About the Author
Michael Connors is the co-anchor of the NTV Evening Newshour and assistant news director. He started his career at The Telegram and joined the NTV News team in 2003 as a general assignment reporter. In 2005, Michael was assigned to the press gallery in the House of Assembly and spent 16 years as NTV’s legislative reporter. He served for six years as president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Press Gallery Association. Michael was promoted to the anchor desk in 2022. He also hosts NTV’s weekly public affairs show, Issues & Answers. Michael has degrees in history from Memorial University of Newfoundland and journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa. He was born St. John’s, where he lives with his wife, Amanda, and their children, Andrew and Dianna.

Provincial government looking at ‘Just Transition’ legislation, minister says

Trades NL has launched a campaign to make sure work on the Bay du Nord oil project happens in Newfoundland and Labrador. Labour Minister Bernard Davis says the government will stand firm on local benefits. But he also says the government is considering the idea of “Just Transition” legislation to help workers eventually move out of the oil sector.

Federation of Labour wants broader discussion about labour laws after ambulance strike

The N.L. Federation of Labour supports the efforts of the Teamsters union in getting the Essential Ambulance Services Act passed, but the group still wants a broader conversation about labour laws. NTV’s David Salter reports.

Appeal hearing begins for Grand Falls-Windsor workers denied EI while locked out

Back in 2021, workers with the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor were denied EI while they were locked out. A tribunal began Wednesday as 74 employees appealed that decision. NTV’s Colleen Lewis reports.

House of Assembly to hold emergency debate Monday on private ambulance strike

Premier Andrew Furey has asked for the House of Assembly to reconvene Monday to hold an emergency debate on the private ambulance strike affecting rural Newfoundland communities.

The House will debate the Essential Ambulance Services Act. If passed, the act will make private ambulance services essential. Striking members of Teamsters Local 855 would have to return to work until an essential services agreement is in place, at which point the labour action could resume.

More than 100 private ambulance workers in rural Newfoundland communities escalated their strike by walking off the job Friday. Teamsters Local 855 leader Hubert Dawe says it came after a hostile act by an employer against a union member. The companies owned by Bob Fewer cover areas from Fogo Island on the northeast coast to Trepassey on the southern shore of the Avalon to Stephenville on the west coast.

The Speaker’s Office says the House will reconvene at 10 a.m. Monday.

The legislation has not been made public yet, but the provincial government provided background information in a news release:

The Essential Ambulance Services Act

The Essential Ambulance Services Act will allow the employer and employees to determine the terms of the essential ambulance services agreement, and will allow them to engage with the Labour Relations Board when necessary ⁠— including authorizing the Board to refer a matter to binding arbitration to protect the employees’ meaningful right to a strike and the employers’ meaningful right to a lockout. When passed, the Act will require the union members to return to work until an essential services agreement is established, at which point labour action may resume. 

To date, only ambulance services provided publicly, through the Regional Health Authorities, fall under such legislation. Paramedics employed by private ambulance service operators fall under the Labour Relations Act and have thus far not been deemed essential. 

‘We should not be abandoning the public health care system to make a private system,’ Tony Wakeham says

PC leadership candidate Tony Wakeham says the province should focus on fixing the public health care system rather than expanding private health care. That’s after the Ford Government in Ontario announced plans this week to give for-profit clinics a bigger role in surgeries.

Paul Lane calls for more independent candidates as David Brazil looks at closer ties with federal Conservatives

Interim PC leader David Brazil is looking at closer ties between the provincial and federal Conservatives. That has independent MHA Paul Lane calling for more independent candidates to run in the next election.

Deer Lake retires Darren Langdon’s jersey

Deer Lake paid tribute to one of its own this weekend, retiring the No. 24 jersey worn by Darren Langdon, whose career took him all the way to the NHL. NTV’s Don Bradshaw reports.

Central Health releases advisory on woman impersonating registered nurse

Central Health announced Wednesday it had been informed Dec. 14 by the College of Registered Nurses that a woman working for a health care staffing agency had been impersonating a Registered Nurse.

Lisa Driscoll had worked some shifts as a contract worker with Central Health without a valid nursing license. While once trained as a practical nurse, she does not hold a license as either an LPN or an RN in the province. She had used the license number of an existing registered nurse who had a similar name.

Central Health works closely with several staffing agencies to provide extra nursing support where required. The agencies are responsible for vetting and verifying the credentials of the applicants. In this instance, the license was verified in error by Solutions Staffing Inc.

Once notified, Central Health contacted Solutions Staffing Inc., the staffing agency responsible for hiring this travel nurse and the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (CLPNNL) and the other Regional Health Authorities. The RCMP was also contacted and advised of the situation.

Driscoll worked 25 shifts at Lakeside Homes between Aug. 19 and Nov. 7. Central Health has conducted a thorough review of all resident care and relevant documentation from that period and confirmed that there are no reported negative impacts to the care of the residents or reported harm at this facility. However, during her 25 shifts, two concerns with her performance unrelated to resident care had been raised and addressed.

In the coming days, Central Health will be reaching out directly to the residents and families of those under her care at the time at Lakeside Homes to provide assurance that no reported harm occurred. Central Health says it immediately put in place safeguards to ensure this does not reoccur.

Central Health apologized for any concerns and anxiety this may cause residents and their families, but is calling it an isolated event.

Country Ribbon gets government funding for new technology

Country Ribbon, the province’s best-known chicken producer, is getting a financial boost from the federal and provincial governments to expand its operations with new technology. NTV’s Rosie Mullaley reports.

Annual Mummers Festival begins with ‘Ugly Stick’ workshop

The annual Mummers Festival got underway in St. John’s this weekend with an “Ugly Stick” workshop at the CLB Armoury.

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