Cancel Trellis deal

Letters

Editor:

B.C.’s seniors advocate has reported that seniors who live in privately run care homes are more likely to die in hospital than those who live in publicly run homes. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone.

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I support the measured way in which the B.C. government is proceeding with the planning of a new seniors facility on the Sunshine Coast. We are in dire need of the facility, and its planning must ensure sustainability and utility long into the future. I agree on the proposed location of the facility on Sechelt Band lands in Wilson Creek. There are many positives to this location.

However, I sincerely hope that the government will reconsider the agreement with Trellis to run and build this facility. The population of the Sunshine Coast would be so much better served by a publicly run facility. The argument that the agreement was signed by the previous government and cannot be cancelled holds no sway; pay the penalty (if there is one) to cancel the agreement, and proceed to build a publicly funded facility. The contributions, both monetary and in volunteer hours from our numerous health care auxiliaries on the Coast, will negate the costs of any possible penalties. We have hundreds of volunteers in the auxiliaries who provide thousands of volunteer hours; they also fundraise extensively and donate hard goods to our facilities on an ongoing basis. They would have no presence in a privately run facility.

Our small hospital is stretched to capacity as it is. The last thing it needs is a private facility that downloads their responsibility to provide end of life care to an acute care facility.

If the NDP government truly wants to do the right thing by the residents of the Sunshine Coast, it will cancel the Trellis deal and immediately proceed to build a publicly funded facility. This is what the voters of the Sunshine Coast expected when we helped elect this government.

Michele Libling, Wilson Creek

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