Following Monday’s demonstration outside the former Kingston psychiatric hospital, Providence Care is now telling staff that the job cuts and bed closures are not about funding. Really? Even though the hospital is running at capacity, even though it is next to impossible to get a loved one admitted to a bed, even though long-term projections suggest greater need for mental health services in Kingston, even though the situation has become volatile with overcrowding and understaffing, the hospital expects us to believe that this is all part of the plan.
Sigh. If this is the plan, Providence Care desperately needs a new one.
On Monday we shot video of the demonstration outside the centre (below). If you live in Kingston, please share our video with others. The campaign to reverse the cuts continues. It’s time the LHIN involves the community in a plan that actually makes sense. Stay tuned for more events.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Brendan Kilcline, Chris Cormier, d, Dave Lundy, Kingston mental health cuts, Kingston P3 hospital, Mary Rita Holland, Providence Care, Ross Sutherland, Tracey Newton, Warren "Smokey" Thomas
Carleton University’s Hugh Armstrong speaks about P3s in Kingston March 4.
KINGSTON – As a Minister of the Crown, Kingston MPP John Gerretsen should know better.
At yesterday’s anti-privatization rally in front of his Kingston constituency office, Gerretsen was steadfast in his assertion that the deficit rendered the government unable to build new hospitals without private involvement in the finance, design, construction and long-term maintenance of the building.
The protesters are upset by the government’s plans to use a public-private partnership (P3) deal to build a new hospital in Kingston. The new facility will replace the aging psychiatric and rehab hospitals.
At the same time, Gerretsen surprised the protesters by telling them he knew the P3 option was more expensive.
The suggestion is that somehow using the private sector takes the costs of doing these projects off the government accounts. This is completely untrue.
It’s a little like taking out your high interest VISA card as a solution to your debts.
You don’t have to take our word for it.
The Conference Board of Canada issued a report in 2010 funded largely by pro-P3 groups such as the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, PPP Canada and Partnerships BC. To say the report subsequently contains a pro-P3 bias is a massive understatement.
Despite this, the report acknowledges that the idea of taking these financial obligations off-book has no value.
“Either I pay taxes or have my mother live with me,” said Neil Brooks with a sly smile. Brooks, co-author of The Trouble With Billionaires (with Linda McQuaig) underlined the value of taxes during the keynote address at this year’s Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) Action Assembly Weekend.
Brooks said that as we shift the line between what’s public and what’s private, the cost to individuals rises as government services become far more expensive to replace privately.
The Action Assembly is the OHC’s annual meeting to plan priorities for the coming year as well as review the victories of the previous one.
November 17-18 the meeting hall at the University of Toronto’s Hart House was packed as health care activists travelled from across the province to meet.
Here are 10 insight moments from this year’s 2-day meeting:
1. Switzerland is a criminal state. Neil Brooks, a tax law professor at Osgoode Law School, said governments have begun to recognize how much money they are losing to tax havens that protect the wealthy from paying their fair share back in their country of residence. It is estimated that $20-$30 trillion is salted away in tax havens, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars to public treasuries. Brooks says more money is leaving Africa for tax havens than all foreign aid coming to the continent.
Neil Brooks, law professor and author.
2. Actor Michael Caine says increasing taxes on the wealthy amounts to government interference. But Brooks suggests that Caine is overlooking the copyright laws passed by the same government that secure his wealth. When it benefits the wealthy, it’s not interference or big government. As top marginal tax rates dramatically decreased in the last 30 years, so did the spread between income growth between the wealthy and the rest of us. Brooks says that with the massive number of films Caine has made, the odds would suggest some of them had to be good.
Posted in Ontario Health Coalition
Tagged Action Assembly Weekend, Canadian and American taxes, Don Drummond, Donna Metcalf Woo, Dr. Michael Rachlis, Ethel Meade, Gary Countess, Gary Engler, Hugh MacKenzie, Louis Rodriguez, Marlene Rivier, Michael Caine, Natalie Mehra, Neil Brooks, OHC Annual Meeting, Orville Thacker, Patty Park, Ron Walker, Ross Sutherland, Sara Williamson, Sue Hotte, The Year We Became Us, Trish McAuliffe
Dennis Howlett, coordinator of Canadians for Tax Fairness, will be at all three public health care forums this week in Eastern Ontario. The forums are hosted by the Ontario Health Coalition.
Given the focus on debt, deficit and public sector job cuts, much of the media coverage has overlooked the impact of the provincial budget on Ontario’s health care system. The March provincial budget slowed funding further than most had predicted, leading to concerns about longer waits, crowded ERs and the delisting of some health services.
As coordinator of CFTF, Howlett is building a national campaign to promote fair taxation. CFTF believes the tax system should be reformed to fund the comprehensive, high-quality network of public services and programs required to meet our social, economic and environmental needs in the 21st century.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Ann Clark, Canadians For Tax Fairness, Dennis Howlett, False Positive: Private Profit in Canada's Medical Laboratories, Kathleen Lahey, Marlene Rivier, Michael Hurley, Natalie Mehra, Queen's University, Ross Sutherland, Sara Labelle