Sunday, November 2, 2014


Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:35:14 -0400

Subject: We are writing with an urgent request that you take action today to send a strong message to Premier Philippe Couillard and Health Minister Gaétan Barrette

Please read this closely. It's very important and concerns ALL of us.

Sign and pass to your contacts

Dear Friends,
We are writing with an urgent request that you take action today to send a strong message to Premier Philippe Couillard and Health Minister Gaétan Barrette regarding the English-speaking community's health and social services network.   
Recently, Quebec's Liberal Government introduced Bill 10, the stated objective of which is to improve coordination of services and improve financial efficiency.  These are important objectives, and we endorse them. 
 But the legislation as presented will be catastrophic for the English-speaking community, and must be changed.
Hearings are already underway and the government has indicated that the legislation will be passed before the December holiday break. 
Bill 10, if enacted, will put an end to our community's ability to meaningfully engage with the hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation and youth centres that it founded and continues to support.   
In effect, Bill 10 would mean a complete takeover by the Ministry bureaucracy of the health and social services institutions that are the backbone and lifeblood of our community.   
In practice, what will happen if Bill 10 is adopted as currently drafted? 
· The boards of all but four acute-care hospitals will be abolished, placing all the others under a very small number of new, government controlled regional boards of directors.

· The institutions themselves will cease to exist, instead forming part of a completely state-controlled system with no public involvement or oversight.

· 100 per cent of the directors of these new mega-boards will be named directly by the Minister of Health and Social Services, who will also appoint the CEO and his or her second in command.

· The bilingual status of these institutions will erode and exemptions that allow internal communications, board meetings, signs, and patient record-keeping in English along with French will be at risk.

· The important contribution of foundations to the costs of providing quality services will be in danger as donors lose a sense of meaningful connection with the government appointees who control the delivery of services.

In short, Quebec's English-speaking community would lose opportunities for civic engagement, employment, and a critical element of community vitality.  Without our institutions, our community will erode. 
It is possible for the Minister to reach his objectives of greater complementarity and efficiency without destroying our vital link with our health and social service institutions.  But the needed changes cannot be made in the dangerously compressed time frame that has been set out by the Minister.  This legislation will be approved in December of 2014 and implemented in the spring, unless our voices are heard. 
We are therefore asking that you immediately take the following steps to ensure that the Minister and Premier hear from our community: 
· If you have access to a mailing list, please send an urgent email message to your database asking that your members and donors sign an on-line petition that will generate automatic emails to the Premier and Minister. A draft message to partner organizations to forward to your mailing lists is attached for your reference.
We will be writing to you again as this critical and urgent campaign moves forward. 

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