I offer my congratulations to those involved in meeting the COVID-19 challenge in our province, by successfully controlling the one large cluster and other smaller outbreaks over the past couple of months.
You have done an outstanding job and deserve our gratitude and admiration.
We live on an island and a remote mainland territory, so we have an advantage when it comes to protecting ourselves from dangers that originate in other places. COVID-19 was brought into our province by locals returning home and visitors coming to the province.
The strategy — to clear up the virus already here and stop any new cases from coming in — has been a great success. The serious restrictions on our freedom were reasonable, although it caused great worry, pain, and inconvenience — not to mention the damage done to our economy and businesses.
It worked. There are only a few COVID-19 cases remaining in the province.
It is now time, while maintaining strict and reasonable controls on entry into the province, to start getting things back closer to normal.
We do not need to wait 28 days before moving to the next alert level and returning to a more relaxed but cautious level of activity.
We are not Montreal or Toronto or New York, we do not have their problems.
Let us discontinue running our province with a “Commission of Government” — the Health minister, hectoring the people of the province as if they were children; the premier, a nice guy unable to make the hard decisions; and the chief medical officer, competent but risk-adverse.
Our country was run by a commission of government between 1930 and 1945 and look where that led — from an independent country to a dependent of Canada.
We need to get back to running our province as a democracy. We need a strong leader, not a place holder. We need an aggressive plan to get things back to normal as quickly as prudent. We have profoundly serious problems that have been percolating for years and are coming home to bite us.
We need the kind of coming together of our people we saw in this COVID-19 crisis.
We need leaders who have strong backbones, who are willing to take the heat and not waver from making difficult decisions necessary to address the serious financial and structural problems that have been simmering on the back burner for much, much, too long in our province.
We must not let Newfoundland’s history repeat itself.