February 24, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Province suspended negotiations

Published: February 24, 2010 2:00 PM
Updated: February 24, 2010 2:29 PM

Dear Editor:

Amidst the spectacle of the 2010 Olympics, it seems there is another event going on.

Unfortunately this one doesn’t seem to be catching the headlines.

The government has announced a consultation process with “interested parties” as it investigates three methods of dismantling B.C. Ambulance Service as a provincial service: 1) shifting to health authorities, 2) shifting to municipalities, and 3) privatization.

Why is this a big deal?

Well what you don’t know is that prior to the announcement of the consultation process, both BCAS and the union were inches away from working out a negotiated contract that would’ve addressed many operational issues on both sides.

It was truly a sign of accomplishment given the hostility between the two sides in the recent past.

Differences were worked out, and there was a common interest in improving the ambulance service for all of B.C.

However, the government stepped in and took it all off the table, and suspended negotiations.

Next thing we knew, the government announced this so-called consultation process under the guise of trying to best serve public interests.

This is the second time the government stepped in and took away all progress that the two sides worked so many hard and long hours on.

Also a little known fact is that privatization was *not* a term of reference when the government did the IIC report.

However Mr. Trumpy decided to include that as a bonus.

Now that same concept which was not supposed to be considered is now a very real possibility.

The conclusion, this is precursor to losing BCAS — with a good chance of privatization.

Funny they choose to announce this when everyone is paying attention to the Olympics.

This simple strategy of “quietly” announcing something when no one is paying attention is the same as when they announced the true deficit underneath the headlines of Braidwood releasing his ruling on Dziekanski’s death at YVR.

It’s a commonly used tactic when you have to publish something you don’t want people to notice.

Even well respected Harvey Oberfeld posted on his blog about this very issue, expressing the very same opinion on the government’s intent.

Jason Angulo

Coldstream, B.C.

Category: Public