Tag Archives: Ontario PC Party

Tory health platform review: Direct promise to scrap LHINs, CCACs missing

Diablogue Election Primer graphicCuriously after months of saying they’ll do away with both the Local Health Integration Networks and the Community Care Access Centres, both direct promises are conspicuously absent from the formal Tory election platform. That doesn’t mean they will stay in place either.

They do say they’ll instead place decision-making in the hands of “health hubs,” which will bring together “front line local experts from every aspect of health care together at the same table.” Elsewhere they define these local experts as “front-line professionals.”

“We think your nurses, doctors, community care organizations and hospitals know best what care you need,” the platform document states.

So what’s a health hub? Previously the Tories had described these not as some kind of broad-based panel of front line health professionals, but instead 30-40 large central hospitals which would run the health system within their sub-region.

The Tories may be massaging that pledge given it would strike at the independence of mostly local rural hospitals — which is where much of their electoral base resides. The first round of hospital consolidation under the Harris government created a lot of friction as smaller community hospitals found many of their services consolidated in larger urban sites. If the “health hubs” idea is to be implemented according to their earlier “white paper” it may be a vote loser in many smaller communities across the province. Nobody wants to see their hospital services taken away.

The platform is remarkably vague on how these “health hubs” would now be constituted. Watch for a possible name change, some new signs and a coat of paint applied to the Local Health Integration Networks.

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Ontario PCs war on public sector continues with Bill 113

For a guy who has spent most of his career working in the public sector, Conservative MPP Toby Barrett certainly has it in for public sector workers.

Barrett introduced Bill 113 in the legislature to carve out a new bureaucracy within the Ministry of Finance. Its job would be to compare public and private sector wages. This Orwellian “comprehensive pay fairness division” is supposed to provide guidance to arbitrators in settling contracts with public sector workers.

Never mind that arbitration decisions already factor in wage comparators and that such a division may be both very expensive and totally redundant.

This is just the latest attack on workers by the Ontario Conservatives who appear eager to reduce the wages of everyone who relies on a paycheque in this province. The end game is not to pass this piece of legislation, but to drum up public antipathy to the public sector. In fact, the proposed legislation didn’t even survive the day before being voted down.

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