Premier Stephen McNeil has not personally been in touch with Inez Rudderham, more than a month and a half after the Nova Scotia woman with cancer challenged him to a face-to-face meeting in a video that’s been viewed millions of times.
McNeil had accepted the challenge days after the video went viral. He said on Thursday that his chief of staff contacted Rudderham a couple of times and that it was agreed she would make contact with the office again “when she’s ready for that meeting.”
“Now it’s up to her,” said McNeil.
When asked whether he attempted to call Rudderham directly, he repeated that his chief of staff had called her.
Rudderham gained national media attention in her April 23 video in which she emotionally recounted her struggle to get adequate medical care in the province and challenged the premier to say to her face that there is no health-care crisis in Nova Scotia.
Rudderham could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Rudderham posted the video on her Facebook page. Six days after she made another Facebook post, saying she had arranged a tentative meeting with McNeil after being contacted by the premier’s office.
“This is so exciting and would not be possible without each and everyone of you!” stated part of the post. “Stay tuned!”
NDP Leader Gary Burrill said on Thursday that he’s counting on the premier to make good on his pledge to meet with Rudderham.
“I think (Inez Rudderham) had a very clear, central point,” he said.
Burrill said Rudderham’s message was clear that she had experienced a health-care crisis first-hand and that she wanted the opportunity meet with McNeil in person to challenge his belief that there is no crisis.
“She said I experienced the health-care crisis and I would like the premier of the province to stand in front of me and look me in the eyeballs and say what he has said on the record: that there is no health-care crisis in Nova Scotia.
“I think he owes that to her and he owes it to the public in general.”