At a point you’d think somebody would stop and ask a few questions.
Terry Haffner with the stump of the tree planted in his father’s memory.
Last week we reported on how Kingston’s Providence Care cut down the trees and removed the plaques associated with a 25-year-old memorial garden to former staff who had passed away. The removal of the memorial garden was in preparation for a new building to replace the aging mental health and rehab hospitals in the city.
This week Providence Care expressed regret that this had taken place without prior warning or communications to staff and community. They also committed to planning a rededication – that is once they figure out who had once been memorialized there.
Providence Care admits that while an inventory of the trees had taken place, there were “very few existing written records of the memorials and dedications that existed throughout the site.”
In other words, they don’t know.
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The Toronto Star’s Bob Hepburn is certainly raising a storm over the rewards the province’s 14 Community Care Access Centres have been bestowing on their CEOs during a period of intense provincial austerity. The Auditor General of Ontario is now looking into the operations of the CCACs, although a full report is not expected until 2015.
When Hepburn first raised this issue the Sunshine list for 2013 earnings had not been posted. The big winner between 2009-2012 was the Central LHIN’s Cathy Szabo, who had seen her compensation bumped up by about 50 per cent from 2009. Apparently that was not enough. Today Hepburn reports that in 2013 Szabo had seen her salary bumped up again – from $271,734 to $277,609 – an increase of $5,875 or 2.1 per cent. Over five years she has seen an increase of $97,604 – or almost enough to make the sunshine list all by itself.
Szabo may be relieved to be in Kingston, having been recently announced as the new CEO of Providence Care. There is no word on what her salary will be, but her predecessor Dale Kenney took home $336,779 plus another $22,197 in taxable benefits in 2013. If she makes anywhere near that amount, Szabo will have seen her compensation nearly double since 2009. Restraint, what restraint? Cathy — we’ll see you at the bargaining table.
Who decided Victoria Day would be a good time to celebrate PSWs?
We’d love to know how PSW (Personal Support Worker) Day is decided? In 2012 it was on May 16 – the Wednesday before the long weekend. Last year it was inexplicably changed to the Sunday of the long weekend – May 19. This year it is once again being celebrated on May 19 – which falls squarely on Victoria Day. While PSWs do work 24/7, many would still normally have the holiday off. That means in workplaces PSW Day will be celebrated without many of the regular PSWs present. However or whoever decides this should rethink the timing – not all professional days are necessarily celebrated on the same calendar day each year. The event could, for example, be celebrated on the Thursday before the long weekend annually or placed at a totally different date that doesn’t run into the distraction of a long weekend. Other professions do operate this way – perhaps the Ontario Personal Support Worker Association should give this more thought.
Media wrong about Romanow Commission’s view of Pharmacare
We were recently fortunate to be at a meeting with Steve Morgan, the BC Academic who was responsible for writing the Pharmacare section of the Romanow Commission into the Future of Health Care in Canada. While the media regularly suggests that the Romanow report abandoned the goal of universal Pharmacare to pursue catastrophic coverage instead, Morgan insists that catastrophic coverage was meant as a step towards universal Pharmacare, not a replacement. Universal Pharmacare has been a goal even before the inception of Medicare in Canada. It was part of Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas’ plan for phase two of Medicare. It was also recommended by Justice Emmett Hall in his 1964 review of public health insurance in Canada. Every developed country with a universal Medicare plan has some form of universal Pharmacare coverage – except for Canada.