The CISSSO saga marches onward

I read with great interest last week’s editorial feature in The Equity, concerning the state of health care in this region and the province of Quebec as a whole.

I am not opposed to centralization, with the caveat that I think centralized service coordination of health care should still be tailored to meet the needs of the population it serves. I think it is obvious that CISSSO requires some work in this regard. The pay-for-parking scheme is one of the most visible aspects of what transpires when local voices are cut out of the conversation.

Blanket solutions for healthcare issues, that treat every region and facility the same, are not feasible for needs that vary greatly from region to region. Our hospital and patient needs are different here than in other regions of the province, as they would be for facilities and needs of any region.

Pontiac has an excellent network of health care facilities, with caring and compassionate workers.

Quebec should strive to bring other regions and facilities up to the standard of care offered here in the Pontiac. Yet we are seemingly faced with organizational efforts that are bringing the Pontiac DOWN to the levels of other less-successful areas of Quebec when it comes to health care.

I am pleased that health care continues to remain an important topic for all of the people of our region. I am further encouraged by my colleagues that make up Pontiac Voice, who so diligently and respectfully advocate on this issue.

Greater input from “boots on the ground” healthcare workers will be one of the catalysts to improving our health care system across the province going forward.

One measure that we, the residents, must undertake is to remain involved in the conversation and to not allow this issue to fall by the wayside. I am optimistic that this conversation will continue, and that our voice will grow ever louder.


Pontiac Member of Parliament expense claims

A recent report on Member of Parliament expenditures highlighted that Pontiac Liberal MP Will Amos has some of the highest single hospitality expenditures out of all 338 Members of Parliament. (

Large dollar claims aside, Mr. Amos has also made smaller expense claims that I would consider unbecoming.

Buried online is one such claim for $6.70, at an Ottawa coffee shop near Parliament Hill.

Amos expense

The act of making an expense claim requires unseen administration to accomplish.

An MP’s local staff are required to fill-out paperwork and submit it to the House of Commons.

Public servants that make up the administration staff there are then required to do a significant amount of paperwork in claims processing.

Currently, Members of Parliament earn a $172,700 annual base salary. They earn an even higher salary if they are appointed to additional Parliamentary roles.

MPs are allowed to expenses items related to their jobs, and legitimate expense claims should not be thought ill of.

When the staff of Mr. Amos must devote time to processing coffee expense claims for $6.70, it takes away from their time capably serving our region.

This type of claim, and several others made by Mr. Amos, are items that one would think could come out of his own pocket.

I respectfully encourage Mr. Amos to be mindful of his expenses going forward, and to always consider the taxpayer first.