PCs call for more disclosure in Labrador-Grenfell Health investigation

The PC critic for health in Newfoundland and Labrador says he wants more information released on an investigation into the head of the Labrador-Grenfell Health board.

The public, and employees at Newfoundland and Labrador's four health authorities, deserve to know how the investigation will be handled, says David Brazil, the Opposition's critic for health care.

He says it is a unique circumstance in which a volunteer on a board of trustees is at the centre of an investigation that he believes involves staff members.

"We're not asking for particular details. We're asking about the process that's going to be used here, and how do you ensure that the employees have a safe environment," he told reporters after question period in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

"And that the respondent does have the same opportunity to defend themselves."

Brazil quizzed Health Minister John Haggie on the issue Wednesday, but Haggie avoided going into any detail on the allegations.

House of Assembly

He said the allegations were serious, and have been referred through Labrador-Grenfell and their respectful workplace policy for assessment.

"That is a confidential process, Mr. Speaker. I will not be commenting on it any further."

A spokesperson for the Department of Health also told CBC News that Haggie would not agree to an interview on the matter Wednesday.

Brazil said his party understands the internal review surrounds "workplace harassment" concerns.

"There's some internal, how should I say, vocal disapproval or conflict between staff and particularly the chair in this situation here. To what degree, we don't know the particulars," he told reporters.

Katie Breen/CBC

Haggie told Boyd Noel, the chair of the Labrador-Grenfell Health board of trustees, to abstain from his board duties on Nov. 1.

He was named board chair in July 2017. 

Noel has declined interview requests about the allegations, but Brazil said social media posts show he disputes them.

Brazil said that health authorities should have been more transparent, and proactively disclosed Noel's suspension on the board of trustees.

He said in light of the discussions about bullying and harassment in the House of Assembly, "it would be nice to know what the process being used entails here, and who is involved in this process."

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