Lorraine Michael Question Period (06.26.2012)

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Third Party.

MS MICHAEL: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
The Premier has promised that we will be back in the House this fall to debate Muskrat Falls. In preparation for that debate, Nalcor has commissioned new reports on wind and natural gas as alternative energy projects. Government is also expecting new financial projections from Nalcor in advance of the decision whether or not to sanction the project. This will be one of the most important debates in the Province's history. It is vital it be an informed debate.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier: Will government commit to releasing all new information well in advance of the debate for people to have ample time to prepare?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER DUNDERDALE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, Muskrat Falls has come under more scrutiny in Newfoundland and Labrador than any other project in our history. We have made a commitment to a full debate here in the House of Assembly. The numbers will be available through the summer, Mr. Speaker. We know that we cannot get Decision Gate 3 numbers until mid-July at the very earliest – the very earliest. We have to provide them to MHI for analysis; expert analysis is required, given there is not a lot of expertise in this House, Mr. Speaker. As soon as that information is ready we will make it available. There are a number of reports not being done by Nalcor, but being done within government. We will make them available as well.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Third Party.

MS MICHAEL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The government has refused to reveal what they promised Joe Kruger, the owner of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, when he met privately with them in early June to discuss the mill's future. Recently, workers chose to accept the regressive deal Kruger forced on them in order to keep the mill open.

So, Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier: Will she now make public what she promised Joe Kruger?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER DUNDERDALE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, an unbelievable position for the Leader of the Third Party to take here in this Province, at this particular time; given the state of the situation in Corner Brook, given what we have had to deal with in Grand Falls-Windsor and in Stephenville, and given the state of this industry worldwide, it is absolutely unbelievable that she would rise and make such an uninformed statement, Mr. Speaker.
That mill is critical to the economy of the Western region, critical to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, critical to the people who work in that mill, Mr. Speaker. She should learn something about pulp and paper before she gets up here to talk about it in the House of Assembly.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Third Party.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!
The hon. the Leader of the Third Party.

MS MICHAEL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
If the Premier had listened, all I wanted to know is what she promised to keep the plant open. I want it open, but I want her to make public what she promised. That is all I asked.
Mr. Speaker, the Long-Term Care and Community Support Services Strategy announced last week includes a pilot project to place people who need high levels of care into personal care homes. Personal care homes do not normally have the formally trained staff, nurses, and high-level equipment that are needed to care for Level III patients.

So, Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Health and Community Services: Will the funding set aside for this project cover the cost of formally trained attendants, licensed practical nurses, and equipment that these Level III residents will need?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, once again, this is an unbelievable statement as well; for the member opposite to think that we would play with the health of our senior citizens in this Province and not provide them with the proper support, it is absolutely despicable.
We are intending this to be a pilot project from which we will learn and hopefully be able to expand this project. Mr. Speaker, our intent is to ensure that these residents get the best care that they can possibly get. That is something we committed to and we will see to it, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The Leader of the Third Party.

MS MICHAEL: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, government will continue to impose a means test on people looking to receive home care to determine whether or not they are eligible for it.

I ask the minister: Why should a person's bank balance determine whether or not the person gets the home support services they need in this Province?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, it would be great if we had the money that the NDP would spend if they were taking over this government. God guard thee Newfoundland should they ever be elected.
Mr. Speaker, what we have done is we have made huge inroads into the eligibility that people have to meet in order to be able to receive home care in Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Speaker, that has resulted in unprecedented numbers of people who are now availing of home care in Newfoundland and Labrador. We will continue to see that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador who need home care, who deserve home care, get that home care.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Third Party.
Time for a quick question without preamble.

MS MICHAEL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!
A quick question, please.

MS MICHAEL: Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Health and Community Services: What is the plan for offering affordable training and better salaries to home support workers in this Province?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services for a quick answer.

MS SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, we always have a plan in place and that is why we addressed this in the last Budget. We increased it again. Mr. Speaker, we will continue to look at that.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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