Towns rally against cuts

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Protesters hope message to government will be heeded

An estimated 1,200 people turned out in Lewisporte Thursday and more than 100 gathered in Flower's Cove to protest the provincial government's planned cuts to laboratory and X-ray services in the two towns.

Lewisporte Mayor Bill Hooper called the turnout excellent, but not unexpected considering the anger people are feeling about an announcement Monday by Health Minister Paul Oram.

Maggie Chambers (left photo) spoke on behalf of Flowers Cove Town Council, encouraging people to contact their MHAs to protest the changes to medical services. Photo by Aaron Beswick/Transcontinental Media. Well-known resident and retired teacher Hector

An estimated 1,200 people turned out in Lewisporte Thursday and more than 100 gathered in Flower's Cove to protest the provincial government's planned cuts to laboratory and X-ray services in the two towns.

Lewisporte Mayor Bill Hooper called the turnout excellent, but not unexpected considering the anger people are feeling about an announcement Monday by Health Minister Paul Oram.

With the exception of blood collection, both towns are facing losing lab and X-ray services at a date to be announced later this fall.

Residents in the Flower's Cove area will have to access services in St. Anthony and those in Lewisporte will have to travel to Gander or Grand Falls-Windsor when the changes take effect.

"The issue has really got people upset and they want to do everything they can to get the decision reversed," Hooper said.

"We've got petitions out," he said, and next week town leaders will plan further strategies to fight government's decision.

Cluny Sheppard, owner and president of Notre Dame Agencies in Lewisporte closed his store there between 1:30 and 3 p.m. so his employees could attend the rally.

He estimates 40 to 50 people working at the store participated in the protest.

"The whole of Notre Dame Bay is in shock. For us to lose services like that, it's going backwards," Sheppard said.

"If I had to give my employees two days off for this, I would."

Sheppard said the area around Lewisporte is growing in population and there are many people who are growing older and need more medical care.

"It's frightening that we could lose our lab and X-ray services," he said.

Sheppard said a lot of people are pleased area MHA Wade Verge is supporting them on this issue. He's doing exactly what his leader does, taking a stand, he said, comparing him to Premier Danny Williams' passion over issues he views as being important.

But Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones, who also attended the rally, accused the Tory MHA for backtracking on comments that he would stand up for his constituents.

"Wade Verge, I listened to what he had to say today and, in my opinion, he acted like a snivelling coward," Jones said.

Jones said Verge told the crowd the area is getting money for a long-term care facility and suggested they should be happy with that.

Verge could not be reached for comment before deadline.

Jones also said it's her opinion that cuts to medical services in Lewisporte and Flower's Cove are just the beginning for rural Newfoundland.

At the Flower's Cove protest, Anchor Point Mayor Gerry Gros said people showed up from the southern most border to the northern most border of the region, including St. Anthony.

He described the mood as "anger and support for our fight to get this decision reversed."

Gros said a petition will be circulated and a small representative committee of community leaders has requested meetings with Health Minister Paul Oram, Transportation Minister Trevor Taylor, who's also the MHA for The Straits-White Bay North and St. Barbe MHA Wally Young.

"Three or four of us will meet with the ministers and put our positions on the table and our concerns and go from there," Gros said.

The mayor said participants in the Flower's Cove protest also included business people and their employees and seniors who are concerned about their own health care.

Gros said the Flower's Cove clinic bought its own machine for blood testing for people on the blood thinner Warfarin because in the past some tests conducted in St. Anthony produced inaccurate results. "If we lose that now, it could become a life-or-death situation," he said.

NDP Leader, Lorraine Michael said Thursday she supports the people of the Lewisporte and Flower's Cove regions who are protesting the cuts to lab and X-ray services.

"The residents in these areas are sending a strong message to the provincial government and especially to the Health Minister, Paul Oram, at the rally they are having today," said Michael.

"The message is that people are not going to accept losing the services they now enjoy. Neither do they accept the manner in which the cuts were announced."

Michael is also calling on the minister to update the people of Newfoundland and Labrador on the status of an ongoing review of laboratory services.

dss@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Lewisporte, St. Anthony, Notre Dame Bay Gander Newfoundland and Labrador Anchor Point Cove regions

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Recent comments

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    You can't take candy away from a baby. Hey protesters, while you're all together like that, take up a collection, and get the businesses to donate a big chunk of change as well. With all the money you save by living in $50,000 homes you should be able to subsidize the government for maintaining all those costly, remote area medical services you all seem to be needy upon (but yet do not want to take responsibility for). Open your eyes people, look where you live. It's not reasonably sustainable. You bunch of dictators. All of you.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    You seem to love polls so much Bones how about todays poll on here where 77% say Williams should reverse its decision with respect to Flowers Cove and Lewisport. Now theres an overwhelming show of support for the little tyrant. Definition of a dictator. Just for you Bones. ONE WHO DICTATES AN ABSOLUTE RULER A DOMINEERING PERSON A RULER WITH OFTEN USURPED UNRESTRICTED AUTHORITY. Does that sound like your idol Danny Williams Bones? It sure as hell sounds that way to me. By the way that definition came from the Oxford a book I know you read cover to cover every day.

  • Jack
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Since Danny Williams has a habit of hurting Newfoundland and Labrador's main support base, which are rural people, I don't understand how his approval rating is in the 70 percent level?

    In my opinion, his approval rating should be less than 25% since he only cares about Avalon and less about the rest of the province.

    Best choice for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in the next provincial election is our own Anything But Conservative campaign, but against Danny Williams next time.

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    If anyone here thinks that Danny won't be voted back in is out to lunch.

  • Randy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Peaple always say ya get what ya vote for Tom Rideout tryed to get a little extra for Lewisport but was run down by Williams and his lackey MHA S..THen you turn around and vote a Danny lover back in...Some think you are getting what you desearve

  • Gordon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I wonder if the #1 Danny Williams cheerleader Bones thinks this is another great move by our beloved premier and Health Minister Oram. Danny backed Oram then again he also backed no crisis Wiseman and our resident cheerleader Bones backs all of them. Change your name Bones. It should be NO BACKBONE. By the way Bones why did you not answer any questions Mr Oliver asked you the other day? You just tried to defend your job. Having problems handeling the truth are ya NO BACKBONE? Tell the people of the Northern Penisula and the lewisport are why you think what Danny did is so great. I bet you can come up with a list of reasons none of which will make any more sence than the usual garbage you spew out here every day. Were all haters. Isnt that right NO BACKBONE? You are presented with the proof you lust after every day but when confronted with it you talk around it as usual. Heres a challenge NO BACKBONE. You will NEVER believe anything we say anyway so PROVE US WRONG. Wheres all your evidence to show us what a bunch of nasty Danny haters we are and that nothing we ever say about the great man is true. SHOW US THE PROOF.

  • Beverly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I see Bones is having fun today playing the part of two people at least. We all know quite clearly how the real Graham feels about all this but Bones in his twisted little mind thinks that by pretending to be Graham and post those idiotic comments some how we will believe him get a friggin life Bones. Better yet get a job and you wont have as much free time on your hands to demonstrate your absolute stupidity here.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Graham your one-side only, no compromise, my-way-or-the-highway approach sounds like a makings of a little dictator yourself. So I guess you are the authority on dictators after all. Again, you're a one man gong show with serious mental issues. This hate consumes you in your entirety, you go to bed at night rocking back and forth, still uttering 'dictator... dictator... dictator...' don't you ? hahaha

  • up4discussion
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    As of mid October, 2008, Newfoundland and Labrador has been considered a Have' province. Why then, are there cuts being made and lack of funding for services to fine Newfoundland towns such as these?

  • Wilson
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Show us YOUR proof Bones. Tell us how wonderfully Danny is now. He apparently has no problem with Orams actions after all he backed Wiseman right to the end. Tell us why this latest move by The Dictator is such a good one Bones.

  • Richard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    They're maintaining blood collection services. I guess the folks on the Avalon still need that from us.

  • brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I watched footing on the news last night. The amount of people smoking during the protest validates their concerns about the inability to have a chest / lung xray service in their community. BTW I thought Eastern Health banned smoking on their property?

  • Helen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Cant waite to hear the great Bones defend Danny Castro on this move. All us Danny haters wnt to know what you think Bones.

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Finally, now that we are a 'have' province we can enjoy all the things that this status holds for us. Now we have centralized health care. This, when the province 'invests in the future' by pouring hundreds of million$ into Nalcor and nalcor is more than willing to pour tens of million$ into energy exploration. Where is the pittance that would keep these labs and x-ray units open? Saskatchewan, which has suffered during this recent downturn more than N&L, delivers, according to a recent story in the telegram, even in it's smaller communities a level of healthcare that we rural citizens of our province deserve and should be receiving. Nothing against Danny Williams, the Liberals were good at centralization too, but this government has to wake up and see the pain they are causing by these poorly thought out moves.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Well well ole Bones has hit a new low. He now comes on here pretending to be me. Should I be flattered or insulted. Anyone who ever read anythjing I have written on here knows full well how I feel about Danny Williams and his bunch of clones. Call me a hater call me what you will. Granted theres more than one person with the name Graham but just reading that comment by the Bones created Graham it sounds just like and uses words only Bones is comfortable with. Well give ya credit Bones thats one way to get me to agree with you. Just pretend your me. Nice move but about as original as your we are all Danny haters comments. Desperation leads to drastis action. Are you now so desperate Bones that you have stooped even lower than I thought you could ever go. If I had my way Bones there would be a mass protest at Confederation Building the Day King Danny opens the House again for a few hours to push through some legislation he wants. Dont really expect to see you there Bones. you dont have the guts for that anyway.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    You can't take candy away from a baby. Hey protesters, while you're all together like that, take up a collection, and get the businesses to donate a big chunk of change as well. With all the money you save by living in $50,000 homes you should be able to subsidize the government for maintaining all those costly, remote area medical services you all seem to be needy upon (but yet do not want to take responsibility for). Open your eyes people, look where you live. It's not reasonably sustainable. You bunch of dictators. All of you.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    You seem to love polls so much Bones how about todays poll on here where 77% say Williams should reverse its decision with respect to Flowers Cove and Lewisport. Now theres an overwhelming show of support for the little tyrant. Definition of a dictator. Just for you Bones. ONE WHO DICTATES AN ABSOLUTE RULER A DOMINEERING PERSON A RULER WITH OFTEN USURPED UNRESTRICTED AUTHORITY. Does that sound like your idol Danny Williams Bones? It sure as hell sounds that way to me. By the way that definition came from the Oxford a book I know you read cover to cover every day.

  • Jack
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Since Danny Williams has a habit of hurting Newfoundland and Labrador's main support base, which are rural people, I don't understand how his approval rating is in the 70 percent level?

    In my opinion, his approval rating should be less than 25% since he only cares about Avalon and less about the rest of the province.

    Best choice for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in the next provincial election is our own Anything But Conservative campaign, but against Danny Williams next time.

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    If anyone here thinks that Danny won't be voted back in is out to lunch.

  • Randy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Peaple always say ya get what ya vote for Tom Rideout tryed to get a little extra for Lewisport but was run down by Williams and his lackey MHA S..THen you turn around and vote a Danny lover back in...Some think you are getting what you desearve

  • Gordon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I wonder if the #1 Danny Williams cheerleader Bones thinks this is another great move by our beloved premier and Health Minister Oram. Danny backed Oram then again he also backed no crisis Wiseman and our resident cheerleader Bones backs all of them. Change your name Bones. It should be NO BACKBONE. By the way Bones why did you not answer any questions Mr Oliver asked you the other day? You just tried to defend your job. Having problems handeling the truth are ya NO BACKBONE? Tell the people of the Northern Penisula and the lewisport are why you think what Danny did is so great. I bet you can come up with a list of reasons none of which will make any more sence than the usual garbage you spew out here every day. Were all haters. Isnt that right NO BACKBONE? You are presented with the proof you lust after every day but when confronted with it you talk around it as usual. Heres a challenge NO BACKBONE. You will NEVER believe anything we say anyway so PROVE US WRONG. Wheres all your evidence to show us what a bunch of nasty Danny haters we are and that nothing we ever say about the great man is true. SHOW US THE PROOF.

  • Beverly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    I see Bones is having fun today playing the part of two people at least. We all know quite clearly how the real Graham feels about all this but Bones in his twisted little mind thinks that by pretending to be Graham and post those idiotic comments some how we will believe him get a friggin life Bones. Better yet get a job and you wont have as much free time on your hands to demonstrate your absolute stupidity here.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Graham your one-side only, no compromise, my-way-or-the-highway approach sounds like a makings of a little dictator yourself. So I guess you are the authority on dictators after all. Again, you're a one man gong show with serious mental issues. This hate consumes you in your entirety, you go to bed at night rocking back and forth, still uttering 'dictator... dictator... dictator...' don't you ? hahaha

  • up4discussion
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    As of mid October, 2008, Newfoundland and Labrador has been considered a Have' province. Why then, are there cuts being made and lack of funding for services to fine Newfoundland towns such as these?

  • Wilson
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Show us YOUR proof Bones. Tell us how wonderfully Danny is now. He apparently has no problem with Orams actions after all he backed Wiseman right to the end. Tell us why this latest move by The Dictator is such a good one Bones.

  • Richard
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    They're maintaining blood collection services. I guess the folks on the Avalon still need that from us.

  • brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    I watched footing on the news last night. The amount of people smoking during the protest validates their concerns about the inability to have a chest / lung xray service in their community. BTW I thought Eastern Health banned smoking on their property?

  • Helen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Cant waite to hear the great Bones defend Danny Castro on this move. All us Danny haters wnt to know what you think Bones.

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Finally, now that we are a 'have' province we can enjoy all the things that this status holds for us. Now we have centralized health care. This, when the province 'invests in the future' by pouring hundreds of million$ into Nalcor and nalcor is more than willing to pour tens of million$ into energy exploration. Where is the pittance that would keep these labs and x-ray units open? Saskatchewan, which has suffered during this recent downturn more than N&L, delivers, according to a recent story in the telegram, even in it's smaller communities a level of healthcare that we rural citizens of our province deserve and should be receiving. Nothing against Danny Williams, the Liberals were good at centralization too, but this government has to wake up and see the pain they are causing by these poorly thought out moves.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Well well ole Bones has hit a new low. He now comes on here pretending to be me. Should I be flattered or insulted. Anyone who ever read anythjing I have written on here knows full well how I feel about Danny Williams and his bunch of clones. Call me a hater call me what you will. Granted theres more than one person with the name Graham but just reading that comment by the Bones created Graham it sounds just like and uses words only Bones is comfortable with. Well give ya credit Bones thats one way to get me to agree with you. Just pretend your me. Nice move but about as original as your we are all Danny haters comments. Desperation leads to drastis action. Are you now so desperate Bones that you have stooped even lower than I thought you could ever go. If I had my way Bones there would be a mass protest at Confederation Building the Day King Danny opens the House again for a few hours to push through some legislation he wants. Dont really expect to see you there Bones. you dont have the guts for that anyway.