Concerns mount about caretaker government and extended election campaign

·1 min read

By the time all the votes have been counted in the ongoing the provincial election, Newfoundland and Labrador will have been without a sitting legislature for three months, instead of nearly month, and that delay appears to be causing other, unexpected problems.

The original Feb. 13 election date has been pushed back several times after a outbreak of the COVID-19 variant B117 ended in-person voting. The deadline for voters to return their ballots now set for March 25.

In the meantime, NAPE says the routine business of government isn't getting done. The union said there is a shortage of workers in long-term care and child protection, and they aren't able to hire new workers.

Craig Pollett, CEO of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, says approved capitol works projects in towns and cities across the province are stalled because provincial funding just hasn't come through.

He said there's also lack of clarity about caretaker convention that government is expected to follow the during the election period.

"It seems that there's far too much inconsistency across departments and there's no clarity, in general, for folks who run up against this about why it's there, what it is, how far reaching it is," Pollett said.

But Finance Minister Siobhan Coady says people do have recourse if they don't like what they're hearing from government officials.

"I would urge anyone that has any concerns to take it to the department that they would normally deal with and that can be discussed with the clerk of the executive council," she said.

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