Transcript of Elgin county council resolution dealing with St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital CEO position

Letter addressed to STEGH board chairman Bruce Babcock from Warden Dave Mennill:

“Thank you for attending our county council meeting held on this date (Tuesday, September 27, 2011) and for your comprehensive explanation of the rationale behind the contract extension discussions regarding the recently retired and then rehired President and C.E.O.

Council certainly appreciated your candor, honesty and the manner in which you explained the circumstances leading to the Board’s decision to retain the current C.E.O.following the retirement.

Likewise we trust that council’s feedback may be instructive to you as you move forward with your redevelopment plans.

After careful consideration, Elgin County Council unanimously approved today (Sept. 27) the following resolution for your board’s consideration;

WHEREAS Elgin County Council has always and continues to strongly support its local community hospital; and,

WHEREAS Elgin County Council is fully prepared to make a significant contribution to the redevelopment campaign: and,

WHEREAS Elgin County ratepayers have expressed concern with the contract of the recently retired hospital President and C.E.O., particularly the potentially negative effect the renewal of said contract may have on campaign fundraising efforts from a disgruntled public;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Elgin County Council respectfully recommends to the Board of Governors of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, that, for the betterment of the community, the recruitment of the President and C.E.O. position commence as soon as possible with the goal of replacement within one year’s time.

– Carried Unanimously
(signed) Warden Dave Mennill

Please be advised that this resolution in no way is meant to reflect negatively on the good work done by the incumbent President and C.E.O. for whom council has the utmost respect.

It is Council’s considered opinion that the public’s perception of the circumstances surrounding the position’s reappointment are irrevocably tainted and will negatively affect fundraising efforts, ultimately resulting in a higher than expected campaign contribution from municipal coffers.

All of which is respectfully submitted,

Dave Mennill

Shuffling deck chairs further erodes hospital credibility


The woman of mystery T-J reporter Nick Lypaczewski writes about today certainly has the hospital board chairman and foundation chairman flustered.

Why they can’t even get their stories in synch.

To quickly re-cap, Ald. Dave Warden has relinquished his seat on the STEGH board of directors so Ald. Sam Yusuf can move over, freeing up his spot on the foundation board for his girlfriend.

STEGH board chairman Bruce Babcock insists city council is behind the musical chairs, but that doesn’t pass the litmus test.

In a conversation with City Scope this week, Warden didn’t pull any punches.

“Sam came to me a week ago and said, ‘Dave, would you be interested in switching?'”
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You ain’t seen nothing yet, teases Andrew Gunn


In a week filled with grim economic developments, news of Algoma University’s proposal to open up shop in the former Wellington Street Public School is an intriguing scenario.

While it will not be hailed as a significant job generator, the undertaking is notable for nudging the city down the path of diversification.

University president Richard Myers is looking to utilize the city-owned heritage building as a campus offering the first two years of its bachelor of arts program.

The news, emanating from Monday’s city council meeting, did not impress T-J reader Scott Northcott, who wrote a letter to the editor to suggest what is needed at the Wellington Street site is “a specialized program, which develops creativity and innovation with the right mix of theoretical and practical skill and really places St. Thomas as a destination for specialized education.”
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Algoma University aims to offer programs at Wellington Street P.S.

The City of St. Thomas, Algoma University, and the estate of Dorothy Fay Palmer have announced the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario university has expressed an interest in offering the first two years of its Bachelor of Arts program in St. Thomas at the former Wellington Street School P.S. site.

While the city acquired the property earlier in this year as part of the parking strategy for the consolidated court facility on the site of the Elgin County Courthouse, this proposed use of the heritage building would be of benefit to the entire community and an excellent use of the former school, states a press release from Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman.
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Making alcohol more widely available has health cost implications

Dave Bryans, president of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, was mentioned in this corner recently (read post here) for leading the charge to allow beer and wine to be sold in convenience stores across the province.

His organization has launched a Facebook campaign asking voters to push for additional access to beer and wine in convenience stores.

Now OPSEU responds to the campaign with the argument Ontario needs to look very closely at the real costs of doing so. Visit their website.

Here is their release . . .

Ontario’s corner store owners are trying to stir up liquor privatization in the midst of the provincial election. They want thousands of convenience stores to be able to sell beer and wine in the province. The fringe Libertarian Party is going further by demanding the “repeal” of the LCBO and to allow anyone to sell alcohol.

Apparently what we need in the province is more access to alcohol, or so the corner stores say. For most of us, this is definitely a head scratcher.

When a final decision is made, Ontario needs to look very closely at the real costs of doing so, including the health costs.

The Local Health Integration Networks finally seem to be coming around to the idea of dealing with upstream costs, realizing there are huge savings to be had by preventing illness.

Allowing thousands of corners stores to sell booze would make such efforts into farce.

With the exception of the right-wing Fraser Institute, most studies have directly linked availability of liquor to consumption levels. Of course there are other factors, including price, but availability appears to be a key indicator.

As liquor sales go up, so do other health problems, ranging from liver cirrhosis to depression to addiction – all representing significant cost to our health system.

Provinces set up Liquor Control Boards precisely to limit the sale of liquor based on rational social needs.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse found in a 2004 survey that 32 per cent of respondents reported that in the past year they had experienced some harm due to drinking by others.

Walking into a convenience store you may be tempted to sign their petition. Before doing so, think about how much you will really have to pay to get your beer and wine at the corner store. You may not like the answer.

Hospital redevelopment funding: fact or fiction?


While the Aug. 24 announcement from Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews is encouraging news for redevelopment of St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, it has led to some confusion for area residents in the countdown to the Oct. 6 provincial vote.
Several readers have contacted this corner to question whether the project will proceed should the Dalton McGuinty government be shown the door in three week’s time.

In other words, is the $100-million-plus undertaking a go, no matter what?

City Scope went right to the source this week and talked with the main contenders running in Elgin-Middlesex-London.

The general consensus? The funding announcement has been met with a heaping dose of collective skepticism.
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What has gone so wrong in Canada for working people?

By Ken Georgetti

President – Canadian Labour Congress

There was a time in Canada – not that very long ago – when a working person could expect

to have a family-supporting job throughout their life.

For an honest day’s labour, a worker could raise their kids, buy a house, pay off the mortgage,take vacations, have weekends off, help send the kids through college and retire with a modest but liveable pension.

Your job was relatively secure and the employer showed loyalty for good work. And employers
benefited too, because working families had the income to buy their goods and services.

Wherever and at whatever occupation you worked, these were common features for most
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Practice of double-dipping ‘a crime against our youth’


Later this month, the board of directors at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital will sit down to determine the next chapter in the Paul Collins saga.

The CEO’s one-year retire/rehire contract expires at the end of the year, and a likely scenario would see the board push for a two- or perhaps three-year extension so Collins can hang around for the hospital expansion/redevelopment.

In a letter to the editor on July 13, Bob McCaig wrote, “I find it morally repugnant that this practice (double-dipping) is so widespread. Our political masters are turning a blind eye to a practice that is forcing young people to either wait idly or leave Ontario while the pigs at the trough gobble up a final helping.”

Following publication of that letter, McCaig was buoyed by the favourable public response and undertook further research into double-dipping and we present his findings, which he warns is “a crime against our youth.”
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