Tag Archives: John Tory

Inspectors, LHIN transparency and Hudak follies — some updates on stories you may be following

Some updates on recent stories in the Diablogue…

We’ve been trying to assess in recent weeks how many of the 100 long-term care inspectors Health Minister Deb Matthews promised in June 2013 have actually been hired.  The official word is now in: 89 – all of them temporary or “fixed term” contracts. January 13 we pointed out that the promise of having every nursing home receive a resident quality inspection in 2014 and annually thereafter will be difficult to fulfill if all these inspectors are intended to be on the job for only 12 months.  It normally takes three inspectors – nursing, dietary and environmental — as long as two weeks to complete the full RQI inspection. This is on top of responding to more than 2,000 complaints each year from families and residents.

We’ve heard back from two more Local Health Integration Networks on their policy around making public board documents. The Welland Tribune tripped our interest in this policy after they suggested the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN was the least transparent in the province, posting board materials as long as six weeks after the actual board meeting.  Our January 7 post noted that four LHINs were missing from the newspaper’s survey and we decided to send them e-mails that afternoon asking about their disclosure policy. This is important given it can be difficult to follow the discussion at a LHIN board meeting without access to the documents (ie. briefing notes, minutes, reports) board members are referencing. It raises the question how “open” is an open board meeting? Most of the LHINs post their documents well in advance of board meetings or at least make documents available during the meeting.  The first to get back to us of the four LHINs missing from the Tribune survey was Toronto Central, but more recently Central West and Mississauga Halton checked in, both indicating that they too offered more than an agenda to citizens attending their board proceedings.  Central West, responding to our question on January 21, posts all board material seven days prior to their meeting. They also typically post meeting notices 25-30 days in advance. Central West deals with disclosure by noting all materials are in draft form until approved by their board.  Mississauga Halton is not as open. It makes available board materials to the public at the actual meetings. Those not attending the meeting can request materials after the board meeting is complete. Minutes are made available online up to 30 days after the board has approved them. They post their yearly meeting schedule on-line at the beginning of the year and notify of any changes within the 10-days required under the Local Health System Integration Act. Mississauga Halton apologized for the 10 days it took to answer our question. Their response came January 17. That leaves just the North West LHIN to reply to our January 7 survey.

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Not your Bill Davis Tories: Ont PCs formally adopt U.S. tea-party labour politics

The Ontario PCs almost walked away from the brink this weekend.

Last year the provincial Tories introduced a white paper advocating U.S.-style labour policies that would undo the rights working people have had in this country for more than a half century.

Rather than float such radical policies as a trial balloon, MPPs defended the policy over the past year likely knowing that it would take them a far distance out of the political center. While former PC leader John Tory openly advised getting rid of it, the party convention instead formally adopted the policy this weekend, but only barely. Only 45 per cent of delegates voted in favour.

Taking a page out of the tea-party playbook, the Tories now approach a likely spring election with a glaring hard turn to the right.

The question is: will they be able to convince working people to vote against their best interests? Such radical U.S. policies have not only had a devastating effect on labour unions, but have done much to gut the middle class south of the border. As people fall down the economic ladder, it’s not difficult to convince them to resent those who are still hanging on to the rungs just above them. They can seldom see it is only those towards the top that still have room to climb.

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