Opinion: Investment spree

As many of you may know, Anbang, a humongous foreign investment firm, wants to buy into our health care system.

As many of you may know, Anbang, a humongous foreign investment firm, wants to buy into our health care system. It has $1 billion to invest in one of BC’s biggest retirement home chains.

What has that to do with us? Well, the chain is Retirement Concepts, the group that runs our Senior’s Village. RC, an important part of B.C.’s health-care delivery system, is reportedly the highest-billing provider of assisted living and residential care services in the province, receiving some $86.5 million in public funds in the 2015/16 fiscal year.

Does it matter who owns these facilities as long as the clients get good care? It shouldn’t, but the Office of the Senior’s Advocate reported that in 2014/15, the majority of the 292 government-funded long-term seniors care homes in B.C. had staffing deficiencies, serious incident reports, and/or other quality of life issues. Most of the facilities who didn’t meet ministry standards were operated by private interests, not health authorities or non-profit groups. Anbang, which is said to be on an “investment spree” in North America, is a newcomer to health care, but Retirement Concepts is expected to stay involved with the operations. The takeover requires federal government scrutiny and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains will make the decision. Anbang is a Chinese corporation, and given our Prime Minister’s lust for Chinese investment, this is likely a go. The province could stop it but that’s not likely. Although some of us, seniors and otherwise, feel we would be better served if health care services were run by health authorities, not private interests, the Clark government apparently feels otherwise. The 70 new residential care beds slated for Williams Lake could have been added to Deni House instead of going to private tender. Maybe the issue isn’t who owns services, but the lack of adequate oversight on the part of governments, be it health, environment, resource extraction, whatever.

***

The matter of deer wandering about the city has been on the public agenda lately. The other evening I spotted a large doe hiking down the sidewalk on North 4th Avenue, apparently heading for 7/11. I don’t know if she got there.

Diana French is a freelance columnist, former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

 

Just Posted

Email letters to editor@wltribune.com
LETTERS: Congratulations to Romeros on JUNO Award win

Fame has not made them more aloof, as it does to some

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Williams Lake Tribune.
FOREST INK: Agroforestry alternative to some commercial forest practices

We do need to seriously look at some of our practices

2021 graduate Annaliese Hunt-Owega with Burton Astleford in advance of the Reverse Grad Parade held Saturday, June 12 in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Jenna Harvey. (Photo submitted)
RCMP looking for missing woman between 100 Mile House and Williams Lake

Jenna Harvey was last heard from a week ago and claimed to be hitchhiking north

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake’s Robert Webster, who helps operate the organization’s Parking Lot Clothing Drive, and Angela Kadar, executive director, collect clothing at BBBSWL’s new, permanent cargo trailer location at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds infield. BBBSWL will be at the infield parking lot from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday until the fall collecting soft goods including men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, outerwear, boots, shoes, hats, mittens, scarves, ties, socks, purses, wallets, bags, bedding, towels and jewellery. Kadar thanked the Williams Lake Stampede Association for being so accommodating and for allowing them to use the space to park the trailer. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake Parking Lot Clothing Drive gets new, permanent location

BBBSWL will be at the Stampede infield parking lot from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read