NDP Leader Darrell Dexter said his goal is to have every emergency room in the province open 24/7.

That won’t be easy however, considering Nova Scotia’s endemic problem with rural ER closures. The issue has been used frequently as a weapon by Dexter in the election campaign.

Yesterday as Premier Rodney MacDonald was on hand at the unveiling of a new trauma centre in Halifax, Dexter dismissed it as a political stunt.


“I just think it is so ironic that he wants to take credit for an ER opening when he was nowhere to be found when ERs were closing,” he said at a morning news conference.

Reporters then asked if it’s accurate to say every ER will be open 24/7 under an NDP government.

“It will be accurate to say that I accept the responsibility to make sure that those ERs are open,” he said.

Dexter said the money for rural doctors is budgeted, they just need incentives to go there.

The Tories accused Dexter of backpedalling and fudging his words after he used the word “try” when talking about keeping ERs open in Tuesday’s election debate.

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said yesterday he believes all ERs can be permanently open, but the NDP can’t afford to balance it with all their other promises.

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