Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston waves to supporters after winning a majority government in the provincial election at the Pictou County Wellness Centre in New Glasgow, N.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

N.S. Tories make pandemic, health care top priorities as power transition begins

N.S. Tories make pandemic, health care top priorities as power transition begins

STELLARTON, N.S. — Nova Scotia premier-designate Tim Houston says his first priority remains keeping citizens safe from COVID-19, a day after voters handed his party a majority mandate in last night’s election.

The Progressive Conservatives surged to victory over the governing Liberals, and The Canadian Press is projecting the Tories will win 31 ridings in the province’s newly expanded 55-seat legislature.

Houston told reporters this morning he will invite other parties to participate in meetings with public health officials, as he considers policies aimed at avoiding a fourth wave of the novel coronavirus.

The 51-year-old leader says he intends to meet chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang today to talk about issues such as how to reduce transmission when students return to school.

Houston also repeated his campaign promise that his party will improve the health system, including by increasing the number of doctors and shortening surgery wait times.

Elections Nova Scotia resumed counting votes in six electoral districts at 10 a.m. after the count in those areas was suspended early this morning.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia