Following the current news in media during the election campaign, I feel the media has really highlighted the root issues regarding a government’s role in leadership and politics.
Ideally, when we think of the minister of health, we imagine another health-care professional filling this role. And in the position of minister of education we see a teacher, or a school principal, who really understands the key issues and fine details at the front of these professions.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
In a bureaucratic government, these positions are filled by handpicked persons by the premier himself, with little consideration of their portfolio.
This issue - that there is always a chance we are led by unqualified people - in government and politics exemplifies the importance of collaboration between the government, ministry officials and the public-service professionals.
I urge people to think, if they have not already, about how your next government will go about handling their business; that they will listen to the professional groups, clubs and associations who represent and truly recognize the issues most talked about in the recent media (ie: housing the vulnerable, and health care) Ã issues that have, until now, been ignored.
I would like to illustrate a few excellent examples of where professionals have stepped up to the plate offering their experienced input, effort and solutions to the issues raised in recent media, only to be ignored by the current government.
First, is the disrespect to the Northern City Supportive Housing Coalition.
The coalition has invested more than 1,000 hours working on this plan, already involved and supported by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp with $10,000 in funding, an architect and builder. The comprehensive plan targets Whitehorse’s most marginalized population, offering supportive living including: counseling, health services, access to harm-reduction services, and case conferencing for the residents.
In the end, the coalition withdrew its professionally developed and detailed proposal as it was ignored by the government for several months awaiting a response that never came.
Second, mention of efforts to support the practice of nurse practitioners as well as interdisciplinary team clinics have been brought up in the media by professionals such as the Yukon Registered Nurses Association. Many health-care professionals support these practical, cost-efficient approaches to care in our territory.
Though these approaches to a solution have been brought up in the media by such professional groups, it is upsetting to hear the current government makes no mention of working with these professionals and, instead, offers a completely different proposal of spending more money with incentives.
Last, in support of the Northern City Supportive Housing Coalition, and the implementation of proper services, Dr. Rao Tadepalli, Yukon Medical Association president, voiced his concern in the News story Chronics Put Hospital in Critical Condition (January 14) with government actions and decisions to build a new drunk tank and have public services delivered at the new Whitehorse Correctional Centre.
It just makes sense that such services should be accessible to the people who need them most.
The best way to promote accessibility and empower individuals is to have the services near the people, without the underlying idea of demeaning individuals Ã having to go to the jail to access these services, as highlighted in the report Task Force on Acutely Intoxicated Persons at Risk.
I urge and encourage everyone to exercise their power to vote, but to vote wisely.
And to the winning government party, please consider all options in depth.
And remember, you cannot fix everything by just throwing money at it, especially when the money is not your own.