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Council agrees to support hospice care efforts

Mountain View County council passed a motion seconding a Clearwater County resolution titled Sustainable Community Hospice Fund Model

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has agreed to support an effort by Clearwater County to increase financial support for hospice care and hospice societies in the province.

The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled meeting, held in person and online.

Council passed a motion seconding a Clearwater County resolution titled Sustainable Community Hospice Fund Model.

The resolution is set to come before the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA), which represents 69 rural municipalities, including Mountain View, Clearwater and Red Deer counties.

During the Sept. 6 council meeting, Mountain View County's chief administrative officer, Jeff Holmes, said the issue of hospice support is important in the district.

“I know the Olds hospice is very active and I know there have been discussions about starting up a second one in Didsbury, so it is something that is relevant for our area,” said Holmes.

The resolution itself calls for the RMA to advocate for the Alberta government to implement a sustainable operations funding model for the provision of hospice services by community hospice societies across the province. 

“There has been ongoing engagement from the government of Alberta regarding palliative end-of-life care, highlighting the importance of these supports and service to Albertans,” the background notes included with the resolution states. “The need to develop the capacity of these community services, especially in rural settings is clear.

“Non-profit hospice societies who are already operating in communities and working towards expanding these important services in Alberta have been left in budget purgatory. They are actively working towards a priority identified by the government of Alberta, but reliant on fundraising for operational funding.

“Correcting the disparity between funding available to patients who chose to receive palliative end-of-life care in-home versus in a hospice suite is an immediate solution that could address these challenges while the economic analysis of reallocating health-care financial resources in accordance with the shift from hospital to community-based hospice care is completed.”

Meanwhile, council supported a second resolution proposed by Clearwater County regarding policing in rural Alberta.

The resolution calls for the RMA to advocate to the government of Alberta to implement the operational provincial police advisory board to ensure small and rural communities served by the RCMP under the provincial police service agreement are equally and fairly represented.

Under the Police Amendment Act, the provincial board’s mandate would include making recommendations on provincewide policing priorities.

In 2020 the government established the Alberta Police Interim Advisory Board to represent small and rural municipalities under the provincial police service agreement.

Based on stakeholder feedback, the interim board developed eight municipal policing priorities and related recommendations to inform discussions on provincial policing priorities. 

The priorities were grouped by themes: systemic resource constraints; crime reduction and prevention; outcome accountability; and social justice.

If approved by the province, the operational provincial police advisory board would replace the interim board.

The Clearwater resolutions are set to come before the central RMA District 2 meeting on Oct. 6.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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