PC candidate under fire for comments on hiring healthcare workers from India and Pakistan

The PC candidate in the Baie Verte-Green Bay by-election has come under fire after comments he made regarding the hiring of healthcare workers were interpreted by some as having racial overtones.

During a debate hosted by the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, PC candidate Lin Paddock was asked what he would do to bring doctors and nurses to the rural area. With ten seconds left, Paddock ended his response by suggesting the province should recruit in certain countries and not others.

“We need to recruit in areas that love this,” Paddock said. “Places like Germany, where they love the outdoors, and not India and Pakistan, where they come and go to Toronto.”

Gerry Byrne, Minister for Immigration, Population Growth and Skills

Immigration Minister and co-chair of the Ministerial Anti-Racism Committee, Gerry Byrne, describes the comment as hurtful and completely false.

“No reason can be given as to why those comments were made on any basis of fact or legitimacy.”

In a statement to VOCM News, Paddock apologized and said his comments were poorly worded. His intention was to highlight the need for healthcare workers and welcomes all professionals who wish to work in the province, regardless of their origin.

“I want to clarify my comments regarding healthcare recruitment and retention. My intention was to emphasize the need for effective recruitment and retention strategies for health professionals in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our goal should be to retain these people, ensuring they see a long-term future in our province.

I acknowledge that my comments regarding recruitment in specific countries were poorly worded and I am sorry if this may have offended anyone. I want to make it clear that all health professionals, regardless of their country of origin, are welcome, valued and essential to our province. Having served in the Canadian Armed Forces with people from all over the world and earning their respect, I truly value diversity.

I am committed to promoting inclusive and respectful hiring practices that welcome health professionals from all backgrounds, ensuring Newfoundland and Labrador remains a diverse and vibrant place for all.

Thanks for your understanding.”

-Full statement from Lin Paddock.