As Sunshine Coast residents reel from Vancouver Coastal Health’s surprise announcement that they will be privatizing seniors’ long-term health care while falsely telling us that they consulted our elected officials, the apparent sellout of our community takes focus. Some likely details learned to date: reduced hours of care per person, a new location further from the village making former short trips more difficult, employees losing their jobs and being made to reapply almost certainly with lower wages and reduced benefits while losing hard-won seniority. History being a guide from previous care privatizations, older workers, those with disabilities or workers with union sympathy and past offices need not apply, while falling standards of diet, housekeeping and care become possible. There may be problems delivering hospice and hospital auxiliary services to a private facility.
When the BC Liberal Party privatizes a facility, not having to pay for it out of this election year’s budget, taxpayers have to pay a larger yearly payment, saddling future governments with ever-increasing and higher costs. The BC Liberals tell us that there is no available new money, all the while recently reducing income taxes on the most wealthy and reporting questionable surpluses.
We can stop this assault on our community if we stand together and hold our elected officials to account, particularly those elected municipal officials who would be regulating this development through required OCP and zoning changes. Let’s put this flawed plan in our landfill where it belongs.
Neil Edmunds, Sechelt