Lawsuit aims to block air ambulance move

Dave Bartlett
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1981 transfer of IGA's resources to province the basis of case

The Town of St. Anthony, the local chamber of commerce and a community group have launched a court challenge to try to keep the air ambulance based in St. Anthony.

In March, the province announced it was moving the ambulance to Happy Valley-Goose Bay and has since said the transfer will happen May 30.

The Town of St. Anthony, the local chamber of commerce and a community group have launched a court challenge to try to keep the air ambulance based in St. Anthony.

In March, the province announced it was moving the ambulance to Happy Valley-Goose Bay and has since said the transfer will happen May 30.

That's led to protests in both St. Anthony and St. John's.

The provincial Liberals have also challenged the government on the move a number of times in the House of Assembly since.

The group that launched the suit in the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in Corner Brook is represented by Daniel's Harbour lawyer and one time Liberal leader Jim Bennett.

The case is based on a 1981 document which transferred health services and infrastructure - including two air ambulances, according to Bennett - from the International Grenfell Association (IGA) and Grenfell Regional Health Services to the province.

"If the government now takes the air ambulance away, then what they are really doing is they're stripping some of the benefits from this agreement," Bennett told The Telegram this week.

"So we need to get them into court on a definition of what it means to provide health services as the IGA was doing and if they take away the air ambulance are they diminishing the health services that was being provided," he continued.

The case is scheduled to go before a judge on June 25.

But because that is after the date of the move, Bennett plans to ask the court on May 28 for a court order to delay the relocation until the case can go to trial.

He said all he has to prove at the earlier hearing is that he has an arguable case and that there will be "irreparable harm" if government proceeds with the move.

St. Anthony Mayor Ernest Simms told The Telegram Friday it's just the latest attempt to try and stop the transfer.

"We've tried reason, we've tried common sense approaches to this and none of that has seemed to work," he said.

"All four signing parties to that (1981) agreement saw the government taking over and providing the services that were necessary in the area," Simms said. "We've been seeing a degradation of (those) services for the past number of years."

The mayor went on to say that before the agreement was signed, the hospital in St. Anthony was run almost free of government, except for some funding, and provided an excellent service.

Simms said the air ambulance transfer is just the latest issue to arise.

"It's a sad day when you have to (go to court) to prove you're right in a democracy, in my mind," he said.

According to the document, some of the property retained by the IGA is located in Labrador. And both Bennett and Simms acknowledge the IGA also operated in Labrador, where the ambulance is to be relocated.

When The Telegram asked Bennett what he thought the chances are of winning the case, he was frank.

"I wouldn't put any money on this argument one way or the other," he said. "We may get just blown out of the water but on the other hand (the town), in my view, have a reasonable case, a good case."

Bennett also said the document may show previous government policies also contravene the agreement, including the formation of the current Labrador Grenfell Health Authority.

The Telegram contacted both the Premier's Office and the Justice Department for comment on Friday and received a response via e-mail.

"The Department of Justice is aware of the application. As this matter is currently before the courts, the attorney general has no further comment at this time," it stated.

dbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: IGA, The Telegram, Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Grenfell Regional Health Services Department of Justice Labrador Grenfell Health Authority

Geographic location: St. Anthony, Happy Valley, Goose Bay St. John's Corner Brook Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Skittles
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Dave, no crew in HVGB is just for the short term. It wil have a crew stationed there full time.
    A plane in HVGB with a crew will serve St. Anthony better. Less than 1 hr will be there from Labrador OR St.John's.
    Before, the crew had to be flown in from St.Johns anyway, so the plane that flown them in can also take the person back to St. John's with them, no time lost.
    Better service also because if St. John's was fogged in, no crew could fly out to St. Anthony. Now there is another crew in HVGB available, so your coverage has DOUBLED!
    At least you have a hospital...we have no cat scan machine, geez the only hospital in NL without a Obstetrician to deliver babies!

  • WTF
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I find it hard to take this seriously with Bennett involved.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I cannot believe how this issue seems to have become a Labrador versus St. Anthony issue. From what I understand, the Air Ambulance serves the entire Island portion of the province...not just St. Anthony. All people on the Island will now have increased wait times by moving the service to Goose Bay. I'm sure Government is loving how this is being played out in the media as being a Labrador versus St. Anthony issue. Really takes the focus off the fact at hand....this is just another bad decision based on inaccurate and incomplete information by our government...just what the government wanted to happen. Sad part is it will be too late once the plane moves and everyone realizes the true consequences of this decision. I guess this is what government is hoping will happen.

  • john j.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    The sad part about this decision is that eventually the people are the ones who will be hurt the most, on the island and in Labrador,if this decision is not reversed.If this causes the St Anthony Airport to close and it certainly looks that way, the closes place the Medevac Plane can land is Deer Lake,a four and a half hour drive at the best of times from most communities on the tip of the Northern Peninusla.This will not sit well for Southern Labrador either.The only other opition in case of an emergency is a four and a half hour ambulance ride, up the peninusla which greatly increases the percentage for lost of life,not a pretty picture.Surely God life should take precedence over a hasty and ill advised political decision and the mighty dollar.Cooler heads need to prevail here before goverment has gone down a road from which there maybe no return.

  • Lab12
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Sorry Dave but your dead wrong. Planes leaving St. Anthony for Wabush have failed a number of times to bring sick and injured persons to better equipped hospitals. The fact is the service in HVGB grants us here an hour of life saving time we did not have before. You had it at your beckoning call, we have had people die.

    Thanks.

    Move it to serve the wider area is a smart move no matter what you might think. You need a job? Lots up here. Why do you not pack up and come, you just might like it.

  • angie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    leave that one where it is and build one in Lab City, i know it's easier said than done but it can be done.

  • realistic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I respect everyone's opinion and i take them all in stride! But it appalls me when i see someone from Ontario trying to tell us about how the government is running our province. Any competent person who lives in the St Anthony area can see the past 5 or 6 years have been good for us and we were heading in the right direction. Can't say the same thing now but we get what we voted for!!We will still get the basic services but the extras we were getting(because we had a strong MHA fighting for us) are gone. So there goes that great voice we elected!!
    Someone can say thats not fair...they can't do that but thats politics, been like that for years and will be like that for years to come.

    The health care system in this area is as good as any in the province. So much so that i know people coming to St Anthony from the Corner Brook area to see a doctor. But during the bi election our service was not adequate and they wanted another voice. Well you got your voice!! We have certainly gotten more than our fair share for the last few years and that didn't satisfy us...what else can you say!!

    And to Grace...have a look at your own premier and judge him!! The people in this province have spoken in what we think of ours. Try living in this area now and not 50 years ago...things have changed!!
    But the people in the Straits - White Bay North sent the premier a message...it said we didn't want all the investments that were coming to this area...GO FIGURE!!

    Now we go to the back of the line and try to fight for everything we get...but thats what the majority of us wanted!! We are a laughing stock right across this province!!

  • Grace
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    The Governments response to this crisis has been appalling. One would think that a suitable arrangement would have been arrived at through negiotiation and mediation, but instead the gov't has refused to reconsider or reasonably discuss this issue. So now the province has a premeir who makes unilateral decisions and refuses audience to those who oppose his unilateral decisions. What kind of governance is this? what options would the citizenry have but to go too court. Very sad statement and even sadder situation. We are back to medieval times, 400yrs post the reformation and renaissance.

  • overly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Face the newfoundlanders cant stand that the province is finally doing something good for labrador for once, if we had the hospital care here in Lab that you do in st anthony probably wouldnt be such a big deal, stop crying and get over it you bug bunch of babies.

  • Realistic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    To SW.....We need to remember that the only places this plane can land in Lab is GB and Wabush...... A chartered smaller plane is always used for the coastal communities......so yes St. Anthony is the hub. for NL and LAB............

  • Janice M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    To Overly concerned from Lab City: Your comment could not be further from the truth. I have been watching this story from the beginning and have never one person indicate that Labrador should not have fair and equitable health care, they certainly should.

    This decision is wrong, it will not help you or your counterparts in Goose Bay, the problem is not location of air craft but resources. I have visited your hospital and agree that you need more, but having said that it should not come at the expense of others in this great province of ours. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians alike should stand together and demand good health care for all. We have been told time and time again that we are a have province well we all should have good care. This decision was politcally based and made on flawed information, and an already set agenda, this is not democratic and we all deserve better. Please think about the divide and conquer approach that this government wants before you make comments that have no meritr divide us as a people. This decision will result in destruction of well established services that if they were enhanced would see many more lives saved all over our region. As it stands now many more lives may be lost as a rushed and ill thought out move is occuring without considering the health of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    John from Port Saunders I wish more people such as you would speak up and say the same thing. This is not a St. Anthony vs Labrador thing, rather it is a province wide issue. The plane based in St. Anthony is dispatched all over the province and often transports patients out of province. However I can see where many think it is a St. Anthony vs Labrador thing with moronic statements such as the one made by overly concerned from Lab City and the way that the gov has pushed their agenda. This government is vengeful. They proved it against their own members Liz Marshall and Fabian Manning. The report on the air ambulance was flawed. Where was the cost analysis? Where was the consultation with primary stakeholders? What about the fact that there are many inefficiencies in the system due to the lack of essential resources such as medical teams, something that the government failed to address until they decided the move the plane. A little dialogue with the professionals providing this service would have provided a wealth of information. Any consultant worth his salt would have been able to pick facts and ascertain if these people were leading him down the garden path, tossing out info to further their own agenda, or if they were being forthcoming and honest to enable improvements in ths system.

    No one in St. Anthony is fighting to do harm to Labrador. The attachment between both areas has been too strong for too long. We simply want to see a fair and honest analysis completed without political interference and without a pre-conceived outcome by the government. Not too much to ask for in a democratic state is it?

  • More realistic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    To Realistic in Newfoundland ...coming from a person who has no political ties one way or the other...I am beginning to believe that if the monopoly PC government asks for someone's head on a platter...you die hard PC's would reply, yeah...bring it on! Maybe I'll run my dog as the next PC candidate...I guess he'll get your vote too! I thought we were living in a democratic society...from what you are saying...we do not! It's simply a dictatorship...if you don't vote for me...face the consequences. Also, not being politically affiliated...I would put my money of Marshall Dean any day of the week as a better spokesperson and more involved within the district as compared to the recent PC MHA. Where was the honourable for the 6 years he was MHA for this area? Never seen him. I can personally relay one situation (during a strike) where he was called numerous times...never even answered our calls. So...to suggest we didn't vote for the appropriate candidate is not accurate...just wearing the wrong colour. I guess I'll start getting my dog to wear blue in preparation for the Fall of 2011. So much for a free society...I guess next time we'll just vote for the government of the day as is the case in our neighbouring district who voted PC...a person who has absolutely NO voice and is essentially a yes man! He does not even vote in the best interests of his constituents...just what we want! Good idea there!

  • realistic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    It is too bad that alot of the people complaining about this situation now were not concerned a few months ago. Easy enough to blame things on Danny and the government now...when a few months ago they were supporting a candidate who was not satisified with what was going on in the area. It certainly helps to have someone fighting for you around the caucus table and not just a voice in the wind, which is what the current MHA is in all of this.

    There is not one person in the St Anthony area that does not feel bad about what is happening. However, it is too late to close the gate once the horses are gone!! The district had a chance to stay the course but it elected to go the other way. Did we expect the Premier to reward the district...i think not. I think the rewards over the past 5 or 6 yrs speak for themselves!! Thats just the way politics works...neither you or I will change that. You just have to be smart enough to do things that will help you in the long run.

    As for the plane, it will be still landing in St Anthony. By the time the ambulance gets to the airport in St Anthony the plane from Goose Bay can be virtually there. No... one life should not be worth more than another, whether its in St Anthony or Labrador. So for those saying that people will now die in St Anthony doesn't say much for what you think of what has happened in Labrador for years.

    So for most of the people protesting...take a good look in the mirror. You are as much to blame as anyone. Your protesting came about 7 months too late!

    And its a joke to see Jim Bennett representing the town...should have asked Danny Dumeresque!!

  • Shawn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    overly concerned from labcity, NL writes: Face the newfoundlanders cant stand that the province is finally doing something good for labrador for once.


    I think you are mistaken there bud, the majority of the people in the province knows it is a good decision to move the air ambulance from St. Anthony to Labrador. It is only a few people on the Northern Peninsula who are oppose to it.

  • Bones
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    When they lose, will this be a waste of money too? Pretty telling when your own lawyer wouldn't bet on your chances one way or another, lol. They STILL don't realize this wouldn't have happened if their OWN member hadn't called for the review, do they? Now Bennett is going to undo the damage his own party colleague created while Yvonne is clapping success, at last, for Labrador? Just wow, lol.

  • Stop The Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Perhaps Danny and Jerome expropiated the Air Ambulance by mistake. No way. They are both top notch Lawyers. Oops they were both top notch Ambulance Chasers. There in lies the problem. That combined with the ABSOLUTE POWER we gave King Danny and his court Jester Jerome. Oh well live and learn. Unless you live on the Northern Peninsula I guess where King Danny sees no need for those nasty Danny Hater Ligerals to live longer or have access to quick medical attention when needed. Shame on the Norther Peninsualr for getting King Danny mad. You all know what happens when King Danny gets mad. The school yard bully takes his toys and goes home. In this case he took the Air Ambulance when it would have made more sence to leave it where it was and add another to Labrador where it is equally important to have one. Oh well King Danny and Court Jester Jerome now have come up with a way to put a price tag on peoples lives. Then again King Danny can always buy his way in and out of any situation when he wants to. Long live the King. All Hail Danny. Special May 24th cool-aid will please the cult followers. Then again most of them will drink just about anything. Isnt that right Bones?

  • S
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Obviously the optimal situation would be to have 3 air ambulances: one in St. John's, one for Labrador, and one on the west coast. I agree that this shouldn't be about one area versus another, but if the delegation from St. Snthony is now going to use this argument then the plane would still be moved. The story on VOCM shows a protestor's sign reading: Keep the plane at the hub, St. Anthony, Get a 3rd one for Labrador. Well if Labrador did get its own plane, which it should, how would St. Anthony still be the hub? Wouldn't Deer Lake then be the hub for the rest of the island?

  • Frank M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Former Liberal leader Jim Bennett could have used an air ambulance after his colleagues stabbed him in the back 9 weeks after becoming leader.

  • Realistic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    To Lab 12...can you tell me how the plane will grant you an hour of life saving time by being stationed in GB. She will not be waiting on GB tarmac for an emergency to happen. This is still a provincial plane and will be medivacing people around the island and even out of NL. She may be anywhere when an emergency happens in your area. ...hours away. That is why Lab needs their own plane and we need a plane in our area as well. I think you should reasearch the air ambulance.

  • Sam
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    To Shawn from Carbonear...I think there is more support in the province for the people of St. Anthony and their points on this issue than what you are leading to believe. If everyone was truly informed on this matter...and the corruption that appears related to this entire mess...NO ONE in the province would agree with this decision. This is only one of a number of bad decisions made recently by the Williams Government. This is obvious. Wait until a decision such as this strikes you at home...you might be playing a different tune.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    To Lab 12 this plane is going to be moved to Goose Bay before a team is even in place.So the response time will be longer for you and your area.Get your facts straight.If there is an a call put out for the air ambulance in your area it will have to leave Goose go to St.John's pick up a flight crew then back to Lab West.Won't that increase the response time? I'm sure it will.By the way i got a job and a good paying one at that.

  • Angela
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    St. Anthony are a bunch of whiners. Too bad the province couldn't of relocated the service without letting the town know, i'd like to see how many of them would of noticed..

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    To overly concerned from Lab City i would love to know why you and a few more like you get off on making comments like this.The residents of S .Anthony and surrounding area,for that matter the rest of the province have not once said you the people of Labrador don't deserve the same health care as the rest of the province.This is not St.Anthony verses Labrador.This move will be as bad for you as it is for the rest of the province.We and i mean every person in this great province of ours should be fighting the government to improve response times not increasing them.There should be a third plane and yes it should be placed in Labrador.Why doesn't this government listen to the people of the province.This will be another mistake that this government gets hit smack in the face with.Danny keeps telling us that we are an have province so i say come on show us.Maybe his governments mistake on Abitibi will put us on the hook for too much that they will be able to do anything for the province.I say time for Danny to go.How many people as to die before something will be done.

  • Tammy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Yes...Mr. Simms is right! A pretty sad day when citizens of this province have to resort to court action because a monopoly government has failed (and continues to fail) citizens of this province...and more than that...refuses to even speak with them. Air ambulance is but one example...also NLMA negotiations...the huge Abitibi disaster...the list is growing and I hope people are counting. Where does this end? I hope this court challenges this government and shows them that such dictatorship is not acceptable. The government should also be accountable to someone...having 43 of 48 seats in the House of Assembly has been proven to provide NO government accountability in this province. Not good enough Mr. Williams! Something has to give!

  • S
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I understand that the plane can only land in Goose or Wabush. However any medevac from the north coast of lab has to bring the patient to Goose bay first anyways. I'm not familiar with where the patients from the south coast are flown now, I'm assuming it's St. Anthony? If that's the case and the plane is stationed in Goose bay (or say a 3rd in deer lake) couldn't it be in St. Anthony by the time a chartered twin otter flies to and from the south coast? Either way, if there was a 3rd plane, and it has to serve the rest of the province, I still fail to see how St. Anthony is the hub. Deer lake would be a more central location for the rest of the island wouldn't it?

  • Skittles
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Dave, no crew in HVGB is just for the short term. It wil have a crew stationed there full time.
    A plane in HVGB with a crew will serve St. Anthony better. Less than 1 hr will be there from Labrador OR St.John's.
    Before, the crew had to be flown in from St.Johns anyway, so the plane that flown them in can also take the person back to St. John's with them, no time lost.
    Better service also because if St. John's was fogged in, no crew could fly out to St. Anthony. Now there is another crew in HVGB available, so your coverage has DOUBLED!
    At least you have a hospital...we have no cat scan machine, geez the only hospital in NL without a Obstetrician to deliver babies!

  • WTF
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I find it hard to take this seriously with Bennett involved.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I cannot believe how this issue seems to have become a Labrador versus St. Anthony issue. From what I understand, the Air Ambulance serves the entire Island portion of the province...not just St. Anthony. All people on the Island will now have increased wait times by moving the service to Goose Bay. I'm sure Government is loving how this is being played out in the media as being a Labrador versus St. Anthony issue. Really takes the focus off the fact at hand....this is just another bad decision based on inaccurate and incomplete information by our government...just what the government wanted to happen. Sad part is it will be too late once the plane moves and everyone realizes the true consequences of this decision. I guess this is what government is hoping will happen.

  • Lab12
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Sorry Dave but your dead wrong. Planes leaving St. Anthony for Wabush have failed a number of times to bring sick and injured persons to better equipped hospitals. The fact is the service in HVGB grants us here an hour of life saving time we did not have before. You had it at your beckoning call, we have had people die.

    Thanks.

    Move it to serve the wider area is a smart move no matter what you might think. You need a job? Lots up here. Why do you not pack up and come, you just might like it.

  • john j.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    The sad part about this decision is that eventually the people are the ones who will be hurt the most, on the island and in Labrador,if this decision is not reversed.If this causes the St Anthony Airport to close and it certainly looks that way, the closes place the Medevac Plane can land is Deer Lake,a four and a half hour drive at the best of times from most communities on the tip of the Northern Peninusla.This will not sit well for Southern Labrador either.The only other opition in case of an emergency is a four and a half hour ambulance ride, up the peninusla which greatly increases the percentage for lost of life,not a pretty picture.Surely God life should take precedence over a hasty and ill advised political decision and the mighty dollar.Cooler heads need to prevail here before goverment has gone down a road from which there maybe no return.

  • angie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    leave that one where it is and build one in Lab City, i know it's easier said than done but it can be done.

  • realistic
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I respect everyone's opinion and i take them all in stride! But it appalls me when i see someone from Ontario trying to tell us about how the government is running our province. Any competent person who lives in the St Anthony area can see the past 5 or 6 years have been good for us and we were heading in the right direction. Can't say the same thing now but we get what we voted for!!We will still get the basic services but the extras we were getting(because we had a strong MHA fighting for us) are gone. So there goes that great voice we elected!!
    Someone can say thats not fair...they can't do that but thats politics, been like that for years and will be like that for years to come.

    The health care system in this area is as good as any in the province. So much so that i know people coming to St Anthony from the Corner Brook area to see a doctor. But during the bi election our service was not adequate and they wanted another voice. Well you got your voice!! We have certainly gotten more than our fair share for the last few years and that didn't satisfy us...what else can you say!!

    And to Grace...have a look at your own premier and judge him!! The people in this province have spoken in what we think of ours. Try living in this area now and not 50 years ago...things have changed!!
    But the people in the Straits - White Bay North sent the premier a message...it said we didn't want all the investments that were coming to this area...GO FIGURE!!

    Now we go to the back of the line and try to fight for everything we get...but thats what the majority of us wanted!! We are a laughing stock right across this province!!

  • Grace
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    The Governments response to this crisis has been appalling. One would think that a suitable arrangement would have been arrived at through negiotiation and mediation, but instead the gov't has refused to reconsider or reasonably discuss this issue. So now the province has a premeir who makes unilateral decisions and refuses audience to those who oppose his unilateral decisions. What kind of governance is this? what options would the citizenry have but to go too court. Very sad statement and even sadder situation. We are back to medieval times, 400yrs post the reformation and renaissance.

  • overly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Face the newfoundlanders cant stand that the province is finally doing something good for labrador for once, if we had the hospital care here in Lab that you do in st anthony probably wouldnt be such a big deal, stop crying and get over it you bug bunch of babies.

  • Realistic
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    To SW.....We need to remember that the only places this plane can land in Lab is GB and Wabush...... A chartered smaller plane is always used for the coastal communities......so yes St. Anthony is the hub. for NL and LAB............

  • Janice M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    To Overly concerned from Lab City: Your comment could not be further from the truth. I have been watching this story from the beginning and have never one person indicate that Labrador should not have fair and equitable health care, they certainly should.

    This decision is wrong, it will not help you or your counterparts in Goose Bay, the problem is not location of air craft but resources. I have visited your hospital and agree that you need more, but having said that it should not come at the expense of others in this great province of ours. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians alike should stand together and demand good health care for all. We have been told time and time again that we are a have province well we all should have good care. This decision was politcally based and made on flawed information, and an already set agenda, this is not democratic and we all deserve better. Please think about the divide and conquer approach that this government wants before you make comments that have no meritr divide us as a people. This decision will result in destruction of well established services that if they were enhanced would see many more lives saved all over our region. As it stands now many more lives may be lost as a rushed and ill thought out move is occuring without considering the health of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    John from Port Saunders I wish more people such as you would speak up and say the same thing. This is not a St. Anthony vs Labrador thing, rather it is a province wide issue. The plane based in St. Anthony is dispatched all over the province and often transports patients out of province. However I can see where many think it is a St. Anthony vs Labrador thing with moronic statements such as the one made by overly concerned from Lab City and the way that the gov has pushed their agenda. This government is vengeful. They proved it against their own members Liz Marshall and Fabian Manning. The report on the air ambulance was flawed. Where was the cost analysis? Where was the consultation with primary stakeholders? What about the fact that there are many inefficiencies in the system due to the lack of essential resources such as medical teams, something that the government failed to address until they decided the move the plane. A little dialogue with the professionals providing this service would have provided a wealth of information. Any consultant worth his salt would have been able to pick facts and ascertain if these people were leading him down the garden path, tossing out info to further their own agenda, or if they were being forthcoming and honest to enable improvements in ths system.

    No one in St. Anthony is fighting to do harm to Labrador. The attachment between both areas has been too strong for too long. We simply want to see a fair and honest analysis completed without political interference and without a pre-conceived outcome by the government. Not too much to ask for in a democratic state is it?

  • More realistic
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    To Realistic in Newfoundland ...coming from a person who has no political ties one way or the other...I am beginning to believe that if the monopoly PC government asks for someone's head on a platter...you die hard PC's would reply, yeah...bring it on! Maybe I'll run my dog as the next PC candidate...I guess he'll get your vote too! I thought we were living in a democratic society...from what you are saying...we do not! It's simply a dictatorship...if you don't vote for me...face the consequences. Also, not being politically affiliated...I would put my money of Marshall Dean any day of the week as a better spokesperson and more involved within the district as compared to the recent PC MHA. Where was the honourable for the 6 years he was MHA for this area? Never seen him. I can personally relay one situation (during a strike) where he was called numerous times...never even answered our calls. So...to suggest we didn't vote for the appropriate candidate is not accurate...just wearing the wrong colour. I guess I'll start getting my dog to wear blue in preparation for the Fall of 2011. So much for a free society...I guess next time we'll just vote for the government of the day as is the case in our neighbouring district who voted PC...a person who has absolutely NO voice and is essentially a yes man! He does not even vote in the best interests of his constituents...just what we want! Good idea there!

  • realistic
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    It is too bad that alot of the people complaining about this situation now were not concerned a few months ago. Easy enough to blame things on Danny and the government now...when a few months ago they were supporting a candidate who was not satisified with what was going on in the area. It certainly helps to have someone fighting for you around the caucus table and not just a voice in the wind, which is what the current MHA is in all of this.

    There is not one person in the St Anthony area that does not feel bad about what is happening. However, it is too late to close the gate once the horses are gone!! The district had a chance to stay the course but it elected to go the other way. Did we expect the Premier to reward the district...i think not. I think the rewards over the past 5 or 6 yrs speak for themselves!! Thats just the way politics works...neither you or I will change that. You just have to be smart enough to do things that will help you in the long run.

    As for the plane, it will be still landing in St Anthony. By the time the ambulance gets to the airport in St Anthony the plane from Goose Bay can be virtually there. No... one life should not be worth more than another, whether its in St Anthony or Labrador. So for those saying that people will now die in St Anthony doesn't say much for what you think of what has happened in Labrador for years.

    So for most of the people protesting...take a good look in the mirror. You are as much to blame as anyone. Your protesting came about 7 months too late!

    And its a joke to see Jim Bennett representing the town...should have asked Danny Dumeresque!!

  • Shawn
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    overly concerned from labcity, NL writes: Face the newfoundlanders cant stand that the province is finally doing something good for labrador for once.


    I think you are mistaken there bud, the majority of the people in the province knows it is a good decision to move the air ambulance from St. Anthony to Labrador. It is only a few people on the Northern Peninsula who are oppose to it.

  • Bones
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    When they lose, will this be a waste of money too? Pretty telling when your own lawyer wouldn't bet on your chances one way or another, lol. They STILL don't realize this wouldn't have happened if their OWN member hadn't called for the review, do they? Now Bennett is going to undo the damage his own party colleague created while Yvonne is clapping success, at last, for Labrador? Just wow, lol.

  • Stop The Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Perhaps Danny and Jerome expropiated the Air Ambulance by mistake. No way. They are both top notch Lawyers. Oops they were both top notch Ambulance Chasers. There in lies the problem. That combined with the ABSOLUTE POWER we gave King Danny and his court Jester Jerome. Oh well live and learn. Unless you live on the Northern Peninsula I guess where King Danny sees no need for those nasty Danny Hater Ligerals to live longer or have access to quick medical attention when needed. Shame on the Norther Peninsualr for getting King Danny mad. You all know what happens when King Danny gets mad. The school yard bully takes his toys and goes home. In this case he took the Air Ambulance when it would have made more sence to leave it where it was and add another to Labrador where it is equally important to have one. Oh well King Danny and Court Jester Jerome now have come up with a way to put a price tag on peoples lives. Then again King Danny can always buy his way in and out of any situation when he wants to. Long live the King. All Hail Danny. Special May 24th cool-aid will please the cult followers. Then again most of them will drink just about anything. Isnt that right Bones?

  • S
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Obviously the optimal situation would be to have 3 air ambulances: one in St. John's, one for Labrador, and one on the west coast. I agree that this shouldn't be about one area versus another, but if the delegation from St. Snthony is now going to use this argument then the plane would still be moved. The story on VOCM shows a protestor's sign reading: Keep the plane at the hub, St. Anthony, Get a 3rd one for Labrador. Well if Labrador did get its own plane, which it should, how would St. Anthony still be the hub? Wouldn't Deer Lake then be the hub for the rest of the island?

  • Frank M
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Former Liberal leader Jim Bennett could have used an air ambulance after his colleagues stabbed him in the back 9 weeks after becoming leader.

  • Realistic
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    To Lab 12...can you tell me how the plane will grant you an hour of life saving time by being stationed in GB. She will not be waiting on GB tarmac for an emergency to happen. This is still a provincial plane and will be medivacing people around the island and even out of NL. She may be anywhere when an emergency happens in your area. ...hours away. That is why Lab needs their own plane and we need a plane in our area as well. I think you should reasearch the air ambulance.

  • Sam
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    To Shawn from Carbonear...I think there is more support in the province for the people of St. Anthony and their points on this issue than what you are leading to believe. If everyone was truly informed on this matter...and the corruption that appears related to this entire mess...NO ONE in the province would agree with this decision. This is only one of a number of bad decisions made recently by the Williams Government. This is obvious. Wait until a decision such as this strikes you at home...you might be playing a different tune.

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    To Lab 12 this plane is going to be moved to Goose Bay before a team is even in place.So the response time will be longer for you and your area.Get your facts straight.If there is an a call put out for the air ambulance in your area it will have to leave Goose go to St.John's pick up a flight crew then back to Lab West.Won't that increase the response time? I'm sure it will.By the way i got a job and a good paying one at that.

  • Angela
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    St. Anthony are a bunch of whiners. Too bad the province couldn't of relocated the service without letting the town know, i'd like to see how many of them would of noticed..

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    To overly concerned from Lab City i would love to know why you and a few more like you get off on making comments like this.The residents of S .Anthony and surrounding area,for that matter the rest of the province have not once said you the people of Labrador don't deserve the same health care as the rest of the province.This is not St.Anthony verses Labrador.This move will be as bad for you as it is for the rest of the province.We and i mean every person in this great province of ours should be fighting the government to improve response times not increasing them.There should be a third plane and yes it should be placed in Labrador.Why doesn't this government listen to the people of the province.This will be another mistake that this government gets hit smack in the face with.Danny keeps telling us that we are an have province so i say come on show us.Maybe his governments mistake on Abitibi will put us on the hook for too much that they will be able to do anything for the province.I say time for Danny to go.How many people as to die before something will be done.

  • Tammy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Yes...Mr. Simms is right! A pretty sad day when citizens of this province have to resort to court action because a monopoly government has failed (and continues to fail) citizens of this province...and more than that...refuses to even speak with them. Air ambulance is but one example...also NLMA negotiations...the huge Abitibi disaster...the list is growing and I hope people are counting. Where does this end? I hope this court challenges this government and shows them that such dictatorship is not acceptable. The government should also be accountable to someone...having 43 of 48 seats in the House of Assembly has been proven to provide NO government accountability in this province. Not good enough Mr. Williams! Something has to give!

  • S
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    I understand that the plane can only land in Goose or Wabush. However any medevac from the north coast of lab has to bring the patient to Goose bay first anyways. I'm not familiar with where the patients from the south coast are flown now, I'm assuming it's St. Anthony? If that's the case and the plane is stationed in Goose bay (or say a 3rd in deer lake) couldn't it be in St. Anthony by the time a chartered twin otter flies to and from the south coast? Either way, if there was a 3rd plane, and it has to serve the rest of the province, I still fail to see how St. Anthony is the hub. Deer lake would be a more central location for the rest of the island wouldn't it?