20 June 2018

Rumpole and the Bleak House #nlpoli #cdnpoli

A scan of the docket for the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, General Division reveals that the Provincial Court Judges are having another whack at the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador over their ongoing and unresolved pay dispute.

Those who suffered through the tale of tardy judges will note that this is a new application.  The judge who heard the other application in the same dispute has yet to deliver a decision some 18 months later.

The Provincial Court Judges are serious about this.  They have retained an army of lawyers all named Susan Dawes.

Most likely to appear for the Crown will be Rolf "Change the regs" Pritchard.  He's the ace Crown attorney who first came to public attention during the Cameron Inquiry and who was most recently seen arguing with Bern Coffey  - who appeared behalf of a Corner Brook ophthalmologist - about whether people should get cataract surgery in a private clinic and have the taxpayers cover the bill through MCP.

The government's solution to the cataract dispute was to change the hospital insurance regulations.  Undoubtedly,  officials in the health department cracked open the spare bottle of sodastream water in the health department last Friday to celebrate the loophole they'd closed that allowed a doctor to think they could do that one procedure in their office while everything had to be done in a hospital.

They celebrated too soon.  The wording of the new regulations allows doctors to do everything MCP covers outside a hospital, paid for by the Crown,  *except* for cataracts.


Don't be surprised if ophthalmologists do everything but cataracts in their clinics and bill MCP for it.

And stand by for the cardiologists and all the other cutters to see what they can do in their private clinics as John Haggie foots the bill for the whole lot.

Meanwhile,  the judges in Provincial Court will just have to wait for yet another decision on yet another application in their ongoing dispute.  Perhaps they'd have a faster result by praying that someone from Health gets a job as assistant deputy minister in Justice. That might be the only way they will get their problems resolved quickly.  The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly in Newfoundland and Labrador.