Press Releases 2004
For Immediate Release
February 16, 2004
Bill 8 - TAKE TWO
(Queen's Park) - Today the Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy met to consider Bill 8, "An Act to establish the Ontario Health Council, to enact new legislation concerning health services accessibility and repeal the Health Care Accessibility Act, to provide for accountability in the health service sector and to amend the Heath Insurance Act."
Frank Klees, MPP Oak Ridges and PC committee member wonders why.
"The Liberal's first major health legislation and Health Minister George Smitherman had to admit today that they introduced a Bill that is seriously flawed," said Klees. The Health Minister told the Committee that there would be wholesale amendments made to the Bill even before the Committee hears its first submission.
The Minister was clearly embarrassed when he admitted that the very tone of the Bill was wrong, but refused to provide any detail to the committee. All he would commit to was to provide the committee with a framework of the amendments in 48 to 72 hours. "This is unacceptable", said Klees " it is unprofessional and belittles the important work of this Committee of the Provincial Legislature".
"Every single Ontarian will be affected by Bill 8", said Klees "and the Bill that is going out around the Province for consultation may bear little if any resemblance to what the final Bill will look like. This begs the question, why did he introduce it in the first place," asked Klees.
"The Minister has gone into retreat mode, he has folded his tent and totally abandoned the original intent of the Bill, and it's a good thing," said Klees who pointed out to the Committee that the Bill would have undermined every Hospital Board and Foundation in the Province.
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