Will consult constituents before making decision
© File photo
DEER LAKE — Straits-White Bay North MHA Christopher Mitchelmore could change political parties in the new year.
Back in October Mitchelmore, along with NDP MHA Dale Kirby quit the party caucus to sit as independents after the two politicians signed their names to a caucus letter demanding party Leader Lorraine Michael agree to a leadership convention in 2014.
Mitchelmore said in January he will be surveying his constituents on the Northern Peninsula to find out what they want.
“I’ve been knocking on a lot of doors and receiving emails and messages,” said Mitchelmore. “So far people seem to be supporting me whether I stay as an independent or join another party ... it’s something I’ll have to balance in the longer term.”
In the meantime, he said, there are issues to be advanced in the area for the new year, such as broadband and cellular communication, which today, he said, should be a must for tourism.
“People visit L'Anse aux Meadows and they don’t have service, they can’t get on Twitter or Facebook with their phones and show their friends what they’re seeing,” he said. “That’s something I think we need to work on this year.”
The Straits-White Bay area also needs to focus on its local health-care system, Mitchelmore said, which he called a continuation of 2013.
“We’ve had to deal with resignation of surgeons and a lack of echo-cardiogram services,” he said. “We had a health care-centre scheduled to open in 2012, but it (still hasn’t opened) and we need to find out the status of that for the new year.”
Mitchelmore said he’ll also be keeping an eye on local economic benefits that may come out from the Muskrat Falls project. He said there are a few local people already working in the Shoal Cove area, and he’ll be watching for more opportunities throughout the New Year.
“I still have a lot of questions still when it comes to the economic viability of Muskrat Falls, but I’m hopeful there’ll be local economic benefits in 2014,” he said.
“I’d like to see a lot more documentation, especially around the financing.”