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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Is it a Health Professions Act Steering Committee, or is the Health Professions Act Committee Being Steered?

The Denturist Association of BC (DABC) was initially encouraged by the government’s soliciting submissions in response to the Harry Cayton Report.

The DABC was pleased that an all-party steering committee was established to review and seek input into new regulations for health professionals (including Denturists) under the Health Professions Act. However, if the steering committee was designed to ensure openness and transparency of the process - it has been a failure.

Vancouver Island Denturist Allan Boos said, “On the face of it, the three members seem to be logical choices. But why only three MLAs? And if this process is going to result in new legislation why is the Legislatures Health Care Committee being left out of the process?”

The steering committee appears to be an aberration, not of the legislature but a Ministry of Health concoction. MLAs are elected members not employees or pawns of the Ministry of Health. MLAs have an oversight duty. And, Mr. Dix has another special role as a member of the executive branch of government.”

The steering committee is made up of the Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, Norm Letnick Liberal Health Critic and Sonia Furstenau BC Green Health Critic. The DABC has reached out to the members of this steering committee with little success.

Adrian Dix has been unwilling to meet with the DABC -- the Green Party has simply not responded to request to meet -- and the BC Liberal Parties Norm Letnick when asked to meet responded, “Thanks for writing. Since my brother is a dentist, I removed myself from any discussion or decisions regarding anything to do with teeth.”

The Denturists Association and all British Columbians should be questioning this response given that the entire process started as an Inquiry into the performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act.

Allan Boos reflected, “How can one member recuse himself from any discussions regarding teeth when it is a major part of the three-person committees work ... especially when he is in effect the only member of the opposition?

His views should reflect the people that did not vote NDP or Green and he should be the one ensuring that seniors voices are heard. The remaining members are in a coalition designed to hold the government together".

To be fair the Denturist Association of BC does acknowledge that the BC Liberal Party has been open to meet and has shown the most interest at the level of the legislature. However, it has also been clear that very few MLAs from any party are aware of the Harry Cayton report, its findings or the existence of the work of this steering committee.

In closing Allan Boos stated, “The Denturist Association is not a political organization and we have been trying to educate MLAs on the facts related to seniors, our members and the regulations currently being discussed. 

This steering committee appears to be an example of the tail wagging the dog and it is time the legislature took up this issue.”

ALSO SEE ... BC Seniors Hurt Most by Ministry of Health Red Tape


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