Battle lines drawn on long-term care



As we enter round four of the provincial government’s attempt to privatize long-term care on the Coast, the battle lines are clearly drawn. With a deal with the Sechelt Indian Band off the table, Trellis supporters can no longer claim that privatization would create opportunities for the Band, or any sector of the community. Instead, it comes down to a single issue: after all this time will the Ministry of Health finally commit to build a publicly funded and operated facility or double-down on an ill-conceived scheme that would reduce the quality of care, load extra costs on families and harm the community as a whole?

article continues below

Those of us in the anti-privatization campaign hope we can count on the renewed support of a former ally. Following the 2016 announcement of the original Trellis deal, MLA Nicholas Simons explicitly, repeatedly denounced privatization of senior care. He said that privatization hurts communities and families and promised to denounce any attempt to replace Totem Lodge and Shorncliffe with a for-profit facility.

After his party came to power in 2017, Mr. Simons took a different tack. He said that ending the contract with Trellis was “clearly not in the best interests of the public.” He called the proposed Trellis-SIB deal “a definite partial victory” and claimed that opposition to privatization had diminished. He wrongly suggested that his government had ended contract-flipping. He ignored questions of increased costs to families and the effect of privatization on volunteer services.

The courtship of Trellis by the Ministry of Health has gone on almost four years. Whatever Mr. Simons may choose to believe, opposition to for-profit care is stronger than ever. The future of public health care is at stake and thousands of people are girding for a fight.

So which side are you on, sir?

Ian McLatchie, Davis Bay

© Copyright Coast Reporter


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Coast Reporter welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus


Will you accept the Beamish Challenge and not buy anything from outside the Sunshine Coast between now and Jan. 1?

or  view results

Popular Letters