Disabled Activist Denied Membership in Kingston CCAC
Dianh Cotter, a long time user of community health services and spokesperson on disabled issues, has been denied membership in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Community Care Access Centre (Kingston CCAC).
The Feb. 9, 2001, letter from Nancy Sears, CEO of the Kingston CCAC, to Ms. Cotter states that, “membership for the Kingston Area is full at the present time. When there is a vacancy in the Kingston area the Membership Committee will review the applications and forward recommendations for membership to the Board of Directors for approval”.
The Kingston CCAC limits its membership to 60: 15 from the Frontenac County, 15 from Lennox and Addington, and 30 from the City of Kingston.
Ms Cotter, in a June 1, 2001 letter, appealed to the Minister of Health, Tony Clement, to “look into’ her case and “help make our CCAC more democratic”. In her letter she notes that the lack of written guidelines about who to approve for membership in a concern “because that means that they [the Board] are able to pick and choose who in the community they want as members. They could, for instance, only pick those who will support their positions and policies. For that matter they could just pick their friends!. This does not appear to me as fair or democratic”.
Charlie Stock, co-chair of the Kingston Health Coalition commented, “we need to remember that CCACs were set up to be controlled by their communities with a broad-based membership. As far as I know this is the only CCAC in Ontario that restricts it membership. It is appalling that a supposedly community health care organization could abuse its power to create such an undemocratic structure. There are far better ways to ensure that the voice of the rural areas is heard than to deny community members who want to be involved. I understand that some residents of Frontenac County have also been denied membership. The CCAC should be ashamed that they are limiting public involvement.”
As of June 18 Ms. Cotter has not been contacted by the CCAC about further action on her membership application.
For further information contact:
Dinah Cotter, 546-3525
Co-Chair Kingston Health Coalition, 549-6258
Ross Sutherland, Co-Char Kingston Health Coalition, 374-5211