VANCOUVER, April 25 /CNW/ - More than 250 delegates to the 38th annual
convention of the Health Sciences Association of BC have acclaimed Reid
Johnson to lead the union as its president for another two-year term. Johnson
was first elected president 2007.
Johnson, who holds a Masters of Social Work and worked at the Centre of
Ability before his election in 2007, urged members to get active in their
union and communities to make a difference.
"When we look around ourselves, at communities that are suffering in a
tough economic climate... at the highest child poverty rate in Canada... at
seniors who are living with inadequate home support, and limited access to
supportive living and residential care.... at low-wage workers who are forced
to get by on the lowest minimum wage in the country... When we look around at
all that, I know that we are impoverished if we don't do our part to make a
difference," he told delegates in his keynote address.
With a theme of "a vision for change," delegates passed a number of
resolutions that set direction for the union's activities in the coming year.
Delegates also heard from keynote speaker Carole James, BC NDP leader,
who thanked health science professionals who support the hundreds of thousands
of patients, like her, through the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of
their serious illness and injuries.
James told delegates that she is commited to addressing the training,
recruitment and retention challenges facing health science professionals
throughout the province, and announced wait time guarantees in five key areas
- cancer, cardiac, hip and knee, cataract and diagnostics.
Other guest speakers included Jim Sinclair, president of the BC
Federation of Labour, who urged members to get involved in the current
provincial election by talking to their neighbours and colleagues about the
issues important to them, and Larry Brown, secretary-treasurer of the National
Union of Provincial and General Employees, who reported on a number of
campaigns underway on a national level.
Saturday afternoon, a forum on the effects of poverty on the health of
British Columbians will feature four HSA members who deliver health and
community services to vulnerable British Columbians, and Seth Klein, Executive
Director of the BC Officer of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives,
which is calling on all political parties in the provincial eleciton to adopt
a poverty reduction plan for BC.
HSA represents 16,000 health science professionals, registered
psychiatric nurses and community social services providers who work throughout
For more information, contact Miriam Sobrino at the HSA Office.
For further information:
For further information: Miriam Sobrino, Director of Communications,
(604) 439-0994 or (604) 328-2886 Cell