Wahifa Agreement

WAHIFA was signed 12 years ago by the municipalities of Mushkegowuk in the James Bay area, along the west coast of James Bay, the southwest coast of Hudson Bay, and was merged to merge two hospitals and a federal care centre to create the WAHA. The partners of the WAHIFA agreement are the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the following First Nation communities: Weenusk First Nation, Attawapiskat First Nation, Fort Albany First Nation, Kashechewan First Nation, MoCreebec Eeyoud and the City of Moosonee. Ms. Robin Martin: Okay. Well, I`m glad you mentioned responsibility, because one of the subjects of the Department of Health – my colleague Effie Triantafilopoulos and I are both parliamentary assistants to the minister. One of the things that we are advised by many of the public servants who work there is that the government has never had a very clear line of sight that it buys, effectively, with taxpayers` money. He does not have those accountability agreements, so he knows that we have achieved those results. One of the things we are looking at is strengthening that kind of accountability to ensure that we receive the services that we pay for with taxpayers` money. Ms. Kim Moran: At times, yes, it would be in the case of confidentiality agreements that I signed for parts of them. The Chair (Ms. Nina Tangri): I guess there is no agreement at the moment. We can come back to that this issue this afternoon.

Dr. Kate Mulligan: Community health centres, for example, have had very, very detailed accountability agreements with the NHS in recent years. This does not apply to all primary care organizations, but to municipal health centres. Ms. France GĂ©linas: Okay. Did you have to sign a confidentiality agreement because you were on the Board or can you let us know? Many MCFN citizens currently rely on WAHA services, but see a continued decline in health care and benefits. MCFN does not have the right to vote or speak about how WAHA provides its health care to our employees. We do not have a representative at the wahA administration level, as MCFN was not a signatory to the Weeneebayko Area Health Integration Framework Agreement (WAHIFA) in August 2007. At the time of signing, our chief and council felt that signing the agreement meant depriving the federal government of its contractual obligations. We have fought to ensure that issues such as health equity, health promotion and prevention are included in these accountability agreements, not least because this work does not take place in all organizations.

So I agree that it is important. I think these accountability obligations help shape the goals that organizations would set for themselves and that the teams would set themselves, but if it is not mandatory, if it is not explicit, it will not happen. And if it`s not run by primary procurement or a global organization that knows how to do it and knows how to do it by talking to the community, it`s not going to happen. Moose Cree First Nation has reached an agreement with Health Canada to transform the health services we provide to our citizens.