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Transportation and health care important issues in southern Labrador and Northern Peninsula

Newfoundland and Labrador voters will go to the polls on Thursday, May 16.
Newfoundland and Labrador voters will go to the polls on Thursday, May 16. - SaltWire File Photo

Constituents speak out

The Northern Pen took to social media last week to see what issues people wanted highlighted in this election.

A host of concerns were raised with transportation and health care as big points of focus.

Transportation

In an email, Warrick Chubbs brought up concerns about the cost of the new ferry service to taxpayers.

The MV Qajaq, which started its run in the Strait of Belle Isle this past January, faced a number of cancellations this winter due to heavy ice conditions.

Chubbs was concerned that taxpayers were paying too much for an ineffectual service.

“How much is it costing the taxpayers to have a ferry tied up and no good in ice?” he asked. “The Coast Guard steaming back and forth across the Straits and into Corner Brook every three to four days to refuel and refit, charter a plane to fly passengers from Blanc Sablon to St. Anthony and back, flying mail across the Straits, paying truck companies to take long route around with food and when it arrived most had to be thrown away because it was frozen.”

Hedley Ryland highlighted transportation, specifically the ferry, as a concern.

James Jones brought up concerns around coastal ferry services.

“Norman Bay lost their ferry service a year ago and Black Tickle is very uncertain,” he said. “The ferry service from Charlottetown to Norman Bay was dropped when Williams Harbour was resettled. I think that service should have stayed in place continuing on to Black Tickle and terminating at Cartwright, then return.”

Gerald Pye wanted to see a road connection to Henley Harbour and Cape Charles in southern Labrador, believing it would open up these areas as tourist attractions.

Health care

Pye also had concerns about health care and wanted to see a regional hospital built in southern Labrador.

Moira Magee continued the theme of concerns around health care and wanted to see restructuring in the province’s system.

“Half a million people do not require four Executive Boards and Hospital Boards and God help us if there’s a Pub board and free medical travel,” she wrote. “This is preposterous. It is the opposite of Community Care! We need the suits gone and the staff multiplied and Coordinated Care.”

She also wanted to see income support programs for people with disabilities.

Ryland wanted to see improvements in health care in the Labrador Straits area, between Red Bay and L’Anse au Clair.

MHA conduct

Respondents also discussed how they wanted their representatives to conduct themselves.

Magee and Stella Mailman called on transparency and honesty from politicians, while Kevin Rumbolt said MHAs should “pull constituents lines, not party lines.” He hoped for a minority government to help “get things back on track.”

Water

Jones highlighted that a number of communities in Cartwright – L’Anse au Clair were without an adequate water supply.

“Still bring water in buckets in winter and hose along the ground in summer,” he said. “In 2019 this is very unacceptable.”

Labrador resources

Pye believed that money generated from Labrador’s resources should be reinvested back into those districts to create jobs, while Chubbs wondered how much Labrador benefits from the ore being shipped out of Voisey’s Bay.

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