I believe that I have the right to choose MAiD – in fact I believe it is everyone’s right. What I cannot believe is how Glacier View Lodge is being portrayed by the media and some mis-informed public in regards to a possible partnership with Providence Health Care. I am distressed that Valerie Dyke, a former board member, can make comments about “giving a facility worth $12-20 million away to a faith-based organization.” Glacier View Lodge is not being “given away.” Providence Health Care is not some small organization trying to steal land and money from the Comox Valley (Jim Pattison just gave Providence $75 million so our $12 seems like peanuts)…. It is a world class healthcare provider who is one of BC’s top employers. Their core values are very much in line with a company I want to work for: Respect, compassion, justice, stewardship and excellence. It is reprehensible that people are assuming that this decision was not done carefully, with our current and future residents’ best interest being the top priority. The petition put forth by the Equal Access Committee forgets that there is more than one factor that goes into making a decision. What is the Equal Access Committees plan for us when we can no longer afford to operate? Our building is not suitable for people living with dementia. Providence can help us build small units that are dementia friendly and cutting edge. GVL is located on a hill with absolutely nothing around. If we want to go out, we need to take a bus. There are 101 permanent residents who live there and only a few can go on an outing – how fair is that? The opportunity to create a campus of care that is well researched and built like many of the models in Europe is exciting. Providing the best environment we can for people living with this life limiting illness is exciting. Being situated in town, where families and residents can access other local businesses and scenery is exciting. Having access to training and education to ensure we are caring for our residents with best practices is exciting. Working with a company that is innovative and has vision is exciting. There are so many more pro’s than there is con’s and people need to know that before jumping on a bandwagon that could eventually have Glacier View Lodge being run by a large Chinese Conglomerate who’s bottom line may not be residents best interests but their own.
I urge people to get informed. Valerie Dyke and The Equal Access Committee have not done their research on the long term effects this decision will have on the residents, staff and Comox Valley. This issue is far more complex than just stopping the partnership because you may or may not be able to complete the act of MAiD. Decisions are not made based on 1 criteria, the big picture needs to be thoroughly investigated and I thank our Board for spending the time and money on consultants and other experts to get us to a partnership that may not be perfect but it is the best fit in almost every other way.