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Editor’s note: In anticipation of our provincial politicians heading back to Province House this week, The Third reached out to the MLAs who have constituencies in the Third.

We admit that we didn’t give them a lot of time to respond, and if we hear from the remaining MLAs before next week’s deadline, we will be sure to include them. But here are the responses from the MLAs that did respond before our print deadline.

Cape Breton Centre-Whitney Pier

Kendra Coombes, MLA

You can’t go anywhere in Nova Scotia right now without hearing about the housing crisis and that is completely true in Cape Breton Centre – Whitney Pier. Heading into the Legislature this week my top priority is to continue to fight for real solutions to the housing crisis that get people into safe affordable housing before the winter comes.

From students, to working families, to seniors everyone is feeling the pinch of the rising cost of everything, especially housing. Whether you rent or own your home it’s getting more and more expensive to keep a roof over your head.

In our community, there is a growing number of people who cannot afford to live in their homes due to rising costs. The number of people experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough has significantly increased.

I’m going to be fighting for permanent rent control, more public housing being built in CBRM, and for the Houston government to work with the municipality to make sure we have the housing our community needs.

Cape Breton East

Brian Comer, MLA

Over the summer, I've engaged with many locals across my constituency to hear from them on the issues that matter most. Top among these are housing challenges, road maintenance, cost of living, and the urgency for enhanced healthcare.

I'm proud to say that we’re making tremendous strides in our communities. After 30 years, the Houston Government is the first to invest in public housing, with new units set to support Cape Breton. We've also doubled the budget for gravel roads and ramped up investments in rural repair works. To alleviate the cost of living, we've launched the $750 Seniors’ Care Grant and are reintroducing the Heating Assistance Rebate Program this October.

Of all these concerns, healthcare resonates as the most pressing. With the legislature reconvening this week, better healthcare remains my utmost priority for Cape Breton East. My constituent’s voices on primary care and mental health services have not gone unheard.

As a former registered nurse, I can say with confidence that our ongoing healthcare solutions are having a very positive impact on access. Our collaboration with the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia has birthed more primary care clinics, making primary healthcare more accessible.

Additionally, the new Mental Health Day hospital at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital is significantly enhancing patient care. As the head of the Office of Addictions and Mental Health, my dedicated team and I are on a mission to offer truly universal mental healthcare. You can expect thorough discussions on this topic in the upcoming legislative session.

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