By Jaymie White
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
STEPHENVILLE — The most recent town council meeting took place on Tuesday evening, Dec. 20, and marked the final meeting of Stephenville council for 2022.
Matters discussed at this meeting included healthcare and the Health Accord, a recap of 2022, and thoughts on the Christmas Adventure on Main Street.
Deputy Mayor Susan Fowlow attended the Urban Municipalities Committee meetings held in St. John’s and said one of the most focused discussions landed on healthcare.
“I found it very positive to hear some of the things that are happening and to realize and recognize that the pieces of the Health Accord that are really good pieces are actually unfolding with a fairly targeted effort,” said Fowlow.
One of the efforts of the newly-established department, which will deal heavily in matters involving the health accord, is to help healthcare workers from the Ukraine navigate some of the red tape to get approved to work in the province.
“They have somebody working on recruitment. They talked about going to India to recruit nurses, so that’s all happening through that department. It was a really positive meeting with some really good discussions.”
Fowlow added that discussions surrounding the Health Accord continued with Sister Elizabeth Davis.
“She reiterated the whole process and I think there is a lot of hope in the new structure that they’re talking about in terms of the Health Accord,” said Fowlow. “The challenge in our province, as we all know, is the geography. We’ve got a small population spread out over a huge area and we are trying to provide quality service to everybody.”
Mayor Tom Rose took a moment at the end of the meeting to address some major highlights for the Town of Stephenville during 2022.
“The new playground that we built, the accolades, the compliments, the high utilization says it all,” said Rose. “On our seniors' side, I have to say that, with the Guardian Angels program started up by Tracy (Boland), I have to say that is a phenomenal program. We’ve gotten a lot of media on it which is good. It puts Stephenville in the highlights, but also the continuation of our BEST BUS for seniors and people with disabilities. So we are making some really good strides.”
Rose added that the current town council will go down in history as being the council that brought the G7 Summit to Stephenville, Newfoundland.
“That has never happened in this province, ever, and what that is going to do to our local business is phenomenal. But it takes local business to step up also and take advantage, to sometimes take that risk. It’s called risky business for a reason. If you wait too long you may miss your opportunity.”
Councillor Tracy Boland said the Christmas Adventure went well despite numerous cancellations the day of the event due to influenza and COVID.
“We had double the numbers from last years Christmas Adventure. Because of the Wreckhouse Newspaper advertising it, we had a lot of people from Codroy Valley, Corner Brook, Port aux Basques, staying in hotels, buying from our stores, Christmas shopping all day. They came out early and I just want to personally thank all the volunteers, the committee who put this together, the workers with the Town of Stephenville, and I also want to thank the businesses that did participate and took that marketing tool. They had a lot of customers that day. Good on the businesses that really supported and gave back to the community because people really appreciated that.”
Jaymie White, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wreckhouse Weekly News