Ontario Health Coalition Applauds Ombudsman’s Report on LHIN Spin

Health Coalition Applauds Ombudsman’s Report on LHIN Spin: Demands McGuinty Stop Delaying the LHINs Review, Investigate Poor LHIN Decisions to Cut Hospital Care for Thousands of Residents

TORONTO, Aug. 10 /CNW/ – The Ontario Health Coalition applauds Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin’s report, “The LHIN Spin”. But the Coalition is deeply concerned that the McGuinty government has evaded its legislative requirement to conduct a full review of its Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and the legislation that governs them and is continuing a major round of health system cuts and restructuring while shutting out virtually all public advocates that have expressed concerns or criticized their reforms. Ironically, though the Ombudsman gave credit to the Ministry of Health for belatedly setting proposed standards for LHINs’ public consultation, the Ministry has not consulted with public advocates who have experience trying to work with the LHINs regarding these standards.

Ombudsman Andre Marin reported that the McGuinty government-appointed LHINs have rendered community engagement “meaningless”. He stated that LHIN board members counted conversations on golf courses and in grocery stores as public consultations. He noted that they relied on presentations of the provider organizations to make decisions affecting access to health care for tens of thousands of residents. He was particularly critical of the LHINs for adopting illegal by-laws to meet behind closed doors.
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Union gets foot in door with Navistar officials

There is a glimmer of hope for the Navistar International Truck and Engine plant in Chatham.

Aaron Neaves, president of CAW Local 127, said the union found out late Monday afternoon the company has finally responded to its request to meet soon for “exploratory discussions.

“That’s all we can tell you right now,” he told reporters outside Chatham-Kent council chambers after hearing a brief report on what economic development has done over the last month to help with the situation.

He added the membership needs to be informed of the date before it’s made public.

Neaves said he is “very cautiously optimistic,” but stressed they’re only exploratory discussions.

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Post script …

Talks regarding the future of Navistar’s Richmond Street truck plant are scheduled for Aug. 19.

“These discussions are in an effort to feel the climate of the company’s intentions for our future,” said Cathy Wiebenga and Sonny Galea, in a joint media release Tuesday.

Wiebenga is plant chairwoman for the CAW Local 127 Navistar unit and Galea represents CAW Local 35 Navistar unit.

The talks are aimed at moving the company back to discussions with locals 127 and 35, the bargaining committees and the national union.

“The committee is committed to all options that exist for both locals,” said the union representatives.

They said an update for the membership will be provided following the meeting.

Company spokesman Roy Wiley has said repeatedly the company is willing to talk provided the talks are productive.