Mitton says Medavie deal pushed her back into provincial politics as local Green Party candidate

Megan Mitton addresses nomination meeting in Memramcook

Sackville Town Councillor Megan Mitton says that after her father died of pancreatic cancer last year, she felt too exhausted to contemplate running again for the Green Party in this fall’s provincial election.

“I said, ‘no, I’m not interested in getting into the politics right now,'” Mitton told about a dozen Green Party supporters at her nomination meeting last night at Monument-Lefebvre, the Acadian historic site in Memramcook.

“Then I read about what’s happening with extramural and Medavie and that terrible deal,” she added referring to the Liberal government’s controversial decision to privatize the management of extramural home-care services.

“I was pretty angry and I couldn’t figure out why the government would do this,” she said.

“When my dad was sick, extramural care was the only medical attention that felt like care.”

Final straw

Then, Mitton read about a man dying in the hallway next to a broom closet in the Amherst hospital.

“I know the same things are happening in our province, he should have been in palliative care,” she said.

“This story was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I said, ‘I’m going to seek the nomination and do everything I can to make sure that other families don’t experience what my family experienced.'”

Mitton’s second run

Mitton was unopposed last night for the Green Party nomination for Memramcook-Tantramar, a riding that was created just before the 2014 election. When she ran that year, Mitton came third with 1,178 votes, just over 15 per cent of the total ballots cast but she assured supporters that “the plan is to win this time.”

A poll by poll analysis shows that in 2014, Liberal candidate Bernard LeBlanc was an overwhelming favourite in the Memramcook area helping him to win a decisive victory with a total of 3,515 votes. LeBlanc will be carrying the Liberal banner again for the September 24th election. (He and Mitton are the only nominated candidates so far.)

At last night’s meeting, Mitton delivered half her speech in French and half in English. She introduced her mother Gayle, whose father was a LeBlanc from Moncton.

“Even though I’m an Anglophone, I’m proud of my family connection to Acadian culture and history,” she said. “I want to represent everyone in this riding and I want people of Memramcook to know that.”

First Green seat

Green Party leader David Coon told the meeting that his election as an MLA in 2014 will change things for Green candidates this time.

“This time our candidates are going into an election as Greens with a track record, a track record in the legislative assembly, a track record with an MLA working in a constituency,” he said.

“I hear it everywhere in the province as I travel that this is an election of change. People are frustrated with the ping ponging back between the Red and the Blue,” he added.

“It’s exactly the frustration that helped get me elected last time in Fredericton South, it was palpable in Fredericton South, the sense of frustration that we need an alternative.”

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4 Responses to Mitton says Medavie deal pushed her back into provincial politics as local Green Party candidate

  1. Lloydy MacKenzie says:

    Megan will probably be getting my vote.

  2. Rima Azar says:

    Mr. Wark, I am happy to read your new article (it has been a while, it seemed to me).

    Councillor Mitton, I am deeply sorry for your dad’s loss (may his memory be eternal). Like you, Mr. Brown’s story breaks my heart (may he rest in peace… especially on this Good Friday).

    This being said, I am curious to know about what you would do differently in the system or in patient care to ensure access to palliative care to all citizens? As for the privatization of the management of home care, what is your alternative? Or, if no alternative per se, how would you proceed differently in envisioning or monitoring, a morally-sound yet efficient, partnership between the public-private sectors (when needed)?

    To end on a lighter note, *bravo pour votre français*! By the way, I am curious here: Is your grand-father (LeBlanc) related to the family of Mr. Bernard LeBlanc :).

    Merci bien/Thank you.

    • Les Hicks says:

      Rima, check out the New Brunswick Health Coalition’s Facebook page : where you will find information about the provincial health care system. On their Facebook page you can find the executive summary to the report prepared for The Coalition on the trend of privatizing health care services, ‘The Creeping Privatization of Health Care in New Brunswick’. If you Google this title you can find the PDF document of the complete report that should answer your questions about the concerns of many citizens over privatization. From your questions regarding Ms Mitton’s concerns it appears that you did not attend the public information meeting held at the Middle Sackville Baptist Church in Oct of last fall about the provincial government’s privatization plans. At this meeting presentations detailing the concerns about privatization were given by Cecile Cassista, a member of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights, and Hector Cormier, who I think was a member of either Égalité Santé en Français or the New Brunswick Francophone Seniors’ Association. The provincial government representatives at this meeting were Bernard LeBlanc, MLA for Memramcook Tantramar, and Lisa Harris, Provincial Minister of Seniors and Long Term Care. Neither of these government representatives were able to effectively answer questions about why the government was trying to fix something that wasn’t broken and why it was going the privatization route rather than keeping the management of the health care system within the Department of Health itself. At this meeting a petition, organized by Pat Estabrooks, former mayor of Sackville and current member of the board of directors of the Sackville Memorial Hospital Foundation, requesting that the government cancel the privatization plans, was available for people in attendance to sign and was indeed signed by most, if not all of those people. I think Pat was also one of the organizers of the public information meeting. If you look in Bruce’s archive for Oct/17 you’ll see his excellent report on this meeting.


      Les Hicks

      • Rima Azar says:

        Dear Les:

        MANY thanks for taking the time to reply to me. I appreciate your answer and the FB link (especially that it is accessible to the public. I am not on FB :)). I am glad to know that I will find answers to my questions. I look forward to carefully reading the information!

        Mind you, I sadly missed the public meeting in Sackville (I was out of town at that time). Thanks to our Former Mayor Pat Estabrooks for organizing it and for the New Wark Times for reporting.

        Thank you again and kind regards.

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