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Petten to continue pressure for urgent care centre for CBS

By Chad Feehan / Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Conception Bay South MHA Barry Petten says he spent 2023 advocating for enhancements to health and education, specifically aiming for a new school to replace Frank Roberts Junior High, and adding additional healthcare facilities for the town, as well as affordable housing.
While it can sometimes be an uphill battle as a Member of the Opposition to get government services in your district, , the PC Member made clear he’s ready to continue his efforts on both provincial and local issues into the new year.

“This past week I’ve spoken to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Housing on those issues,” Petten said just before Christmas in a year end interview. “It’s something that’s very important to me.”
Petten said he is always working on housing issues and is optimistic that improvements in that sector will benefit those in need of affordable places to live. And as far as healthcare in CBS goes, he feels the community is long overdue for an urgent care facility of its own.
“We’re in bad need of it here in CBS,’” Petten said. “It would take a lot of pressure off of our hospitals and our acute care centres.”
Besides these perennial issues that make their rounds in the media, Petten is most proud of the “little victories” that you don’t see on the news, like helping his constituents in whatever way he can with their individual issues, often with healthcare itself.
“People are desperate,” Petten said. “They’re desperate to see a specialist, they’re desperate to get a test done, they’re running into roadblocks everywhere… When they come to me, unfortunately, they’re coming to us as a last resort.”
Despite challenges in the healthcare system, Petten said he will advocate to the best of his ability for people in such tough situations.
“It’s so impactful to the individual when you can rectify their problem,” he said.
Aside from constituency issues, Petten said he is also pleased with the Opposition’s performance in the legislature, and offered a Christmas greeting to his adversaries on the government side. “Even though we sit on different sides of the house, at the end of the day we’re all trying to improve the lives of Newfoundland and Labradorians,” he said. “My main concern is the district of CBS. That’s my job, to advocate on their behalf, and it’s a job I take quite seriously.”

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