Opposition derides N.S. premier's sudden spending promises on hospitals

Nova Scotia's opposition parties are accusing the Liberal government of playing pre-election politics with hospitals after the premier rolled out promises for a new facility in Pugwash and renovations in Bridgewater.

Tim Houston, the Progressive Conservative finance critic, pressed the deputy minister of finance during a legislative committee hearing on Wednesday to release the health-projects priority list.

Byron Rafuse said both projects announced Tuesday by the premier had been on the list, but he declined to release it.

Houston and NDP critic Dave Wilson said it's time Nova Scotia's government started making the priority list public, as it does with road, bridge and other major infrastructure spending.

Wilson said the public should be wary of hospital announcements when specific amounts of money aren't disclosed, given that the Liberals' 2013 campaign promise of ensuring every Nova Scotian has a family doctor hasn't been met.

Rafuse said the government has been below budget in health infrastructure spending in recent years because a newly created, single health authority needed time to review priorities.