Curious change of tune

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There’s been an interesting change of narrative from Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott on the Minden hospital debacle.

After spending weeks standing behind the Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) board and management, endorsing the decision to shutter the Minden emergency department, Scott changed tack in a pair of social media posts June 1 and 2, expressing frustration at the way the closure has been handled. She specifically said communication from HHHS prior to the decision being made public, and in the weeks since, has been lacking.

Huh?

I mean, it has. But it’s curious that Scott is only now figuring that out and expressing it publicly.

She has had ample opportunity to convey her frustration in interviews with The Highlander and other media sources since April 20, but has neglected to do so.

I’m sure on some level, especially as a former nurse, Scott has an issue with the closure. Even if she doesn’t, a significant portion of her community clearly does, as evidenced by the thousands of signatures on a petition calling for the Ontario government to overturn HHHS’ decision. That Scott hasn’t come forward to at least project those feelings shows she’s more concerned with toeing the Conservative party line and not creating more waves for premier Doug Ford and health minister Sylvia Jones, than she is advocating for her constituents.

Scott’s absence has been noted as the community has organized several rallies to fight this perceived injustice. She has conveniently been elsewhere each time the ‘Save the Minden ER’ group has made the trip to Lindsay to protest outside her constituency office.

Might this changing of the tune have something to do with the fact many of these residents, some of whom claim to have been loyal supporters of Scott’s for decades, have sworn never to vote for her again? I’d suggest so. While a provincial election is still three years away – plenty of time for people to forget or change their minds – I have a feeling the bad blood that has been percolating may stain the long-time MPP’s reputation for good.

Slightly more innocuous but no more egregious was Scott’s apparent attempt to take credit for the Kawartha North Family Health Team (KNFHT) applying to open an urgent care clinic at the Minden site. In the aforementioned posts, Scott said the announcement “is an example of where my efforts have been spent” in the weeks leading up to the closure. She then claimed she “sought out” KNFHT and encouraged them to pursue funding for the clinic.

Asked point blank if Scott had played any role in the application, KNFHT executive director, Marina Hodson, indicated she hadn’t. She knew enough not to completely throw Scott under the bus, noting the MPP had been very supportive once learning of the proposal, but that’s beside the point. Why did Scott think she could get away with taking credit for something she had little input in?

It all suggests to me that Scott, after 20 years and six terms as the local representative at Queen’s Park, has lost touch with her community’s priorities and values.