Sara McCleary wants to hear from people who voted for the current Progressive Conservative Provincial Government. She penned a column for Sault This Week asking why they voted P.C. and if they are doing the best for the province and Sault Ste Marie.
McCleary asked for responses to be posted on her professional Facebook page (@SaraMcClearySault) You can read Sara’s column here.
Local resident Winona Hutchinson and proud P.C. voter sent her response to Saultonline which we have posted below.
Moves by the Province that helped Sault Ste Marie: (a response to my friend Sara McCleary and SaultThisWeek post)
So to start – Yes Sarah I did vote for the Progressive Conservative Party and I am still glad I did. Why? Probably for the very reasons you claim that you don’t like. (Quotes taken directly from her post).
1. “I know this request sounds snarky, but I’m totally serious —if you can do it without resorting to insults, please explain it to me. I’ve always prided myself on my ability to see both sides of an argument; I frequently play devil’s advocate in conversations with my husband. But I just can’t manage it with most of Doug Ford’s decisions — I don’t understand how anyone in the Sault can believe they’re for the best”
Unfortunately, this comes across as a veiled attempt at open honest communication and may fall a little short. To truly work together we need to stop being so oppositional and start working together. If we truly want to have our government listen to us then we need to stop insulting each other. Starting a piece with “I know this request sounds snarky” does not give the impression of partnership only insult. A lesson many of us have had to learn.
2. “Take, for example, Bill 47 — the bill that reversed most of the recent changes to the Employment Standards Act and froze the minimum wage at $14 an hour. Let’s completely ignore the minimum wage part of that one — even if I don’t agree with it, I can wrap my head around the business owners’ arguments there.
Instead let’s look at one specific detail of that bill: it once again allows employers to ask for medical notes for absences. So now imagine this: you come down with the flu and you have two options: go to work, risk being sick to your stomach at work, and spread the flu to others (who will then likely spread it to others and so on); or call in sick.
If you call in sick, your employer can now ask for a doctor’s note, so you go to the doctor’s office (or walk-in clinic, given the doctor shortage here in the Sault) where you spread the flu to a five-month-old baby who is too young to get a flu shot, along with three others on the bus you took to get there because you can’t afford a cab (you did, after all, just miss work the day before), then to cap it all off you have to spend $20 to $40 for a note.
I thought Doug Ford was going to make health care better and CUT wait times? That’s something we desperately need here in the Sault. But by my count, not only did Ford just send an extra body to a health care provider for a doctor to do what the employer could have (that is, trust that the patient had in fact been throwing up the day before), he also sent that baby to the ER and made three others miss a day of work each — and now THEY all need to go get doctor’s notes. Where is the logic in this?”
The logic you are needing is this… I can say as a Manager and someone who has had to sit on her hands while employees who are known and habitual offenders of calling in sick to avoid working on a sunny warm day, or perhaps just couldn’t get themselves out of bed in the morning to come to work because they were up gaming all night (true experiences) can make the running of the day to day operations, very difficult. This particular change I am wholeheartedly in agreement with. Under the old rules, employers were unnecessarily subjected to restrictions in that we could not say anything or hold employees accountable, making it very difficult for us to run a business, like ensuring staffing levels are maintained and ensuring customer service standards are met.
The very same customer standards that you and everyone in this city expect. Yes, I am aware that not all employees are like the few I mentioned over my many years but neither are the employees you describe. Trust me when I say that we as Managers and Business Owners have much more pressing matters than to chase around employees for doctors notes unless they are a habitual offender and then yes, we must and should ask, that is just good business.
It can also be an effective tool to allow some employees who are struggling to have open and honest communication and perhaps work out a mutual plan with their employer.
As for the fear mongering of sick children etc, if an employer feels the need to ask for a note, it will be based entirely on the past behaviors of the employee and how often they are calling in sick. The very fact that the previous government felt the need to negate personal responsibility of an employee to their employer for their behavior choices and holding them accountable, in my opinion, was over reaching and these changes are great news for the business owners here in the Sault.
3. “By covering at-home treatments through OHIP, cancer patients would be at home rather than in a hospital room taking up additional resources and attention from doctors and nurses. And because cancer patients tend to have compromised immune systems, it would also help to prevent them from coming into contact with contagious patients and risking getting more sick themselves. Not to mention the fact that some cancer patients from the Sault have to travel to Sudbury for chemo, an expense that IS covered by OHIP.
The PCs are supposed to be the “fiscally responsible” party, so can someone please tell me the results of the cost-benefit analysis of rejecting this bill?”
I will not respond to this as this is 100% an emotionally charged issue and having a friend who has passed away from Cancer and another who shows so much bravery everyday I do not have the personal knowledge to respond nor will I.
4. “Wow, I could really go for a long time here, but let’s go with one last one. Health minister Christine Elliott cut $335 million in funding to mental health almost immediately upon the PCs taking power in the summer.
Oh, I have so much to say about this.
I’m running long, so let’s just go with this: we know we have a shortage of mental health services in the Sault — wait times to see a specialist typically run a year or more — and that many of those struggling then end up in ER or back to their GP. We also know we have an opioid crisis here, and that drug use and mental illness frequently go hand-in-hand. So it seems to me that investing in mental health services is a reasonable upstream investment that could help put an end to these cycles a lot sooner.”
This is one is kinda easy the 335M that they cut was a planned increase not something that is current so there is no layoffs or cuts to services happening because of this, if there is, its because the facility did not adequately fund their services.
The fact is Mr. Ford has announced the FIRST direct mental health and addictions funding, a $3.8 Billion dollar commitment and with it being direct funding then it is should not get lost amongst other programs. This is more than the previous planned amount which averages $380 Million over 10 years. This was in the works long before our Mayor penned his letter to Ross Romano just recently so the Conservative Party has proven once again that is very aware of the issues facing our province.
As for waiting for Mental Health Services here that is the direct result of failing to find doctors who want to move and live in the north. That can be said for many specialties, I should know I travel to Toronto to see two of my specialists. Sault Ste Marie with a population of approximately 70,000 cannot compare to the lure of the overpopulated larger centre that promise a lucrative career. This has been addressed by City Council in the past. That is a reality facing not just our community but many northern/rural communities.
As for Opioid Crisis, yes we have one, as does the Country, and as you know, I am well versed in this area, but ask the many affected by addictions just how well our services are. I am still surprised by their stories. What you may hear may surprise you, so before we go seeking money from the provincial government, which I agree with, we need to clean up our own services and really look at how effective we are before we start throwing money at something that doesn’t work very well. But hey, I could really go on for a long time here.
Finally, I would also like to make one final point. We have three levels of Government with specific roles, and our Provincial government was charged to make and had in fact made choices on what was in the best interest of a province as that is their role and what they were elected to do.
No matter what number you use $15B or $12B our provincial debt is absurd (don’t get me started on our Federal issues) and cuts have to happen that is the role of a responsible government, but in this case there is no cut only giving more directly to where it matters in my opinion. So yes, I am glad I voted for them, and yes I may not agree with everything (no one can be happy 100% of the time) not he whole I am pleased so far. Let’s stop the emotional reactions and start working together. Let’s find the common ground and use solution based responses.