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LETTER: Port Alice Councillor is ‘sickened’ by health care cuts to the village

“We can’t stand by and accept such entrenched duplicity!”

Dear editor,

One night, on being told in Port Alice by a low level regional health bureaucrat that my little hospital on the edge of nowhere will no longer be available for the sick and the injured who have the audacity to become such after 430 PM – I too took sick! Sickened by the very thought that after 100 years of our tiny mill town pumping multiple millions upon millions of dollars to build other hospitals, schools, roads and what have you all over our country and province – we should be left with nothing more than a day – care facility and the daunting scenario wherein our sick and elderly will face a two hour or more ambulance ride to the other side “giving the boot” so to speak to that precious “Golden Hour” most are familiar with. That precious short time wherein a health professional has the ability to save a seriously – threatened life within a tiny window of time and as often than not – only that much time!

Then, as I heard of Alert Bay’s similar planned plight, I recalled being one of the elected Health Councillors that made up the Mount Waddington Community Health Council in the mid 1990’s under the short – live but temporarily “democratized” Health Administration of the day. I was always most proud of the time that we, including such legendary Mayors as Gilbert Popovich and Gerry Furney, etc. all came together in our little trailer in Port McNeill and voted to build a new hospital in Alert Bay to replace that venerable old, historic and storied wooden building that saved the health and lives of so many for so many years, just as the old hospital in old Port Alice had done. People like the legendary Dr. Jack Pickup and the like who with so little infrastructure were there nevertheless with their ability and wisdom to transform the dire situations that injured and sick people faced on a daily basis.

I am also saddened by the similar tale of a strangely perverted health bureaucracy transformed in this evil day to think that providing free needles to addicts (and now otherwise illicit drugs to junkies – yet not to diabetics (?) is somehow more important and beneficial than the basic health care of just as important people in small towns throughout the province. These same “Health” geniuses who are now bragging of putting together a multiple million dollar clinic in the lower mainland to rearrange peoples genitals more to their liking under the guise of “healthcare” Egads! Social “science” gone mad!

These things far more important to our NDP government than keeping our little but practicable and long established “First Aid” outposts so to speak, open for the benefit of all who happen to be visiting, working or living in these remote areas! Good Heavens, even the tiny outpost of Kuyuqout with it’s wonderful nurse practitioner will be safer than Port Alice should our local health “geniuses” have their way!

But don’t misunderstand me – Kyuqout deserves such, just as we deserve such 24 hour emergency care as do all remote little towns in this province before some government with a $1.6 Billion dollar surplus arrogantly and ignorantly decides to eliminate them. This with a still – growing provincial tax base and carbon tax rates climbing while they arrogantly eliminate what little “revenue neutrality” there actually may have been!?

I will not be in attendance at the February 20th meeting in Port Alice due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict due in large part to the ever –waffling local bureaucrats who continually delayed and declined to give dates for such until now when it is too late to back out of my other function. But I encourage our entire town to go and hear what is sadly being offered in exchange for our bricks and mortar overnight health care that will always be so precious to us. We can’t stand by and accept such entrenched duplicity!

Bruce Lloyd,

Councillor for the Village of Port Alice

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