North Acadia: Rural hospitals become a political battleground

With 825,000 people and the capital at Hartstown, with a population of 190,000. North Acadia is home to the Slokais Islands’ gold and marble industry with a sizable farming population. It is somewhat more left-leaning than West Acadia. To get a set in the House 9% is needed provincewide. 

If you leave the S-27 Highway, just south of Hartstown the terrain will quickly become mountainous. Once over the Westonshire Mountains, everything is different. Small farms split up the land, with towns and settlements that have seen better days. The Westonshire Township Medical Center was once a busy hospital, with patients coming in and out for treatment. However, today the building is chained up and guarded by a few police officers. 

Spencer Bridge used to work at the surgery center, helping patients prepare for a variety of procedures. However, it all changed in November 2021, when Governor Lucas Chu closed the hospital on the grounds that it was misusing funds and performing “ill-logical abortions”. Although the hospital tried to fight this by attempting to change its management to a private provider, the hospital lost all of its government funding and grants, meaning that it could no longer pay for operating costs. It closed back in March and since then has been under the eye of law enforcement as pro-choice and pro-life protesters have attempted to enter the building illegally. 

“Governor Chu used our hospital as a political tool, now people have to travel up to an hour and a half by car” said Bridge. In 2018, Lucas Chu won the gubernatorial election as a Centrist, however in 2022, Chu changed his party affiliation to Conservatives, as the Conservatives have rebounded. Leah Gonzales, a farmer from nearby Lilywater Township is attempting to unite the rural vote using agrarian populism and development. 

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