Lisa Gervais: An open letter to the premier
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | April 17, 2017|
Haliburton County here. Just thought we’d write to let you know that your Ministry of the Attorney General has dropped the ball. Seems they’ve neglected to hire justices of the peace across the province. Oops. That means our residents will soon have the pleasure of driving at least 140 km return to go to provincial offences court in Lindsay, instead of Minden.
I say drive because we don’t have any public transit up here. Speaking of which, we’re so glad that you’re spending a bundle on that one-stop subway in Scarborough. That will come in handy when we’re forced to travel to the city for medical services that are lacking here. But we digress.
Also, in case you haven’t heard, there are more than 110 people on the waiting list for basic beds at our two long-term care facilities. Seems they may have to wait a year or two to get in. We sure hope they make it. You might have overheard our MPP, Laurie Scott talking to your minister in question period. She was complaining. Again. We know, typical Tory. Seems our LHIN is the worst in the province when it comes to the shortage of long-term care beds.
Oh, and you and your press clippers might have missed another story from these parts a couple of weeks ago.
In just one month, a $62,000 surplus at Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) was reduced to a mere $2,600 thanks to Hydro costs. So far, the corporation has spent $180,000 more on hydro than it did at the same time last year. And this was after investing in your now world-famous FIT program for solar panels. Funny. We thought you were decreasing hydro costs. Our health service has seen a 42 per cent increase while consumption is up just two per cent.
Still on health, you are welcome. Yes, our Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation (HHHSF) continues to raise money on your behalf to provide essential health services that your government just can’t seem to deliver. We have a new palliative centre being built and local folks have raised more than a million dollars towards it. All up, our HHHSF has raised about $13 million over the years. Just as in any third world country, we’re doing our best to fund our own local healthcare. For example, with the closest obstetrical services over an hour away, we’re determined that no woman should ever have to squat in a field. Unless it’s snowing. Bad roads.
And, last but not least, thanks for supporting 61 per cent of the cost of running our local women’s shelter in Minden. One in three women is probably exaggerating, anyway. But just in case they aren’t, the YWCA Peterborough Haliburton came cap-in hand to our little municipal government. It responded with a $25,000 donation that we can’t afford. The rest of the community picked up the remainder of your slack for that one. Then again, who can put a price on the safety of women and children? Oh that’s right, your government can. Word of advice: aim higher. Too bad about those billions lost in cancelled contracts. A fraction of a percent of that money could have made such a difference here, but we understand: OPS salaries and consultants fees are more important than basic services.
But don’t worry. We’ll be okay.
Desperate in Haliburton
Lisa Gervais is the editor for The Highlander.