Gallant tax hikes will make it harder for New Brunswickers to find a family doctor

FREDERICTON- Brian Gallant’s plan to bring the highest taxes in Canada to New Brunswick will make it harder to find a family doctor or specialist here, says Dr. Jim Parrott, Progressive Conservative candidate for Fundy-the-Isles Saint John West.

Parrott, a heart surgeon and former director of the New Brunswick Heart Centre in Saint John, said physicians will be discouraged from practicing in New Brunswick by Gallant’s controversial scheme to raise taxes to levels higher than any other province in Canada in order to pay for his expensive campaign promises.

“Brian Gallant can’t say he has a plan to recruit doctors and at the same time say you will tax those very same doctors at levels that have never been seen in Canada. The math doesn’t add up and this is a dangerous scheme that will put healthcare in our communities at risk,” said Parrott.

“The inexperienced Liberal leader really doesn’t understand how the real world works. He is playing with fire and with the health of New Brunswick communities to pay for his expensive campaign promises.  This isn’t about politics, it is about ensuring our hospitals, health centres and rural clinics have the professionals we need to deliver the best healthcare to New Brunswickers.”

Health Minister and Rothesay Progressive Conservative candidate Ted Flemming said the province has made plenty of progress over the past four years and has hired almost 300 new physicians, with a net increase of more than 100 physicians.

But he said Brian Gallant’s dangerous tax hikes will put that progress at risk.

“Physicians are like anyone else. Nobody wants to feel picked on or feel as though they are being taken advantage of, especially when your taxes are going up to pay for a politician’s expensive campaign promises,” said Flemming.

“These are the most punitive taxes in North America and will have a devastating effect on our health and economy,” he said. “Brian Gallant needs to know that these tax hikes are going to make it more difficult for New Brunswickers to find a family doctor or access specialists when they need to.”

Flemming said the David Alward government launched Patient Connect in 2013 and since that time the program has connected 6250 patients with a primary healthcare provider.

He said this is not the time to let that progress slip away.

“These aren’t just numbers. These tax hikes will have an impact on lives in our communities. As a province we need to be doing everything we can to improve healthcare in our communities, and the Brian Gallant tax hikes will do the exact opposite.”