A group of concerned citizens of the Comox Valley believes that long-term care and access to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) should not be controlled by a faith based institution. In keeping with this conviction, these citizens have come together to form the Equal Access Committee (EAC).

The Equal Access Committee announces the inauguration of a campaign to ensure that long-term care and hospice facilities in the Comox Valley be secular. The committee plans to petition the Minister of Health and the Vancouver Island Health Authority to ensure that:

  1. Residential and hospice care be available from SECULAR institutions as is the case everywhere else on
    Vancouver Island. It is imperative that Valley citizens who desire access to Medical Assistance in Dying
    be able to do so without encountering faith-based restrictions or transfers imposed by the institution
    providing the care.
  2. The Minister of Health prevent the impending transfer of the assets and/or operations of Glacier View Lodge to a faith-based organization.
  3. Any new Residential Care beds created in the Comox Valley be granted to a secular institution.
  4. All six Community Hospice beds be located together on a secular site.

As many residents know, by order of the Supreme Court of Canada and legislated by our Federal Government in 2016, access was granted for individuals to seek Medical Assistance in Dying. Unfortunately, in the Comox Valley, the ability to access this right is severely restricted because the only hospice beds and a significant portion of the long-term care beds are controlled by a faith-based organization that refuses to allow MAiD within its facilities.

This organization has plans to increase its domination of long term and hospice care facilities. This will mean that residents of the Comox Valley will not have the same access to their rights that other citizens have, despite the fact that our tax dollars fund the faith-based organization which is denying those rights.

It is crucial that the Comox Valley takes action now, as VIHA will soon be choosing the successful proponent for the 70 new residential care beds and 2 additional hospice beds for the Valley. VIHA will also be asked to formally approve Glacier View Lodge’s merger with Providence Health Care…and this is all likely to take place by September 2017.

The Equal Access Committee plans to:

  1. approach our new MLA
  2. hold public meetings
  3. hold rallies if necessary
  4. present a petition for residents to sign
  5. seek a hearing with VIHA
  6. seek a meeting with the Minister of Health

 

​For more information:

Reg Crone

Equal Access Committee