Hogan puts revenue ahead of public

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Hogan puts revenue ahead of public safety with NL911 move: Conway Ottenheimer
Helen Conway Ottenheimer says Minister Hogan made it clear: moving NL911 into government is about a tax grab, not about better emergency services for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Wednesday, April 6, 2022

(April 06, 2022) – Helen Conway Ottenheimer, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister of Justice and Public Safety and MHA for Harbour Main, says Minister Hogan made it clear: moving NL911 into government is about a tax grab, not about better emergency services for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“There have been no issues with the administration of 911 service in Newfoundland and Labrador. Yet, the Minister of Justice has claimed bringing the service into government is about public safety, but could provide no examples where public safety is harmed in the current arrangement. The Minister is insulting the existing board of NL911 while chasing a 75 cent-per-telephone fee for provincial revenues,” said Conway Ottenheimer.

“Of the 75 cent per phone – which includes landlines and cell phones alike – 7 cents goes to the service provider for administration, with the rest to flow into general revenues of the province. The revenue should be exclusively used for NL911 services, but the Minister is choosing to go after that fee, rather than focus on quality emergency services.”

Conway Ottenheimer says she has yet to hear a credible reason for bringing NL911 into government, yet the Minister is determined to see the change made.

“An external NL 911 corporation was recommended to government as a way to ensure autonomy and speed of service to the public. Bringing the service into government risks weighing it down in bureaucracy, which could have affects on the ability of the NL911 to be nimble in response to issues,” said Conway Ottenheimer.

“We all know how important 911 service is to everyone in the province, which is why it’s important for the Minister to explain the benefits of the proposed arrangement. The Minister has not given those reasons, which means bringing NL911 into government is just about revenue, not about public safety.”

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Contacts:

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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