It's funny how a by-election takes the finality out of a final decision. The Ministry of Truth (Provincial) reports this morning:
Government hears concerns of residents in Flower's Cove and Lewisporte: WilliamsMeanwhile, the Ministry reported yesterday:
Premier Danny Williams says he's pleased to see Flower's Cove and Lewisporte willing to work with government to find solutions to growing health care and infrastructure costs. Fresh from a trip to the Northern Peninsula with the province's new Health Minister Jerome Kennedy, Williams says government is hearing the concerns on the ground in the effected communities. Williams says the by-election in the Straits-White Bay North is giving him a chance to tackle the issue in partnerships with the people. Williams says the communities understand if any changes are to be made to the decisions to cut lab and x-ray services from either area, the saving will have to be found elsewhere.
Lab and X-Ray Workers in Lewisporte Laid Off: NAPESadly, the script ends there, with no indication of what Kennedy's message, by now decidedly mixed, might be.
NAPE says Layoff notices have been issued to staff at the laboratory and x-ray clinic in Lewisporte. President Carol Furlong says layoffs were issued on Wednesday, the same time Health Minister Jerome Kennedy announced he would meet with concerned citizens next week regarding closure of the clinic. Furlong says workers have been told to choose between layoff or displacement and must give the employer their choice in writing by next Wednesday. NAPE says it's premature to be issuing notices when the new Minister has yet to make a final decision. Kennedy met with officials in Flower's Cove on Wednesday and delivered a message of consultation and dialogue.
Meantime, Jerome Kennedy has told VOCM News that he had been given no notice that pink slips would be going out to lab and x-ray workers in Lewisporte. NAPE says notices were issued on Wednesday, giving workers the option of being laid off or displaced. The newly-appointed Health Minister says since learning of the notices he has been in contact with the town's mayor, Brian Peckford, and the head of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Rural Newfoundland and Labrador, Reverend Art Elliot. Kennedy says he told them he still plans to meet with them next week and discuss the clinic's future. Kennedy says his message remains the same