THE issue: We have the right to chart our future
In this election, we've heard the same old lines: We need to work as a team. We need to manage our money wisely. We need to be more relevant. We must protect the public. We are obligated to ensure competence of our practitioners.
All very true. But why does our Council persist in thinking the memberswho own this professioncannot be trusted to choose the best course for their profession? It's an issue which underlies all the other issues, and keeps popping up every few years. ("Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.") Read my 1998 letter to the Attorney-General.
I am alarmed that recent Councils have forgotten that we are a member-directed, self-regulating profession. Council adopted a new Strategic Plan which does not even list the members as a stakeholder in our profession! The "consultations" with the members about the proposed Compulsory "Professional Development" were little more than dog-and-pony shows by the program's proponents. No equivalent presentation of the opposing view was allowed.
There may very well come a time when we might discuss changing the nature of our professional regulation. We might decide to allow Council to become an oligarchy, making all decisions unilaterally and enforcing them on the members. We might decide to turn the whole thing over to the provincial government, and let them run it, as is done in U.S. states. Or we might change over to the system of some jurisdictions, where you simply pay 45 $, and are issued a licence, sort of like licensing your car or your dog!
We have not yet come to this point, however, and I am troubled that almost all of the present Council and most of this year's candidates seem blissfully ignorant of the dangerous direction we are headed in. They favour only cosmeticand minortweaks to current Council policy. They have accepted the false assertion that government is insisting we implement CPD and that CPD will "protect the public". Perhaps this agreeableness and deference is what alarms me the most. Groupthink is the last thing a profession in trouble needs!
Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact me.