ontario news watch

Newfoundland and Labrador to hold emergency debate about ongoing ambulance strike

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey is calling for an emergency sitting of the legislature to address an ongoing ambulance strike.

Furey issued a news release today saying the strike poses serious concerns for the safety and well-being of patients in affected areas.

Furey says he’s asked the appropriate officials to reconvene the legislature on Monday to discuss making legislative changes that would make private ambulance services essential.

About 120 workers with seven private ambulance services owned by Fewer’s Ambulance Service walked off the job early Friday afternoon, seeking higher wages and a better pension plan.

Mayors in the Newfoundland communities of New-Wes-Valley and Bonavista say the strike is already affecting patients.

Michael Tiller in New-Wes-Valley said a patient waited about 20 more minutes Friday night for an ambulance, while John Norman in Bonavista said a patient with a “severe, acute” condition waited an extra 90 minutes on Friday for an ambulance transfer to a larger hospital.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2023.

The Canadian Press