PHOTOS: Do Halifax residents trust the provincial government to solve the ER crisis?

Nova Scotia emergency rooms, wait times and overcrowding are hot topics


Nova Scotia Health Minister Michelle Thompson released a list of changes to the emergency care system on Jan. 17. The list includes improving ambulance response times, adding nurse practitioners to the emergency department, bringing back patient advocates in wait rooms and providing more funding and education for paramedics.

However, these changes were met with mixed reviews. Two days later, 39 doctors signed an open letter to Premier Tim Houston explaining that the upcoming changes do not address the root cause of this problem: Lack of hospital beds.

“Patients are waiting hours and hours in waiting rooms and on ambulance stretchers because there is nowhere to put the next patient that needs care,” the letter reads.

The Signal hit the streets of Halifax on Jan. 20 asking people of various ages if they trust the provincial government with fixing the emergency room crisis.

Middle aged man with piercings poses for picture outside a restaurant.
Devin Roulston spoke to us on Gottingen Street.   Natalia Tola

“No. Not really. I don’t trust the government now, straight up. From past things I have seen evolve, the government isn’t good enough to get on top of everything,” Devin Roulston, 44, said.

Roulston said it’s difficult to believe that there is such a crisis happening in a country as developed as Canada.


Middle aged man with a hat poses for picture outside a coffee shop.
Christobal Cookson is photographed on Gottingen Street.   Natalia Tola

“I don’t know. I don’t know if they are capable of it because I don’t know what the root cause of the problem is,” said Christobal Cookson, 44.

He also said “the workload for nurses and doctors has to be reduced.”

Young woman with glasses and knit hat poses for picture outside a construction project.
Ara Aranciaba is photographed on Agricola Street.   Natalia Tola

“Definitely. I don’t know how they could fix it though,” said Ara Aranciaba, 20.

“I have racked my brain trying to imagine how they can improve their system but I don’t know if it’s because they don’t have enough doctors or nurses. I don’t know what the actual issue is.”

Elderly woman with glasses and beanie poses for picture outside a parking lot.
Linda Higgins spoke to us on Quinpool Road.   Natalia Tola

“I have no idea. It’s such a complex problem; let’s see what happens,” said Linda Higgins, 66.

“Every solution seems to have the issue of stealing from something else.”

Middle-aged tattooed man poses for picture outside a restaurant.
Ian Preeper is photographed on Gottingen Street.   Natalia Tola

“I feel like we have been let down by the government too much for me to continue trusting the government,” said Ian Preeper, 38.







Natalia Tola

Natalia Tola

Natalia Tola was born and raised Ecuador. She is pursuing a four year Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) with a minor in Contemporary Studies. Besides journalism, Natalia is a student activist at the Kings Student Union, The Canadian Federation of Students and non-profit immigrant help groups.

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