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Government’s Idea of a Dignified Resting Place for Bodies is an Underground Garage


For Immediate Release

July 2, 2024

 

NDP Leader Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre) continues to be appalled by government’s inaction in handling the accumulated bodies in the Health Sciences Centre after learning that government’s recent solution was to move three freezer units out of sight in the hospital’s underground garage.


The issue of unclaimed bodies at the Health Sciences was brought forward in March 2024 when a CBC report highlighted the morgue’s overflow of bodies. Dinn had been hearing concerns from families who cannot afford to bury their loved ones.


“This problem has existed for years, and it didn’t come about as a result of a lack of storage; it developed because of this government’s typical inaction that allowed the problem to grow to crisis proportions,” said Dinn. “The motto of this Liberal government should be ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Here we are, months after government agreed in the House of Assembly to address this problem, and all they have done is move the storage units, taking up accessible parking spots at the hospital.”


Dinn says that government must address the root cause of the build up by tying financial assistance to inflation, simplifying the application process and reviewing protocols and policies, which are all solutions he asked the Minister to commit to in the House of Assembly this spring.


“When I brought this forward during Question Period, the Minister refused to commit to exploring these solutions. To me, this says that the Minister either doesn’t understand the process, or refuses to improve access to it,” said Dinn. “The talks that the Minister says are happening with funeral directors are happening at a snails pace. The solutions are there, but it seems that government is just interested in hiding the problem.


 “Does the Minister of Health and Minister of CSSD really believe that this is a dignified, acceptable solution? A dignified solution would be to make sure the bodies receive  proper funeral services, that families are able to mourn and bury their loved ones, that funeral homes receive fair remuneration for their services. But that takes work, which clearly this government does not want to do.”


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For further information, contact Stephanie Curran, Media Relations Manager, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or stephaniecurran@gov.nl.ca


NR 722024 Government’s Idea of a Dignified Resting Place for Bodies is an Underground Gara
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