Union urges Northern Health Authority to respect court ruling
In the wake of a B.C. Supreme Court decision ordering health authorities to open their meetings to the public, the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) is encouraging the Northern Health Authority to end its behind-closed-doors decision-making practice and welcome the public into its May 26 meeting at Dawson Creek’s health unit.
“In light of Justice Macaulay’s ruling, we are hopeful the province’s health authorities will now move as quickly as possible to open, transparent and accountable decision-making practices,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.
The B.C. Supreme Court decision, handed down earlier this week on a legal challenge launched by HEU last December, determined health authorities were violating the Health Authorities Act by routinely closing their meetings to the public.
Noting Justice Macaulay’s chastisement of B.C.’s health authorities for their “cynical favouring of the interest of the bureaucracy over that of the public” and their “stunning disregard” for the law, Allnutt says the union will be closely monitoring health board policies on public access.
“British Columbians have every right — morally and legally — to be included in decisions that are affecting their lives,” says Allnutt. “As a union, we are prepared to assist the authorities in any way we can to ensure public access to, and involvement in, decisions that are affecting people’s day-to-day lives.”
Contact: Kathy Jessome, servicing representative, 250-960-9786 Patty Gibson, communications officer, 604-328-7393