Labrador-Gren­fell Health board chair Boyd Noel sus­pended

Noel doesn’t know why in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der­way, LGH says in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­fi­den­tial

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - BY STEPHEN ROBERTS stephen.roberts@north­ern­pen.ca

Labrador-Gren­fell Health (LGH) is say­ing lit­tle about the de­ci­sion to sus­pend board chair Boyd Noel this past week.

But Noel is speak­ing out about some of his ex­pe­ri­ences on the board.

A for­mer mayor of St. An­thony, Noel was di­rected to step aside from his po­si­tion by Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie on Nov 1.

He had been in the role since July 2017.

SaltWire Net­work has learned that the Depart­ment of Health is con­duct­ing two in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­gard­ing Noel.

One in­ves­ti­ga­tion is into al­leged bul­ly­ing by Noel and harass­ment of se­nior staff of the health au­thor­ity; the other is into al­leged in­ter­fer­ence in the oper­a­tions of the health au­thor­ity by Noel, and his over­all per­for­mance as board chair.

While both in­ves­ti­ga­tions are un­der­way, Noel has been di­rected to ab­stain from par­tic­i­pat­ing in board ac­tiv­i­ties ei­ther as a trustee or chair.

Noel de­clined to speak about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. How­ever, he did ad­dress mat­ters con­cern­ing the LGH board dur­ing a St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet pub­lic coun­cil meet­ing Nov 7.

The coun­cil for the North­ern Penin­sula town had in­vited Noel to the meet­ing to dis­cuss health care.

Noel ad­dressed the coun­cil, stress­ing that he was not rep­re­sent­ing LGH in any ca­pac­ity, as board mem­ber or chair, and was there sim­ply as a pri­vate cit­i­zen. “I’m not here in any of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity what­so­ever,” he said.

While read­ing the let­ter he had re­ceived from the health min­is­ter, Noel said he has no in­for­ma­tion on the in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­volv­ing him.

“The na­ture and terms of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be pro­vided to you at the time the in­ves­ti­ga­tors are se­lected,” the let­ter stated.

“I have no idea what the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is about or who I bul­lied or if I bul­lied,” Noel said. “That’s the only thing I can say about it, but once it’s over I will agree to come back here and give a full-scale re­port on it.”

Board re­sponse

Noel also ad­dressed the events and af­ter­math of a Septem­ber board meet­ing.

He told coun­cil that at the time, two po­si­tions were va­cant on the LGH ex­ec­u­tive team. Dur­ing the meet­ing, the board of trustees held a vote on whether to place one po­si­tion in Labrador City and one in St. An­thony.

The mo­tion passed by a 6-2 ma­jor­ity.

“Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing that, all hell broke loose,” Noel told the coun­cil.

The next day, two board mem­bers sent let­ters ask­ing for Noel’s res­ig­na­tion.

A third let­ter was drafted by a se­nior staff mem­ber with LGH, ex­press­ing dis­ap­point­ment at the board’s de­ci­sion.

The let­ters were sent to Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices and the re­gion’s MHAs, among other re­cip­i­ents.

It’s not known whether these com­plaints are the ba­sis for ei­ther of the two in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

LGH re­sponse

The LGH was con­tacted about the de­ci­sion to sus­pend Noel.

The health au­thor­ity pro­vided a writ­ten state­ment in­di­cat­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is a con­fi­den­tial pro­ce­dure and it would not make fur­ther com­ment.

Wayne But­ton has been named the act­ing chair of the board of the trustees pend­ing the re­sults of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions. But­ton is a chi­ro­prac­tor and the mayor of Labrador City.

“We are work­ing with Dr. But­ton and the en­tire Board of Trustees to re­spect the process and will con­tinue to en­sure clients re­ceive safe and qual­ity health ser­vices,” the LGH state­ment read.

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