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PPAO vs CMHA: Minister of Health’s Response!

July 12, 2011

Folks, we have a reply by Deb Matthews, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, on the debacle.  I provide it here, as given to our sister Jessica Quenneville.

Read it, and ask yourself, does this make any sense?  Can these reasons possibly serve as justifications?  It appears we have everything to lose on this one.  The whole notion of public accountability has basically been sacrificed at the altar of bureaucratic control.  Time to sharpen your pencils.  Pick this apart.  Respond to her.

The transfer of the ministry’s Psychiatric Patient Advocate
Office aligns with the government’s commitment to improve service
delivery for persons with mental health issues.* Integrating rights advice and advocacy services under the
umbrella of a community-based organization will improve continuity of care, coordination of services and outcomes for individuals and families in need of mental health supports.

* The ministry has entered into negotiations to transfer the
funding, governance, operational management and accountability of the services and functions of the PPAO to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Ontario Division.

* The ministry will respect all collective agreement obligations
and entitlements and ensure that bargaining agents are appropriately consulted and informed throughout the negotiation and transfer process.

* Regular and timely updates will be provided to bargaining
agents, PPAO employees, ministry staff, and CMHA staff about the
transfer process and timing.

* The ministry and CMHA will work together to ensure the smooth
transfer of affected PPAO employees and other resources.

* The ministry and CMHA will work together to make the transfer
seamless to external partners and stakeholders, and clients.


The CMHA, Ontario Division is an independent organization with a core mandate to help individuals with mental health issues. As a result, the PPAO’s services would be more closely integrated with other support programs and services such as housing and case management.

This would provide clients with a continuum of services from the
institution to the community, and would create the opportunity for more patient-centred and integrated services.

In addition, an independently incorporated organization would have more flexibility to undertake the full range of public interest advocacy without the potential for conflict that these activities pose when they are undertaken by a direct government program.

Let me know if you have any other concerns.
Patti Gilmour
Essex Constituency Office
Riding of Essex

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