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Paying for Muskrat Falls, better long-term care for seniors, even a fixed link to Bell Island ... Mount Scio residents have many key issues they want to see addressed
It’s a wide district, with residents having a wide range of issues they want addressed in the provincial election campaign.
The district of Mount Scio, which includes parts of Paradise and St. John’s, has four candidates — Damien Follett, who is running for the Progressive Conservative party and is the only man in the race; Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance candidate Andrea Newbury; Sheilagh O’Leary, who is running for the NDP; and Liberal incumbent Sarah Stoodley.
“I really don’t know who to vote for. I’m still undecided,” Candy Brazil, who lives in Kenmount Terrace, told The Telegram Tuesday.
“I don’t know much about the candidates. … It’s hard to know who to trust.
“But to be honest, it’s hard to focus on an election when we’re in the middle of a pandemic.”
With more than 16,000 people living in the district, there are several key topics of concern. The majority of people who spoke to The Telegram said their vote will go to the person they feel will best deal with priorities.
“People keep saying we’re in the same boat. We’re not. We’re in the same storm, but we’re not in the same boat." — Joseph Kennedy
Joseph Kennedy of Blackall Place said he’s looking for the government to focus on digging the province out of its massive debt.
He’s leaning towards voting Liberal, as he believes whichever party forms the next government, it needs to forge a better relationship with Ottawa.
“We need to find money to offset the cost of Muskrat Falls,” he said. “Our province is billions of dollars in debt. … Something went wrong.
“People keep saying we’re in the same boat. We’re not. We’re in the same storm, but we’re not in the same boat. So, we need help in terms of a long-term investment to get us on track.”
When asked why he’s leaning toward voting Liberal, he said Liberal Leader Andrew Furey is making the best of a bad situation.
“Furey’s been handed a heavy football to run with when he took over from Dwight Ball,” he said. “It was like he was given the keys to a house and told the electricity is going to be turned off.”
Kennedy says it’s time a bridge or tunnel is built to connect Bell Island to the mainland.
“It’s been talked about a long time. I remember talking about it back in the 1970s and we’re still talking about it,” he said. “But I suppose they talked a lot about the San Francisco bridge before actually building it.”
“I live in absolute fear of going into a nursing home because I feel I won’t get the appropriate care. It’s just not good enough." — Elizabeth Johnston
Elizabeth Johnston, an 87-year-old retired nurse, said it’s time the province took steps to properly care for seniors.
“I live in absolute fear of going into a nursing home because I feel I won’t get the appropriate care. It’s just not good enough,” said Johnston, who lives with her daughter on Allandale Road.
“Staff in these homes are very nice, lovely people, but you need to be more than nice. You need proper training and they don’t have enough training to provide the best care possible for the elderly. Six or seven weeks of training for a personal care attendant for geriatric care is not enough.”
Johnston said she felt this way before the COVID-19 pandemic, but especially does now.
“We’re very lucky we’re not in the situation like the U.S., Ontario or Quebec, where thousands have died in nursing homes, but our seniors here are still very vulnerable,” Johnston said.
“People get trucked away to these places, with not enough monitoring. … I have no reason to say they’re not getting care … but properly trained staff would make life for them a whole lot better,” she said.
“But it all comes down to money. Well, the government needs to put more money into taking care of the vulnerable people here.”