MONTREAL, Jan. 16, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - While leaders in Quebec's English-speaking community were cautiously optimistic in early December that amendments to Quebec's health reform would allow the community to maintain an acceptable level of input and control over their institutions, that hope is fading as the Commission on Health and Social Services reconvenes today to continue the clause by clause review of Bill 10.
Despite the reassurances offered in early December by Health and Social Services Minister Gaétan Barrette, amendments tabled to date do not adequately ensure the protection of the English-speaking community's hospitals, nursing homes and social service centres or preserve the community's role in their governance.
The position of the Quebec Community Groups Network and its community and health and social service stakeholders is that Bill 10, and any legislation, regulations or guidelines that impact our community's health and social service institutions, must respect three central principles: That the community maintain some meaningful involvement in the governance of institutions that were built and supported by our community over more than 150 years; that the legislative guarantees which protect English-speaking Quebecers' right to services in our own language across the Province be upheld; and that our institutional owning corporations, where they exist, continue to maintain ownership and control of their assets.
"Since Bill 10 was tabled in September of last year, community and institutional advocates have been working to propose creative solutions that respect the Minister's objectives while preserving our historic rights to services in English and to the institutions our community founded and continue to support," commented QCGN President Dan Lamoureux.
"Six weeks have gone by since the Minister tabled his initial set of amendments to Bill 10 and, despite his explicit promise, we have not yet seen new language that responds to some of our core concerns. We are beginning to wonder if the Ministry is on the same wavelength as their Minister with regard to some of these critical issues."
"While the QCGN and institutional leaders remain committed to working with our elected officials to develop a legal framework that protects the rights of our community and ensures the necessary services and community role in governance that has long been accepted in Quebec, we need to know that the Minister and his officials are pursuing these same goals," added QCGN's Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge.
The belief that our community must continue to play a critical role in the health and social service institutions that serve us, was among the main issues raised in the QCGN's brief to the Commission in October. The brief was supported by dozens of community groups, regional associations, school boards and institutional leaders. These goals were also supported by more than 9500 individual Quebecers who signed an online petition (www.bill10.com) which expresses deep concerns with this wide-ranging legislation that will have profound impacts on our community's vitality and identity.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (www.qcgn.ca) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 42 English-language community organizations across Quebec. As a centre of evidence-based expertise and collective action it identifies, explores and addresses strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec and encourages dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders.
SOURCE Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN)
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