Well another year has come and gone - in fact, spring is almost here! Last year saw Ebola devastate thousands overseas, and some of us have or know of counsellors who have provided services to those in need. We thank them for their implication and openness. It was a year of challenges in our field as the deadline for “grandfathering in” as a psychotherapist came to an end in June. QCA will be following up the process with the multi-disciplinary committee of the Office des professions, to ensure that the visibility and concerns of English-speaking counsellors and the general public are voiced.
Bill 10 has now passed into law. In January I attended a meeting initiated by the McGill Social Work Graduate Students (SWAGS) on Bill 10. On the panel were: Susan Gallo (Coordinator of Access, Partnerships and Performance at Youth and Family Centres), Nico Trocmé (Director of the School of Social Work and the Philip Fisher Chair in Social Work at McGill University), Lucio D’Intino (Head of the Users’ Committee at the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre), and Nona Moscovitz (Program Manager for Mental Health and Addictions at the CSSS Cavendish). The panel discussion summarized what the bill changes in the structure of health and social services in Quebec, and what the widespread impacts for clients, staff, and management will be. The bill came into law on Friday February 6th, 2015. In a nutshell it aims at saving $200 million a year from the provincial budget by eliminating institutions’ administrative boards and merging 182 CSSS into 33 regional boards, called Centres intégrés de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS). The Quebec Community Group Network (QCGN) were initially worried that eliminating boards at individual health institutions would weaken them to the point where Anglophones will not have any representation. Minister Barrette has assured the English community that their rights will be safeguarded. The new law now ensures English language representation on all boards and increases the Anglophone voice across Quebec. The McGill SWAGS panel is concerned that the specific needs of communities, groups, and individuals could be lost in the shuffle. The knowledge and skill sets of a lot of top administrators could be lost; time to process dossiers could be longer, which will affect efficacy. To ensure a smooth transition and that health service groups’ needs are voiced, the panel suggests a proactive role by getting involved on the new boards. Work has begun to this end.
Our membership has been steady throughout the past year and we thank you for your support and participation. Speaking of which, don’t forget the CCPA conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario, from May 19 – 22. I look forward to seeing many of you there. I went to last years’ conference and found it a warm and vibrant learning environment. It is a great occasion to hone your skills and network with others in the field from across Canada.
I would like to thank all of you who came out to the Winter Social in December, and all the hard work that went into making the event a great success. Thank you to Ida Diaz, Social Director and the board members who pitched in. Many worthwhile events are up and coming with the QCA. I would like to invite all members to get involved and let your voices be heard and your needs known. Our Annual General Meeting is on June 17th, 2015 at the McGill Brown Building. Save the date and see you there!