The following letter was sent to the Delta Hospice Society board and copied to Delta Optimist:
Enough is enough! It is time for you to stop squandering the society’s resources with your endless court challenges and membership recruitment strategies.
Firstly, your fight to keep Medical Assistance in Dying out of the Irene Thomas is now a waste of time and money. As of Feb. 25, 2021, Delta Hospice Society will no longer have any opportunity to provide hospice beds. Your messaging to various pro-life and religious media outlets is extremely misleading. The Ministry of Health and Fraser Health Authority have made it clear that the service contract is ending and nothing you do will change that outcome. There is no longer a DHS constitution issue, even though the DHS constitution does not preclude MAID from being offered.
Secondly, a total of five BC Court Justices have told you that there is no merit to your denial of membership. All membership applicants must be accepted. And the judges indicated that as board members, you have acted in bad faith. This should not be taken lightly.
As well, you have now spent thousands of dollars on court costs and legal bills that could have otherwise supported people in need in our community. In addition, your actions have caused the City of Delta to deny a permissive tax exemption on the Hospice Charity Shoppe property; again at a cost of thousands of dollars.
DHS has lost the ability to operate the Irene Thomas Hospice, and your unwillingness to cooperate with Fraser Health risks also losing the Centre for Supportive Care. As you know these facilities, while built with community donations, are on leased land and will become the property of the landlord upon completion of the service contract.
Your actions have put jobs at risk for many loyal employees, some who have worked at the Irene Thomas Hospice since it opened. These individuals serve the community with care and passion and have been impacted immensely. Not only are they dealing with a stressful work environment and the pressure of the pandemic, but also the uncertainty of their jobs. The added stress this board has created for these dedicated staff is undeniable as they have not been provided with any information on what their future is beyond Feb. 25, 2021.
Your minority ideological battle is destroying this organization. Each of you must ask yourself if you will be proud of what you’ve done by fighting a losing battle and ruining a community organization that serves so many at a very critical and difficult time in their lives. Is this how you want to be remembered? Your fight is now futile.
You are urged to do the right thing and resign from the board to allow leadership by community members who are willing to serve the entire community, who needs support as they face the end of life’s journey, regardless of their beliefs.
Chris Pettypiece, Jim Levin and Sharon Farrish
Take Back Delta Hospice