NDP Leader Lorraine Michael visited Trouty Tuesday, a day after post-tropical storm Ophelia passed through, to get a first-hand look at the damage done to recently repaved roads.
Flanked by NDP candidates Vanessa Wiseman (Trinity North) and Darryl Johnson (Bonavista South), Michael listened to what residents had to say.
Lloyd Miller said his concern is the infrastructure put in place after last year’s hurricane Igor is inadequate.
Miller told Michael he spoke to everyone from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to then premier Danny Williams about the need for bigger culverts for water run-off, but no one listened.
After speaking with residents, Michael talked to the media.
“We are here to listen to people’s concerns. They know the waters in this area,” she said, adding that residents should be consulted on what’s needed to help prevent something like this from happening again.
Michael said the Progressive Conservative government has ignored local knowledge and contended the infrastructure installed post-Igor actually reduced water flow under the Trouty bridge.
Ross Wiseman, the PC incumbent for Trinity North, was also in Trouty Tuesday, but left before Michael arrived.
Wiseman also wanted to assess the damage first-hand.
“Highway crews and engineering people have been here since (Monday) to see if there are any lessons to be learned from last year’s damage, to make sure we don’t repeat it,” he said.
After wrapping up in Trouty, Michael and the local candidates were off to Port Union, where displaced plant workers from the Ocean Choice International (OCI) plant face an uncertain future.
The three NDP members expressed their concerns about the plant closure.
Plant worker Kevin Mackey came out to meet Michael and the other candidates and expressed the uncertainty people are feeling. He said it is difficult to live in a community not knowing what’s going to happen.
“We are looking for answers,” Mackey said.
Michael told the small crowd that gathered that the government should be pressing OCI for an answer.
“I believe it’s the province’s responsibility to get answers from the company. (Today’s) government hasn’t asked that question,” she said.
Although it’s not explicitly in the NDP party’s platform, Michael said the Port Union situation is an issue that will be pressed by the NDP.