FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2022
Statement by Michele Beaton, Official Opposition Critic for Health and Wellness, on defeat of motion to increase paramedic pay and to create a strategic plan to provide Islanders public emergency paramedicine
Paramedics are highly trained professionals. They are incredibly important to our healthcare system and they are often first on the scene to provide lifesaving intervention.
This week we asked for some big things from the King government. We asked for big things to highlight just how serious the situation is for our paramedics and for Islanders depending on emergency paramedicine. We asked big things of this government to challenge them to act.
Our motion called for two things.
First, an immediate pay increase for Island paramedics to at least bring them in line with other paramedics working in the Atlantic region.
Second, we challenged government to prepare a strategic plan to move Island paramedicine out of the control of a private company and into the public system.
During debate and input from all sides of the House I heard MLAs say they want better emergency paramedicine service for Islanders, particularly Islanders living in rural PEI,and better pay for paramedics. This is why I was astonished to watch all members of both the governing PCs and third party Liberals vote against this motion.
Why did the members of government and the third party vote against paying our paramedics better and more fairly? Why did they stand together against providing public emergency paramedicine for Islanders?
This is a missed opportunity for paramedics. It is a missed opportunity for Islanders. It is a missed opportunity for the legislature to work together to support paramedics and Islanders.
Instead of standing up and saying they will do something, showing they are willing to improve things for paramedics and for Islanders depending on their services, the King government is choosing to turn away and ignore a situation the continues to get worse. It is favouring the bottom line of a private company by continuing down the path of privatization of healthcare. It is ignoring the pleas of paramedics who have shared their serious concerns.
Islanders cannot expect to see this government be bold and brave enough to tackle the serious situation affecting our emergency paramedicine services.
I will continue to listen to paramedics and Islanders, and hold the King government accountable. It is not an understatement to say that government’s inaction is putting Islanders’ lives at risk. Our paramedics deserve our support. Islanders deserve better emergency paramedicine.
Michele Beaton, MLA
Mermaid – Stratford
Official Opposition Critic for Health and Wellness
For media inquiries, please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
Tel: (902) 213-0718