Friday, 16 March 2012

NB NDP leader Cardy challenges Stultz to "come clean" on nursing home cuts

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick New Democrat Leader Dominic Cardy is challenging Social Development Minister Sue Stulz to provide a complete accounting of the $110 Million cut out of the province's new nursing home infrastructure plan.

"What Minister Stultz announced yesterday represents a drastic cut - almost 25% in budgeted reductions - from the original plan for new and renovated nursing homes. Minister Stultz has an obligation to clearly indicate to the people of New Brunswick what has been sacrificed to make these cuts for the Minister of Finance," insisted Cardy.

"It certainly appears that the savings have been gained at the expense of the quality of life for the people who will be living and working in these buildings.  The bottom line of this scheme is that more seniors will be living in smaller buildings, built to lower quality standards," said Cardy.

Cardy stressed that Stulz's long-awaited announcement should be carefully reviewed to ensure that what Premier David Alward’s government is now proposing will meet the needs of the province's future nursing home residents, as well as the people who will be working in those buildings.

"Just what does it mean to say you are “reducing architectural, mechanical and electrical performance standards” in these buildings?  These are hardly minor modifications," said Cardy.

"Surely we have learned by now that building inferior quality buildings is a false economy.  Perhaps Mike Holmes should be compulsory viewing at the next Cabinet meeting," Cardy suggested.

Cardy noted that the original plan was to meet the requirements of the province's Green Buildings Policy.

"Following the plan would ensure that the renovated buildings would meet high energy efficiency standards providing ongoing savings on energy bills (which the province pays) and healthier and more comfortable buildings for the residents and nursing home workers. Why should these be compromised?" asked Cardy.