Local Green MLA plans to focus on health care in her bid for re-election

Megan Mitton delivering her victory speech in 2018 after winning an 11-vote squeaker

Green MLA Megan Mitton says she’s all set for her re-election campaign in Memramcook-Tantramar.

“I’m ready to go,” she said today during a telephone interview.

“We’re going to hit the ground running,” she says. “It will be a very short campaign and it will require some creativity.”

Mitton says she won’t be campaigning door to door as she did  two years ago, but will use mail-outs, online media, election signs and the phones to reach voters during the pandemic.

“I’m planning to get a little pop-up tent and move around the riding to be available for people to come to me,” she says, “and we’ll mark it on the ground two metres apart, but that way we can meet, so I’m going to make sure I’m all over the riding.”

Mitton says it’s unfortunate Premier Higgs decided to call an election for political reasons in a bid to win a majority and more power.

“Frankly, it is putting New Brunswickers at risk,” she says. “Democracy is very important, but we do have a minority government that has been working for two years and could have continued to work.”

When asked about main issues, Mitton says health care is always a priority, but even more so now that the pandemic has brought it into sharper focus.

Mitton addressing rally in February outside Sackville’s hospital

“One of the successes of myself and the Green caucus was in budget negotiations in March getting Higgs to agree to permanently take the overnight ERs off the table in terms of health reforms,” she says referring to a plan to close overnight emergency rooms at six rural hospitals including Sackville Memorial.

Hundreds of people held protest rallies outside the hospital last February after the Horizon Health Network also announced plans to convert acute care beds into long-term ones and to cancel all day surgeries in Sackville.

“Because we had a minority government, the Higgs government wasn’t able to follow through with the plan that they wanted,” Mitton says, “and I think our community won’t hesitate to step right up, get into the streets and rally around our health services and, I’ll be right there with them.”

When asked if she’s worried about getting re-elected after winning in 2018 by only 11 votes, Mitton says she’s planning to campaign hard using the experience she’s gained hearing from people all over the riding in the last two years.

“I’ve learned a lot more and gained a lot more experience,” she says, “and I’m looking forward to going back to the legislature with even more Greens.”

So far, Mitton is facing only one other opponent in Memramcook-Tantramar, Liberal Maxime Bourgeois who is a lawyer in Memramcook.

A Liberal party representative says Bourgeois is still pulling his campaign together, but should be ready for an interview with Warktimes in a few days.

The Progressive Conservatives and the NDP say they haven’t chosen their local candidates yet.

Etienne Gaudet, who ran for the Conservatives in 2018, says he will not be running again this time.

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