Townshippers’ Association concerned over Barrette reform bill
Townshippers’ Association and its President Gerald Cutting share in the apprehension voiced by the Quebec Community Groups Network in response to the massive reorganization of the health care sector as proposed in Bill 10 tabled by Health Minister Gaétan Barrette.
According to Cutting, the most important issue for the English-speaking community in the Eastern Townships revolves around the notion of local representation. “In reality the principle is rather simple” said Cutting, “the bigger the organization, the smaller the English voice becomes.” The proposed shift from community appointed to minister appointed advisory boards, the extent of whose real power has yet to be defined, is particularly worrisome as it has the potential to remove the Englishspeaking community from the governance of health institutions established historically by the community across the province. The reduction or removal of the English-speaking community’s role in the governance of such fundamental institutions will be to the detriment of the vitality and identity of its community. “How will our voice be institutionalized in this Bill?” Cutting asked. “We must constantly ask the question: are we a fundamental part of the fabric of Quebec society or are we an inconvenient minority that at times must be accommodated? Surely excess administrative layers can and should be removed without threat to the English-speaking community.”