PC Party of NL

Nurses Close to Breaking Point: Dinn

(June 16, 2021) – Paul Dinn, PC Opposition Shadow Minister for Health and Community Services, is echoing concerns from the Registered Nurses Union (RNU) that we are close to a breaking point for nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Yesterday, RNU President Yvette Coffey stated to local media that, “…we have a provincial nursing crisis on our hands right now…” in light of a critical shortage of nursing staff in our province. She further stated that, “The things that are being discussed right now, the reduction in services, is not, and I do repeat not, related to vacation and collective agreements.”

“The crucial role that our nurses play in our healthcare system is undeniable. This provincial government must step up to fix the conditions of overwork and shortages throughout our system. Inaction by this government is threatening the integrity of our ability to deliver healthcare in this province,” said Dinn.

“Is a critical shortage of nurses making the backlog of medical procedures, due to COVID-19, even worse?”

Just this past week it has been revealed that both St. Anthony and Carbonear hospitals will see capacity reductions. This is following reports of chronic staffing issues at four long-term care facilities in St. John’s, forcing nurses to work 16 – 24 hour shifts.

“How can we possibly expect our nurses to bear the brunt of this understaffing and outrageous work hours? They put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic, they sacrificed time with their family to run vaccination clinics, they traveled to help those abroad, and this is how government repays them? It is shameful,” said Dinn.

“We should do what we can to encourage nurses to want to work and stay here in this province, not contributing to their burnout and exodus from the profession and province.”

 

Contacts:

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Dinn is echoing concerns from the Registered Nurses Union (RNU) that we are close to a breaking point for nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Nurses Close to Breaking Point: Dinn

Burned Pride flags in Metro area disturbing, shows importance of Pride: Evans

(June 15, 2021) – Lela Evans, MHA for Torngat Mountains, says recent reports of burned Pride flags at metro area schools are disappointing and it is a reminder that much work is still needed to ensure the 2SLGBTQIA+ community is accepted and more importantly safe.

“I came out and stayed out through the 1980s and 90s so I know firsthand of the prejudice and abuse that was directed toward the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Unfortunately, back then hostility and violence directed toward our community was accepted and tolerated. Many lives were ruined and even lost only because a person’s sexual orientation or gender identification was different than what society deemed normal and acceptable.” said Evans

Evans says during Pride Month we remember how far the 2SLGBTQIA+ community has come in the march for equality, and remind ourselves of how much further we have to come – especially for the transgender community.

“We have made huge strives as a modern society. Today we recognize that difference has to be assumed and inclusion instead of exclusion is the acceptable behavior,” said Evans.

“With this in mind, I hope the students attending school in Mount Pearl and Paradise – and throughout the province – are not discouraged by these acts of vandalism. May they rise above it and use it as a teaching opportunity. The thread of the growth of society depends upon the quality of education that is being imparted, so we are relying on you to advance the growth of an inclusive society.”

 

Contacts:

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Evans says recent reports of burned Pride flags at metro area schools are disappointing and it is a reminder that much work is still needed to ensure the 2SLGBTQIA+ community is accepted and more importantly safe.
Burned Pride flags in Metro area disturbing, shows importance of Pride: Evans

PC Opposition offers condolences after passing of George Murphy

(June 6, 2021) – PC Opposition Leader David Brazil is today offering his condolences, on behalf of the PC Opposition, to the loved ones of former MHA George Murphy.

“George Murphy was a true gentleman, whose kind heart and warm smile made the politics of Newfoundland and Labrador better. I ran against George in a 2010 by-election and I could not ask for a more dignified opponent, whose love for the province was evident at every turn,” said Brazil.

“My sincere condolences to his family and friends. 10-4, George. You will be missed.”

 

Contacts:

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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Sunday, June 6, 2021
PC Opposition Leader David Brazil is today offering his condolences, on behalf of the PC Opposition, to the loved ones of former MHA George Murphy.
PC Opposition offers condolences after passing of George Murphy

100,000 counterfeit masks purchased by government for use in healthcare system: Dinn

(June 2, 2021) – Paul Dinn, PC Opposition Shadow Minister of Health and MHA for Topsail-Paradise, says he’s shocked to learn that this province received 100,000 counterfeit N95 masks – some of which were used in the healthcare system.

Documents revealed through access to information show a local supplier purchased 100,560 masks to supply to the provincial government. While the supplier received certification that the masks were genuine, on December 18 3M issued a notice about the counterfeits.

The counterfeits passed government occupational health and safety inspection in October 2020 and entered circulation in the healthcare system in November 2020.

“How on earth could these masks have passed inspection? The documents state the masks were bigger and of lower quality material than their legitimate counterparts,” said Dinn.

“The heroes serving on the frontline of our healthcare system need to know they’re being supplied with top-quality materials. This is a clear government failure, in the middle of a global pandemic.”

According to documents, it wasn’t until January 6 that officials with government became aware of the counterfeits. The documents show a number of masks were unaccounted for, presumably used by
healthcare workers.

Only after the issue was identified were the masks re-inspected and found to be faulty.

“Why did it take so long to identify and solve this issue? It took government almost three weeks to act on the 3M notification. This is unacceptable and a failure by government to protect those tasked with
protecting the province from COVID-19,” said Dinn.

“The counterfeit masks that did make it into circulation likely increased the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for frontline healthcare workers. I’m concerned about whether other counterfeit items have slipped through the cracks of government oversight.”

Supporting ATIPPA documents

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Digital Strategy

(p) 709-729-3668

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Dinn says he’s shocked to learn that this province received 100,000 counterfeit N95 masks – some of which were used in the healthcare system.
100,000 counterfeit masks purchased by government for use in healthcare system: Dinn

Wakeham concerned about education gaps as Bay St. George schools remain open during Alert Level 4

(June 1, 2021) – Tony Wakeham, MHA for Stephenville-Port au Port, says he’s hearing the concerns of parents, students, and teachers about schools remaining open while the region is under Alert Level 4.

“I’ve heard from constituents expressing their anxiety about schools remaining open. This decision must be reviewed. I appreciate the expertise of public health officials and the school district, but the anxiety among my constituents is real,” said Wakeham.

“Further, the lack of options for online learning for students in the region who are self-isolating creates a gap in education. Some parents are choosing to keep their students at home, only creating more gaps in learning during this period.”

Wakeham is calling on Ministers Osborne and Haggie to explain the decision to keep schools open for in-person learning to ensure transparency and to understand what is being done to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools in the region.

“I understand a balance has to be struck. Students do better in-person than during virtual learning, by and large. But if students are isolating and being kept home during the outbreak, their education must continue,” said Wakeham.

“Most of all, I encourage the people of the region under Alert Level Four to follow public health advice and keep each other safe as public health works to contain the outbreak. We can get through it.”

 

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Tony Wakeham, MHA for Stephenville-Port au Port, says he’s hearing the concerns of parents, students, and teachers about schools remaining open while the region is under Alert Level 4.
Wakeham concerned about education gaps as Bay St. George schools remain open during Alert Level 4

Change starts… eventually in Furey’s slow start budget: Brazil, Wakeham

(May 31, 2021) – PC Opposition Leader David Brazil and Tony Wakeham, PC Opposition Shadow Minister of Finance, say Furey’s first budget is full of aspiration and tax increases, but light on details.

The 2021 budget is the highest spending budget in the province’s history, at $9.3 billion. Yet, in 2022-23 expenses are projected to be slashed by $900 million.

“Today’s budget is foreshadowing for huge cuts in spending in next year’s document. The budget today announced a series of reviews and analysis to come, but lacked any detail on what spending cuts we can expect in next year’s document,” said Brazil.

“Minister Coady said repeatedly that we didn’t get in this financial mess overnight, yet all the spending reduction is due next year with no detail for how government gets there. Is that when we can expect a 25 per cent cut to healthcare? Is that when Memorial University will become Memorial College?”

Wakeham says while tax increases are a burden on the province, it’s good to see only those in higher earning brackets will see their taxes go up.

The province needs to tread carefully on planned review of public assets to be put up for sale, said Wakeham.

“You can only sell a public asset once. As a province, we must be certain that any sale of public assets is for the long-term benefit of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. We can’t let a short-sighted cash grab impede long-term revenues and employment for the province,” said Wakeham.

“The PC Caucus is willing to have conversations with the Liberal government about initiatives announced in today’s budget, but transparency is vital. The people of the province deserve to know the details of what Furey plans to pluck from his Greene report and impose on Newfoundland and Labrador.”
 

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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Monday, May 31, 2021
PC Opposition Leader David Brazil and Tony Wakeham, PC Opposition Shadow Minister of Finance, say Furey’s first budget is full of aspiration and tax increases, but light on details.
Change starts… eventually in Furey’s slow start budget: Brazil, Wakeham

Future of Terra Nova FPSO in jeopardy due to Liberal inaction: Parrott

(May 27, 2021) – Lloyd Parrott, PC Opposition Shadow Minister of Industry, Energy, and Technology and MHA for Terra Nova, says time is ticking for the Terra Nova FPSO and the Liberal government has failed to secure a deal to maintain the project.

According to a report in allNewfoundlandLabrador, unless all industry partners can agree to continue the project, it will be abandoned within the next three weeks.

“It’s clear the Liberals have not done enough to facilitate these discussions and guide the parties to a path that ensures jobs for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians The $175 million agreement announced the day before the election has expired without results,” said Parrott.

“To let these jobs vanish at this moment of economic crisis is just not acceptable. There is a pathway to an agreement here and the Liberals have failed to get there to date.”

The Premier’s own report on the economic future of this province slammed the federal and provincial governments for not supporting the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, stating the window for investment in the offshore is narrowed to as little as ten years:

“If development in the province does not happen within these time lines, considerable wealth will be stranded, hindering the province’s ability to improve its fiscal situation and limiting its ability to fund a transition to a green economy,” reads the PERT report, page 89.

Parrott says every effort must be made to salvage the project and help get Newfoundlanders and Labradorians back to work.

“If oil and gas royalties decline, it means government has to raise taxes further or find even deeper cuts than are recommended by Moya Greene. The Terra Nova project is key to ensuring a good future for the economy of our province,” said Parrott.

“We’re talking about almost 900 jobs directly associated with the project. That’s hundreds of families who rely on this project to maintain a life here in Newfoundland and Labrador. More than that, the spin-off employment and business loss will ripple throughout the economy. A failure on Terra Nova is a failure for the entire province.”
 

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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Thursday, May 27, 2021
Parrott says time is ticking for the Terra Nova FPSO and the Liberal government has failed to secure a deal to maintain the project.
Future of Terra Nova FPSO in jeopardy due to Liberal inaction: Parrott

PC Opposition will carry on with Elections Committee: Petten, Conway Ottenheimer

(May 18, 2021) – Barry Petten, PC Opposition House Leader, and Helen Conway Ottenheimer, PC Opposition Deputy House Leader and Shadow Minister of Justice, say while the process for making changes to the Elections Act is flawed in its current make up, they’d rather be at the decision making table than sitting on the sidelines.

“We believe it’s better to be a part of this review than to sit on the sidelines. We have issues with the composition of the committee, which Minister Hogan has ignored, but to step away from such a critical review would be a disservice to our constituents,” said Petten.

“There must be an independent investigation of the 2021 General Election. We don’t believe the court process is enough to truly get to the bottom of what went wrong in the election. A thorough, independent investigation will strengthen the legislation brought to the House of Assembly in the end.”

Conway Ottenheimer says she hopes Minister Hogan will work with the PC Caucus on this important issue and not let partisanship taint the process.

“The Liberal majority on the committee means the Liberal government has sway over what is a non-partisan issue. That’s why this committee demands an approach that puts aside partisanship and focuses on the issues,” said Conway Ottenheimer.

“This is about restoring faith in our electoral process. The people of the province need to see this committee do its work in public, with political independence, and with utmost transparency. The PC caucus will do everything we can to restore confidence in our democracy.”
 

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021
"The PC caucus will do everything we can to restore confidence in our democracy.”
PC Opposition will carry on with Elections Committee: Petten, Conway Ottenheimer

Government slow to respond to Fogo Island Ferry issues: Petten

(May 14, 2021) – Barry Petten, PC Opposition Critic for Transportation and Infrastructure and MHA for Conception Bay South, says government was slow to react to damages to the Legionnaire on the Fogo Island-Change Islands run, leaving residents without critical supplies.

“Residents have been without a ferry for days after an electrical failure caused the Legionnaire to crash into the wharf on May 11 and do significant damage. While repairs are ongoing, there is no date for the vessel to return to service,” said Petten.

“Commuters have been trapped, residents are missing critical medical appointments, supplies are running low, and landed fish products are at risk of spoiling. This is a critical situation and residents are demanding to know where Ministers Bragg and Loveless are.”

Petten says government was slow to institute air travel alternatives, with concerns for the frequency of those trips now that they are in place.

“Does Government have another swing vessel available that could be deployed to the area? Does Labrador Marine have any vessels available that could assist? Does the Canadian Coast Guard have any capacity to transport goods and people?” said Petten.

“Yet again, this government has done a poor job communicating with the residents and has been slow to respond with limited fixed-wing air service. This is just not good enough.”
 

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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Friday, May 14, 2021
"This is a critical situation and residents are demanding to know where Ministers Bragg and Loveless are.”
Government slow to respond to Fogo Island Ferry issues: Petten

Disturbing sexual assault numbers in Labrador a symptom of social inequality: Evans, Conway Ottenheimer

(May 12, 2021) – Lela Evans, PC Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and Labrador Affairs and MHA for Torngat Mountains, says the recent story on sexual assault numbers in Labrador must be put into the proper context if real solutions are to be implemented.

The Canadian Press recently reported sexual assaults in Labrador are more than four times the national average.

Evans says she believes these numbers are a symptom of the larger inequality faced by Labradorians.

“Social inequality is real. Food insecurity, lack of adequate housing, and poverty have all contributed to the continuation of intergenerational trauma that originated with past governmental wrongs. I believe that the higher rates of sexual assault, incarceration, suicide, children in care are all symptoms of the continued failure for government to address inequality that Labradorians face,” said Evans.

“These numbers are alarming but we cannot deny them. Societal inequalities affect all Labradorians, but we know Indigenous populations are disproportionately harmed. We can rename every lake in the province, but if these ingrained, intergenerational inequalities are not addressed, the lives of Labradorians and Indigenous populations will continue to suffer.”

Helen Conway Ottenheimer, PC Shadow Minister of Women and Gender Equality, says far too often it is women who suffer because of social inequalities highlighted by Evans.

“This is a human rights issue that affects all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, but particularly women in the region. Women are affected disproportionately across society when there is social inequality,” said Conway Ottenheimer.

“It’s time for this government to recognize the social inequality faced by those living in Labrador. It affects everyone, but we know women are more frequently the victims of violence and are forced into unsafe situations due to inequality and discrimination.”
 

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021
The Canadian Press recently reported sexual assaults in Labrador are more than four times the national average.
Disturbing sexual assault numbers in Labrador a symptom of social inequality: Evans, Conway Ottenheimer

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