Ray Mackereth stated the he had two meetings with Health Minister Lawrence Springborg prior to announcement that Healthy Communities was being defunded in the Sunday Mail and Mr. Mackereth, in his own words, was instrumental in convincing Lawrence that something needed to be done about stopping HIV because Healthy Communities was not doing it and he provided his own information to suggest that QAHC were not achieving their objectives.
He (Ray) confirmed 2 meetings with Lawrence Springborg to me in person at a social occasion which has spurred me to offer this information in the interest of fairness. He stated that on the first meeting Mr. Springborg asked so many questions and wanted so much information about HIV statistics and Healthy Communities that they didn’t get the interview done. He also stated to myself and my companion that he had all the information regarding Healthy Communities and it’s use of funding and HIV statistics the organization was a failure and stated to us that the organisation was misusing HIV funds.
He also said that he bonded with the Minister because they both love statistics and he was able to show him where HIV prevention was failing. He said that the head of Healthy Communities is on $200k a year and only works four days a week. He also said that Healthy Communities had lied about not being informed about the funding change because he saw Paul Martin’s name on a sign in register at the ministers office in the days leading up to the announcement.
The meetings resulted in an interview article in his paper but Ray said the interview had to be fitted in at the The Hilton on a Sunday (the second meeting after their initial meeting was consumed by discussion around his thoughts on Healthy Communities and how better to prevent HIV.