Government needs new advisors

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To the editor

One of the few things we did know about Premier Stephen Mc Neil's plans for us was the dismantling of the health system by creating two health boards justifying this move as a cost saving measure.

In question periods, they were pleading a lack of any concept of the costs associated with this change. Yet, the department's own briefing notes (obtained through Freedom of Information requests) have, indeed, identified amalgamation costs: Marketing (to sell their ideas to what they hope and believe will be a gullible public), polling, consultants, and information technology and system costs (just imagine how much this last one alone will cost).

The idea that a minister of the Crown would come up with a plan without any idea of such costs to us, the taxpayer, is truly galling to me. Realize also that these costs will be coming out of an already cash-strapped system.

We were led to believe that these moves would take one year to implement and, after that, there would be tax savings. Now we hear that it will take several years to put into effect a plan which the Savage government proved wouldn't work.  

In an unrelated matter, Joanne Bernard recently announced that organizations receiving government funding had to prove their programs worked.  

How does one prove, for instance, a program to prevent juvenile suicide is working? Stop funding to see if the incidents of teenage suicide increases?

How do we prove that funding to women's shelters is helpful? Decrease the funding and the number of women using the services of the facilities will automatically drop, not because the need has decreased but because the staff at the centre can't cope.

Now, it has been announced that the Liberals cut all funding to the Eskisoni crisis line ($50,000). More of their “What will happen ifs …?”

I don't know who is advising the government, but I suggest they get new advisors.

Jim Harpell

Shortts Lake

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