Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion con­cerned over Bar­rette re­form bill

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

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.”

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