Geoff MacLellan, Nova Scotia's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, said he will look into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 76-year-old woman whose family says she died while waiting for her road to be cleared of snow.

A relative told CBC News the woman's family was waiting for Waddens Cove Road to be plowed so they could take her to the hospital, but she died before that could happen.

Waddens Cove is about 14.5 kilometres southeast of Glace Bay.

The provincial standard is for secondary roads to be plowed within 24 hours of a storm.

MacLellan said the Waddens Cove area is meeting the standard but his department will investigate what happened.

"My heart goes out to the family. You know I want to offer my condolences. It's a tough time any time to lose a parent and when the circumstances of road conditions and the snow make it worse that's very difficult," he said.

"I first of all want to get to the very specific details of this investigation and how the whole time line was established."

Bernie MacDonald, a relative, said the 76-year-old woman had health problems and was having difficulty breathing on Sunday morning. The woman's son later discovered she wasn't breathing and called an ambulance, said MacDonald.

It took an hour and 20 minutes for the road to be plowed so the ambulance could reach the home.

MacLellan said plowing equipment in the area was reduced by the previous New Democratic government.

"There are issues with equipment and that's coming from members of the community so that's what we have to look at," he said.

"While standards are important and we want to maintain the standards, we just want to do the best job that we can for the people so it's important for us to look at the very specific issues around this situation and in that region of Cape Breton."

MacLellan said he will determine whether that equipment needs to be replaced.