Air ambulance legal fees paid

Adam Randell
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Town picks up the remaining $7,200 tab

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When the Town of St. Anthony decided to challenge government’s 2010 decision to move the air ambulance service to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, they knew it would be an uphill battle.

Feeling compelled to fight to keep its services the town brought the matter to court.

A committee was struck for fundraising purposes and lawyer Jim Bennett was hired on to take the case.

In November the decision came down that the town had lost its case and the remaining legal fees would have to be settled.

Based on Bennett’s invoice, St. Anthony’s legal fees came in at $27,154.30.

The committee’s effort covered $19,933.95 of the cost, leaving a remainder of $7,220.35, plus an interest of more than $2,000. Bennett waved the interest charge.

Mayor Ernest Simms, who also sat on the air ambulance committee, said it was felt that fundraising had been pushed as far as it could go and the committee wouldn’t be able to secure the remaining figure.

“This was our court case anyways,” Simms said. “We were the ones who took this to court and we were the ones responsible for the legal fees, the committee was there to offer fundraising support.”

Simms feels the town got off easy because of the effort that was put forward.

“This could have cost us the entire amount of the legal fees, if it weren’t for the people out there raising funds, we would have been left with a substantial fee,” he said.

With the last of the committees funds turned over to Bennett ($1,538.76), the bank account was closed out.

“We actually missed one (money) can as the town was making the payment, so we’ll take that, count it up and put it into the town’s general revenue,” Simms said.

Geographic location: St. Anthony, Happy Valley, Goose Bay

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