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Bringing public safety to the forefront

Safety is necessary in any area of Canada, including Newfoundland and Labrador, and more specifically rural regions.

On the Burin Peninsula, we have separate phone numbers to contact the RCMP, ambulances and fire departments. During an emergency, every second counts and having to remember the phone number you need can cause death. We need an easier system to ensure proper safety. 

While attending the MADD Atlantic Regional Conference in 2013, I learned that Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province in Atlantic Canada not to have a provincewide 911 system. This means residents (excluding St. John's, Corner Brook and Labrador) cannot simply call 911 to report an accident, impaired driver or a serious health problem. 

Personally, I decided to push the government to create a provincewide 911 system that would benefit all residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. The province plans to start the Basic 911 system in December 2014. I will ensure they push ahead with those plans in a timely fashion and continue to improve this system with the newest technology. 

After I feel the 911 system is completed and on the right track, I will be raising the important issue of the lack of cell service on Burin Peninsula highways and some communities. My reasoning is simply, what is the sense of implementing 911 if we do not have proper service to call it?  

As the majority of us know, the Burin Peninsula Highway (Marystown to Goobies/Lawn to Lamaline area) has no cell service for the majority of the travel time. This raises enormous concerns for reporting an accident or impaired driver along this highway. We need better cell service along our highways.

I will be raising those two issues with our government June 10 in a meeting with Steve Kent, minister responsible for Fire and Emergency Services. I would ask all residents on the Burin Peninsula to support me as I represent you and try to make our region safer. Let's work together in one strong voice!


Donald Slaney, president

MADD Burin Peninsula

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