Premier Prioritizes Secrecy Ahead of Public Interest in Northwood Review Process
Due to the secretive nature of the Northwood review, NSGEU President Jason MacLean has decided to not take part in the process.
The Northwood review process announced on June 30th restricts anyone who appears before the committee from sharing that same information publicly, and threatens them with risk of fines and prison time, says NSGEU President Jason MacLean.
Last week, MacLean was invited to speak with members of the review committee about our members’ experience working at Northwood during the first wave of COVID-19. Just hours before that meeting, the NSGEU received an email from a committee staff person stating that, “Any quality improvement information, is protected from disclosure under the Quality Improvement Information Protection Act.”
This means that any information provided to the committee immediately becomes a secret and cannot be provided to the public in any form, not even through the province’s Freedom of Information Act. A person releasing information is subject to a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to six months in prison.
“The NSGEU accepted the invitation to work with the review committee so we could share the experiences of our members. The NSGEU stands with the 53 families who lost loved ones during the first wave of the COVID pandemic,” says MacLean. “We strongly believe that the public interest is best served by holding a public inquiry, fully disclosing all information, so the families, seniors, staff and Nova Scotians get the answers they deserve.”
In light of the secrecy surrounding the current review process, President MacLean made the difficult decision to decline speaking with the committee. Instead, the details he was prepared to provide to the committee are being compiled into a detailed report, which we plan to release publicly next week, along with an 800+ page FOIPOP document. The report and FOIPOP document outline not just the events at Northwood in April of this year, but also provides a context into government’s decisions leading up to the spread of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
“The residents of Northwood, as well as their family members, facility staff, and all Nova Scotians, deserve to know what led up to the tragic deaths at this facility,” says MacLean.
In light of the Provincial government’s newfound support for public inquiries, the NSGEU is renewing its call for Premier Stephen McNeil to also launch a full public inquiry into the deaths of 53 residents at Northwood this spring.
August 4, 2020
Today, the NSGEU is releasing a report chronicling government neglect and delay that contributed to the death of 53 seniors...
July 22, 2020
We held a press conference today (see below for a youtube video of the conference) Here is our news release...
June 30, 2020
The government’s planned review of the tragic deaths of residents at Northwood Manor is both welcome and necessary, but unfortunately,...
June 17, 2020
On Tuesday, the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) announced they would begin lifting visitor restrictions at hospitals throughout our province....
June 15, 2020
After a six-year struggle, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who work at former CDHA locations will finally see fair recognition for...
April 22, 2020
NSGEU nurses redeployed to Northwood Manor are reporting extremely serious concerns about the health and safety of vulnerable seniors due...
April 16, 2020
A coalition of unions representing more than 40,000 health care workers is launching a new campaign today, asking Nova Scotians to call...
April 7, 2020
COVID-19 is having a dramatic impact on our lives. All levels of government are working to provide new and improved...
April 3, 2020
Five unions representing health care workers providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic are calling on government and employers to sign...