Lunenberg ON – The Ontario PC Party under Tim Hudak seems to have come to the conclusion that if they shout all their sound bites, nobody will notice the complete lack of substance in what they are saying.
This was certainly true of Tory MPPs Lisa McLeod and Steve Clark during their recent visit to Cornwall, part of a Tirade Tour of Ontario blasting Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). They have promised to close the LHINs down, calling them “bloated bureaucracies” and “middlemen.” Here’s what they AREN’T telling you:
LHINs replaced the District Health Councils that were first put in place in 1975. While part of the Mike Harris government, Hudak had nothing to say on these Councils, despite the fact that Cornwall and pretty much all of Eastern Ontario were given short shrift by them. The McGuinty government replaced those Councils with LHINs and made sure they were representative of and accountable to the regions they were responsible for.
Being on the ground in the communities they serve, LHINs are mandated to find out where in local healthcare funding is needed, and by keeping the system integrated, makes sure gaps and overlaps are avoided – ensuring our money isn’t wasted and no needed services are neglected. To find out exactly what they do, visit http://www.champlainlhin.on.ca/faq.aspx. If the Hudak PCs plan to cut the LHINs entirely, how are they going to find out where support is needed? They will either have to replace LHINs with some other “middleman” or have critical decisions made by some political staffer in Toronto who doesn’t know the distance or difference between Cornwall and Winchester. Either Hudak hasn’t thought this through, or he has, and isn’t telling us his intentions. Not a good way to build confidence.
Of course, we already have good reasons not to trust the Hudak Tories with our healthcare. Just this week, they flip-flopped on whether they would cut the health premium and gut $3 billion from Ontario’s healthcare budget. Hudak’s office and Tory MPP Sylvia Jones said they wouldn’t cut the premium, and then days later, Hudak himself said he would. This is the same sort of stance they have taken on the HST; they were all for it until the McGuinty government implemented it, and now say they’re against it, but won’t promise to cut it. To distract the public from these inconsistencies, Hudak has suddenly made lowering the price of beer one his priorities.
Whether the Tories don’t have a plan, or have a plan they aren’t sharing, it’s clear they aren’t being open with Ontarians. Maybe they should sort out their internal problems and figure out what they stand for FIRST; then maybe their MPPs can focus on content rather than just volume.
James Borer – Lunenberg Ontario
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)