Cornwall Ontario – About fifty people were in attendance for a Concerned Citizens Coalition meeting at the Air Force Wing Thursday night to vote on a “community proposal” for the General Hospital. Mark A. MacDonald explained, “we have been instructed by the Hospital Board to bring our proposal directly to Re/Max”. Mr. Jamie Cameron from Re/Max was one of the people in attendance to hear the proposal first hand.
Mark A. MacDonald and Joshua Welsh of the Concerned Citizens Coalition presented a conditional “community proposal” offer to purchase the General Hospital to those in attendance.
Here are the following five points of the conditional offer:
- We are allowed time to form a non-for-profit organization with a a board of directors, so that the future of the General Hospital be used for the common good and social benefit of the area with the focus on seniors.
- Offering the sum of one dollar ($1.00), however, the Ministry of Health must compensate the Cornwall Community Hospital Board’s asking price of two million dollars.
- The recently named “Local Task Force” must approve this offer.
- The local municipal governments make staff resources and technical assistance available to provide administrative support to our board of directors for future detailed site plans.
- We be allowed to partition for sale, designated areas of the facility for private investors (doctors, health care professional services) so that the full potential of a unique, community based senior health care centre be realized.
There was a vote, and the conditional offer passed unanimously by everyone in attendance.
Several City Councillors were in attendance including Andre Rivette, Gerry Samson, and David Murphy. Murphy read a letter on behalf of SDSG MPP Jim McDonell. The letter stated, “The Second Street site is a functioning medical building that could meet short term needs and we are about to lose that option. This comes at a time when our well known changing demographics will place an increasing strain on our healthcare system. The Ministry tells us that we have more beds than we need, so why is the Auditor General’s 2012 report, issued just two months ago, reporting that the Champlain CCAC has the worst average performance for placing seniors into long term care in the province. Something doesn’t add up, either the current Liberal bureaucracy is failing us badly, or we don’t have enough LTC beds. I have presented a petition clearing calling for a halt to the sale of the Second Street Site until a comprehensive study can be completed to address the situation and requesting funding for the Cornwall Community Hospital to allow it to maintain the former Cornwall General Hospital site until such a study is completed.”
Concerned Citizen Ian Wilson read a letter on behalf of former Cornwall Mayor and Provincial SDSG NDP riding association President Brian Lynch who could not attend because he had another meeting already scheduled that same night. In the letter read, Lynch asked that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care place a moratorium on the sale of the General Hospital site and conduct a study on the possible conversion of the Cornwall General Hospital into a long-term care facility.
Mark A. MacDonald emphasized the need for a united voice, and the need to act quickly to make sure that this proposal is successful. A meeting to elect members to a non-for-profit organization board will be announced shortly.