LeGrow Radiothon left out of provincial funding

Brodie Thomas
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Ask and you may receive. That was the message from the provincial Department of Health last week after Burgeo-La Poile MHA Andrew Parsons pointed out a perceived slight during the annual radiothon.

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Health foundations in Corner Brook, Stephenville and Port aux Basques hold simultaneous radiothons to raise money for hospital equipment each year. This year’s radiothons were held on Sept. 28.

In Corner Brook, local Conservative MHAs Tom Marshall and Vaughn Granter went on the radio and promised to match citizen and business donations up to a maximum value of $200,000.

In Stephenville, Conservative MHAs Joan Burke and Tony Cornect made an appearance on the air, pledging $50,000 of taxpayer dollars to the Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital Foundation.

No such donations or offers to match donations were made for the third regional radiothon in Port aux Basques. That bothered Burgeo-La Poile MHA Andrew Parsons, who took a turn as host on the radio that afternoon.

On Monday morning he sent a letter to Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s office demanding to know why the province neglected to make a pledge at Port aux Basques radiothon.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health told The Gulf News that no slight was intended against the LeGrow Health Centre. She said the province had received letters requesting support from the hospital foundations in Corner Brook in Stephenville. No such letter was received from the LeGrow Health Centre Foundation.

Suzanne Carey, executive director of the Western Regional Hospital Foundation, said requesting government support for the radiothon is routine for her foundation.

“Most years they’ve been extremely supportive,” she said.

LeGrow Heath Centre Foundation chair Wayne Green confirmed that they had not sent a letter requesting support to the province.

“We’re doing some follow up on this,” said Mr. Green.

Mr. Parsons said on Thursday that a letter will be going in to the province, if it has not already, requesting support.

“At no point was the local foundation be told they should be asking for money,” he said “They never knew to go to government for funding.”

Mr. Parsons said he expects the government to treat the LeGrow Hospital Foundation fairly, and provide a comparable contribution.

“I would ask them, ‘How did you come up with the numbers?’ Use the same logic and apply it to us."

Organizations: Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital Foundation, Department of Health, The Gulf News LeGrow Health Centre Foundation Western Regional Hospital Foundation LeGrow Heath Centre Foundation LeGrow Hospital Foundation

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Stephenville, Port aux Basques

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