For Immediate Release
23 January, 2023
NDP Leader, James Dinn, MHA for St. John’s Centre released the following in a late night in emergency debate of the House of Assembly for legislation introduced this morning. The NDP had denied government leave at the start of proceedings to prevent legislation from being rushed through the House of Assembly without thorough debate, or a question period where government would be held to account.
“Newfoundland and Labrador needs a reliable province-wide ambulance service that is there when they need it. That is why we voted yes, not because we believe this was the action for the Liberal government to take the day after paramedics took job action.
“This morning, we refused to let legislation be rushed through without the time to properly review and consult with the groups it would affect. We have seen from this government the inadequacies legislation can have when that doesn’t happen and the Liberal government asks us to trust blindly. The Provincial Health Authority Act, and the Pay Equity Act are but two examples from 2022.
“This was a crisis of the Premier’s own making. This weekend he made a choice that can be seen as a veiled attempt to force workers back to work after taking strike action at the end of last week.
“Rather than be proactive over the last year when his Minister of Labour was well aware of how dire the negotiations were getting between Teamsters Local 855 and an employer who refused to come to the table, the Liberal government waited for a crisis point.
“Though we sat late into the night, this important emergency debate was granted the time for members to prepare, review what was being proposed and to ask questions to hold government to account.
“We hope today that the Liberal government has learned its lesson on rushing legislation and rather than waiting for a crisis point to take action, they listen to workers and start repairing decades of disrespect shown to healthcare workers in this province.
“Fundamentally, the NDP believes in modernized labour relations, which ensure that workers can bargain fairly under a strong Labour Relations Act within a public healthcare system.
“When the next crisis point happens under this government that compels them to try to rush legislation through the House of Assembly, the NDP will be there to hold them to account.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com