY TO KEEPING RIDINGS RED
Rankin said both Tuttle, running in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank and Blois, the Hants East candidate, are outstanding candidates .
“They are entrenched in their communities and have been involved in multiple organizations,” he said. ”I was just at the doors with Marni and almost everyone knew her from something that she’s involved in.
“Michael Blois is also involved a lot in from having been the president of the Chambers of Commerce, the farming community, and more.”
He is confident both will remain in the Liberal hands.
“I’m very optimistic that because of the calibre of candidates that we have in both ridings, that we will be successful,” said Rankin.
DOCTOR SHORTAGE IN EAST HANTS
With word that several more doctors are expected to retire that look after East Hants patients, Rankin was asked what Blois, if elected as MLA, and his party would be able to do to fix that situation.
“We have a number of doctors that are coming into our province that should be here by the fall,’ said Rankin. “I know Michael Blois will be advocating for his community to make sure that any replacements are prioritized.”
He said efforts also are being done to make sure Nova Scotians have access to primary care through virtual care.
“I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to replace the positions that are retiring fairly swiftly,” said Rankin.