Disinformation failed



Congratulations to Minister Dix, Chief Paull, VCH and Trellis for finding a way forward for our community’s much needed and long delayed seniors’ residential care facility. They have recovered a ball that was badly fumbled by the Sechelt council and the opposition organized against this facility.

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I favour a well-informed and reasoned debate on the role of public and private facilities in providing health care and related services in Canada – I think we need much more such debate as we seek to improve our dysfunctional “universal” health care system. Sadly, that’s not what got in the debate on the merits of this facility. The arguments put forward in opposition to the facility failed as public education and, instead, turned into a populist disinformation campaign.

They said the health care workers would take a substantial reduction in pay. In fact, Trellis committed, in writing, to pay and benefits comparable to those in the public sector right from the start of this debate.

They said Trellis would reduce the number of care hours to save money. In fact, VCH, not Trellis, sets the number of care hours and VCH publicly committed to not reduce the number of care hours per patient.

They said there would be job losses. In fact, there will be a substantial increase in jobs to care for the 20 additional residential care spaces.

They said the privately owned facility would provide lower quality care than a public facility. In fact, a study by the BC Seniors’ Advocate found that the number of care hours, not ownership of the facility, determines the quality of care.

Fortunately, the disinformation campaign failed and the harmful and unnecessary delays are over. I look forward to the community improvements we’ll see with the opening of the new facility.

Keith Maxwell, Sechelt

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