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Barry Petten, Transportation Critic for the Official Opposition, says the Ball Liberals have no excuse for stranding an ambulance on the highway during a snow storm.
Friday, January 4, 2019

St. John’s, NL (January 4, 2019) – Barry Petten, Transportation Critic for the Official Opposition, says the Ball Liberals have no excuse for stranding an ambulance on the highway during a snow storm.

For hours in the early morning of January 2, a Smith’s Ambulance was left stranded on the Trans-Canada Highway while returning to Whitbourne after dropping a patient in St. John’s.  The Ball government refused to send a snow plow to clear a path for the vehicle to complete its journey home.

“Refusing to send a snowplow to provide an emergency escort for an ambulance stranded on the Trans-Canada Highway during a snow storm is inexcusable, and people are shaking their heads that Transportation Minister Crocker allowed this to happen and is defending it,” said Petten.

“When health care professionals are left stranded like this, not only are they at risk, but they are unable to do their job of responding to emergencies in their communities.”

Petten said, “It’s not unusual in winter, or any other season, for ambulances to have to take patients from local clinics to the tertiary care facilities in the capital for the advanced care the patients require.  Winter storms are not uncommon here, so it’s not unreasonable to expect the Transportation and Health departments to have a plan of action ready to kick in when ambulances are stuck in the snow.  The lack of such a plan is shocking, but it’s all the more appalling to hear the Minister rationalize the government’s negligence as if it’s okay.”

Petten said this reminds people of the situation around Trepassey a month ago when the opening of school at Stella Maris Academy was delayed at least three times because a plow was not stationed near enough to the region to clear the snow.  “When the Liberals promised their budget cuts would not leave the highway inaccessible to school buses and emergency vehicles, they were not wrong – and now we have yet another serious example of the consequences that arise when the failure of Liberal government planning is depriving people of vital emergency services.  It’s just not good enough,” he said.

Contacts:
Bradley Russell
Director of Policy and Research
(p) 1.709.729.3668
(c) 1.709.685.3161
BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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