Ladysmith council unanimously opposes contracting out care at Lodge on 4th

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Ladysmith Town Council will be letting B.C.’s premier, health minister and the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) know it stands unanimously opposed to the contracting out of care and support services at Lodge on 4th.

Following passionate appeals from a delegation representing Lodge residents, family members, health care workers, and concerned citizens the Council passed two resolutions at its regular meeting on May 3.

The first will call on the provincial government to work with all concerned parties to address the deterioration of seniors care’ in the Cowichan Valley.

The second resolution will seek a meeting with VIHA to remind them of the commitments it had made eight years ago when Ladysmith Hospital was closed. Among those commitments, recalled Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins, was a promise to hire laid-off hospital staff at Lodge on 4th and to maintain the terms and conditions of their collective agreement.

Delegation members included Lodge on 4th family member Joan Cochrane, resident Bob Lyon, HEU members Janet Meding, Sheila Niehaus and Linda McAdam, and long-time Ladysmith resident Dan Cross, who is also a member of the BCGEU.

This is the second municipal council in the Valley to unanimously oppose contracting out in seniors’ care facilities. Two weeks ago, a similar resolution received the full support of Duncan City Council.

Seniors’ care issues have been an ongoing concern in the Cowichan Valley and across the Island in recent years. Those concerns have been heightened by the pending mass lay off of 140 HEU members at Lodge on 4th and 40 BCGEU members at Cerwydden Care in Duncan.