6/10/10

Democracy slipping away.

The attack on community control of local hospitals continues.  This time in Northumberland, where the hospital board, which backed Liberal government cuts in local services, is using a new nomination process to prevent local hospital members from electing new hospital board members.  Instead the board has simply chosen five incumbent board members as the successful candidates!

Former Coburg Mayor Angus Read finds it strange that members of the hospital board would be those deciding who should fill five board vacancies -- in essence "voting on themselves".

The hospital board and its chief executive officer "want full control and they are leaving the people of Northumberland out of it," said local businessman Bill Patchett in an interview with Northumberland Today. Patchett, who helped with fundraising for the construction of the new hospital, adds "We're contemplating legal action."

Here, as elsewhere, the new ideology is a 'skills-based board'.  But without community control and local democracy, it's not realistic to expect much of a defense of community interests.  And that, no doubt, suits the provincial government just fine.

dallan@cupe.ca

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