Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Why I Run for the Regional Health Authority - Douglas Mullin

By Douglas Mullin 
Candidate, Fredericton RHA

The Regional Health Authority election held in conjunction with the municipal election is history in the making. This is the first election and the Fredericton division, known as B6, has a historic number of candidates. There are nine candidates, representing a diversity of age, gender, status in life and experience, seeking one position.

The Regional Health Authority elections will elect 8 board members to Horizon Health Network and 8 board members to Réseau de Santé Vitalité. Horizon  Health Health Network represents Anglophone New Brunswick while Réseau de Santé Vitalité represents Francophone New Brunswick. If I am elected, I will be installed as board member of Horizon Health.

There will be 8 elected and 7 appointed board members for each network. The election is designed to introduce more openness and transparency into the management of health care. My perception is that the split between elected and appointed is for consistency in decision making and knowledge transfer, between experienced members and newly elected.

On the ballot, I am seven of nine. My name: Douglas Mullin. I choose to run because of my personal experience with the health care system. I have lived in Fredericton for 10+ years without a family doctor. My dad lives in a nursing home. I understand the frustration of accessing health care.

I choose to run because I believe it’s important to give back to the community. Being an engaged citizen with degrees in theology and political science requires greater involvement than simply voting every election cycle. I see my campaign as a further extension of my community involvement.

I also run because I believe in the democratic ideal. I believe that the opinions of the average New Brunswicker need to be represented in the decision making bodies of our province. I commend the current government for moving this forward. I’m disappointed that more people aren’t aware of the election for Regional Health Authority. I know Elections NB is trying. I have seen a TV ad, encouraging people to vote.

I keep talking to people who say they were not aware of the election. That’s fair seeing it is the first election. As a candidate I feel it’s important to raise the profile of the race. Chasing down my fellow candidates beyond their names was important to me. I took the gutsy move of publishing the links I found on my blog, http://dougmullin.ca. I took the gutsier move of approving a comment expressing support for my one of my fellow candidates.

I am confident in my ability to connect with people and to be able to represent the interest of New Brunswickers on the board of Horizon Health. I have worked in customer service and hospitality for my entire adult life. I have lived and studied in Kenya and taught in South Korea. I chose to come back to New Brunswick and stay because we need smart, educated citizens who care about making a difference, one day at a time. 

New Brunswick is a wonderful province, and win or lose on May 14, I will be engaged in my community. I will continue to volunteer with Fredericton Community Kitchen. I will volunteer my photography for charity events. I will seek other ways to give back to Fredericton, to New Brunswick. I want you to do the same.

Douglas Mullin is a Fredericton-based photographer, social justice activist and blogger.