HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's NDP has developed a plan it hopes will help reduce the rates of chronic diseases in the province, including cancer and diabetes.
Party leader Darrell Dexter, campaigning Saturday for the June 9 election, said Nova Scotians have some of the worst chronic disease rates in the country, but he believes that trend can be reversed.
Dexter said an NDP government would create a task force that would identify ways to help lower the rates of acute and chronic illnesses.
''This is an attempt to head off some of the worst chronic disease rates in Canada,'' he said in an interview from Truro.
Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said the NDP proposal does not go far enough.
He issued a statement saying his party has a plan to invest in a physical activity, a strategy that addresses the most important factor behind chronic disease - inactivity.
''A task force does not go far enough to address the high rates of acute and chronic illness in Nova Scotia,'' McNeil said.
''Liberals have committed to concrete action to promote healthy active living among all Nova Scotians.''
The Liberals committed last week to develop a $15-million physical activity strategy for Nova Scotia. McNeil also said a Liberal government would also pay for insulin pumps to reduce the health-care costs associated with diabetes.
Meanwhile, the NDP is also promising to establish a council made up of representatives from health advocacy groups and the government that would award so-called healthy living grants.
Dexter says doctors in the province would also be encouraged to use a preventative care checklist developed by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
Dexter says the NDP would work closely with doctors in the province and health organizations in implementing its plan, which would also tackle heart and lung disease as well as mental illness.