The shuffle: two afterthoughts

A couple of day-after comments about Darrell Dexter’s cabinet shuffle seem worth passing on:

First, a longtime New Democrat writes that, “Having to take Maureen out of Health to backfill Finance indicates a lack of bench strength.”


Second, a friend notes that, as a former paramedic, incoming Health Minister Dave Wilson should put paid to Nursing Union president Janet Hazelton’s campaign to featherbed the new Collaborative Emergency Centres.

Hazelton has complained the staffing model of one nurse and one advanced care paramedic, with telephone backup from an emergency room specialist physician, is insufficient to meet, ahem, professional standards. Nothing less than two union nurses will do, she insists.

The two governing bodies that regulate the nursing professions in Nova Scotia disagree. The College of Registered Nurses and the College of Licensed Practical Nurses have collaborated on a set of professional standards for the new centres that makes no such demand.

Promising to end rural emergency room closures was an flagrant fib at the heart of the NDP’s election platform. The CECs represent a sensible and creative solution to the problem—and MacDonald’s crowning achievement as minister. Wilson probably won’t be impressed with Hazelton’s thinly veiled slight to his former profession, and he must not allow union staffing rules to sabotage the CECs.