Port protests medical records privatization

  • Apr. 21, 2004 7:00 a.m.

Port Clements is asking the province to reconsider a plan to privatize Medical Services Plan records administration, after reading an alarming letter from the City of North Vancouver.
North Vancouver council said that American companies are interested in bidding on the job, but that US legislation can compel American companies to turn over confidential information to the FBI. This could result in the confidential information of BC residents being turned over to American government authorities – a prospect which mayor Dale Lore said “totally horrified” him.
North Vancouver is asking the province not to allow American companies or affiliates to take over personal medical records, and Port Clements voted Monday night (April 19) to make the same request.
In other Port news:
• Mr. Lore said whoever is planting and tending the flowers at the village’s Millennium Park is doing a fantastic job and deserves a big thank you.
“It’s just gorgeous,” he said, asking chief administrator Dana Schmidt to find out who it is. “We need to thank whoever is doing it.”
• Council members voted to pay councillor Gerry Johnson $400 for untangling a huge mess of files relating to the village’s Gwaii Trust projects – $200 more than they had planned to pay. Mr. Johnson said he spent four full days working on the files, which he described as “a nightmare”, rather than the two days council had anticipated.
“If you had to pay your staff to do this you would have had to pay a heck of a lot more,” Mr. Johnson said.
Now that the files are in order, the village will be able to collect some unclaimed grant money, councillor Jukka Efraimsson said.
Mr. Lore said a village bylaw allows Port to pay council members up to $100 a day to do certain work. Council turned to Mr. Johnson to untangle the files because he is familiar with them and the staff in the office is relatively new.
Council also hired Mr. Johnson recently to work for several days on a lease agreement and two requests for proposals for work on the village’s water and sewer systems.

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