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Old Posted Apr 21, 2016, 3:39 PM
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Trevor3 Trevor3 is offline
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Great hire for Nalcor CEO. You're probably not going to get a more qualified individual in Canada, so hopefully this one works out.

A lot of rural services have already been cut or centralized into government's informal 'service centres'. I can remember the old social services department in the 90s had offices in Stephenville, S'ville Crossing, Piccadillly, St. George's, and Codroy Valley. Since that time everything has been consolidated into the Stephenville and we now have one office for 25K people as opposed to 5 offices. Government has taken the approach of staffing clinics in rural communities with nurse practitioners as opposed to doctors - they can give prescriptions, make some diagnoses and referrals. So instead of hospital and 4 clinics with doctors, we have a hospital (admittedly understaffed right now but there's politics behind that) and 3 clinics with nurse practitioners. If you cut the clinics then hospital wait times go up and health suffers. I assume similar processes have taken place on the Burin peninsula, around Gander, Clarenville and GFW.

Government is shutting down 8 Advanced Education and Skills offices, all of which are rural. There is nothing left on the Labrador coast really, and it's likely that their northern peninsula offices will be closed after the September mini-budget.

As far as education goes, most of the schools with tiny student populations have less than 10 years life left anyway. I doubt there are going to be any children in places like McCallum or Grey River soon, and it's not feasible to transport students elsewhere. Let them run their course and they'll be gone soon anyway, the communities themselves will follow (which is really sad because those are the places which probably hold some of our biggest untapped tourism potential). Over the last 15 years or so, so many schools have been amalgamated and centralized that there isn't much more room to cut. If there was a way to place a school and service 5 communities at once, it's been done. 30-45 minute commutes are the norm for many rural students. To get more savings the next step might be to start amalgamating elementary and junior high schools in the metro area. But there's really not much meat left on the bone off the Avalon.

There need to be large cuts to the public service at Confederation building. The system of having secretaries for secretaries, essentially what the west block amounts to, has to stop. Administration at MUN is beyond bloated and should be the focus of significant cuts before anything is done regarding tuition increases.
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