The Glengarry News


Health unit decries restructuring

publisher Apr 25, 2019 - 5:08pm

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s Board of Health has issued a Position Statement laying out its concerns about the Ford government’s aggressive plan to restructure public health, warning that it could have significant long and short-term impacts on the local community.

The government made the surprise announcement in the recently released 2019 provincial budget, outlining its plan to cut the number of public health units in Ontario from 35 local health units to 10 larger regional entities over the next two years. It has also announced plans to slash provincial funding of public health by $200 million, offloading a significant portion of public health funding from the province to municipalities. The cut in provincial funding is effective immediately despite the fact that municipalities were given no advance warning, and have already planned and started spending their budgets for the current year.

The province has provided few details about the restructuring, leaving the EOHU and municipalities uncertain about how the changes will be implemented. A major concern is that while municipalities will be expected to pay more, they could have less decision-making power when it comes to how public health programs are delivered locally. Moving governance of public health services from the eastern counties to a broader regional area could reduce the capacity to address the unique public health needs of the eastern counties (serving rural populations, higher rates of chronic diseases and poverty, reduced access to primary healthcare). In a larger regionalized model, public health’s ability to respond quickly to local emergencies and health threats – such as disease outbreaks or flood emergencies – may also be negatively affected.

“Having a local presence with close ties to community partners and residents has ensured that the health unit is well-positioned to respond to local needs,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health. He adds that the EOHU provides a wide range of essential public health programs, including immunization clinics, infectious disease outbreak management (including the recent follow up of measles contacts), low-income dental clinics, well-baby programs for families who don’t have access to pediatricians or family physicians, water safety monitoring, inspections of local food premises and more. “We’re very concerned that moving to a larger regional model, combined with significant cuts to funding, could compromise the public health services that protect the health and safety of our region’s residents.”

Dairy farmers get help

publisher Jan 29, 2019 - 3:32pm

Agriculture and AgriFood Minister Lawrence MacAulay, and Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Francis Drouin, were at Ferme Geranik on Monday to announce an investment of up to $2.7 million to support Dairy Farmers of Canada's program to enhance public trust in dairy production through the continuation and implementation of its quality assurance program, proAction, and an environmental sustainability strategy.

"Dairy farmers are a vital part of our communities. These investments will benefit our local farmers and enhance our reputation for high quality and sustainability," said Mr. Drouin.

South Glengarry CAO leaves

publisher Jan 22, 2019 - 11:57am

CAO Bryan Brown and South Glengarry township have parted ways after nearly five years.

A press release issued Tuesday states that “council will be considering its options for the leadership of the township over the next few weeks,” adding that “further information will be provided as it becomes available.”

No reason was given for Mr. Brown’s departure. “Bryan made a significant contribution to the township during his years here, and council wishes him the best of success in the future,” Mayor Frank Prevost said in the release.

Mr. Brown was officially appointed as CAO June 23, 2014, succeeding Derek Brandt who was fired earlier that year.

Mr. Brown had previously held CAO posts in Machin and Madawaska Valley.

Simard blasts French-language services cuts

publisher Nov 22, 2018 - 10:23am

“Definitely upset,” Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Amanda Simard is urging the Ontario government to reverse its decisions to eliminate the French Language Services Commissioner’s post and to cancel a proposed French-language university.

Responding to criticism on Facebook last night, the rookie MPP said, “You have an ally in me, and I'm never going to let you down.”

She said the decisions “disappoint me immensely, and I share this disappointment and frustration today, having at first worked internally as much as possible to have these decisions overturned. I have asked the Premier to reconsider these measures.”

Her initial reaction to the moves was to use “diplomatic channels.” She said she “became aware of these decisions just a few minutes before the official announcements.” She observed that she had read that she “might be upset.” That is false, Ms. Simard insisted. “I am definitely upset.”

“To my friends, to my community, to my constituency, you know me – my Francophonie is dear to my heart. To my more than 600,000 Franco-Ontarians and Franco-Ontarians, you may not know me but know that I'm with you. I was born, I grew up, and I still live in my francophone community of Prescott-Russell.”

“Now we have to assess where we are, and what we can and should do. I'm with you. I hope you will support me,” she concluded.

Here is her Facebook post.

Vous avez une alliée en moi, et je ne vais jamais vous laisser tomber.

Les décisions prises la semaine dernière relatives au Commissariat et à l’Université franco-ontarienne me déçoivent énormément, et je partage cette déception et frustration aujourd’hui, ayant dans un premier temps œuvré à l’interne autant que possible pour faire renverser ces décisions. J’ai demandé au premier ministre de reconsidérer ces mesures.

J’ai toujours le réflexe d’utiliser les voies diplomatiques pour régler les situations, et c’est ce que j’ai fait, avant de réagir publiquement, dès que j’ai pris connaissance de ces décisions (ce qui fut qu’à peine quelques minutes avant les annonces officielles). En passant, j’ai lu quelque part que la députée Simard « might be upset ». Faux. Je suis « definitely upset ».

À mes amis, à ma communauté, à ma circonscription, vous me connaissez – ma francophonie me tient à coeur. À mes plus de 600 000 Franco-ontariens et Franco-ontariennes, vous ne me connaissez peut-être pas encore, mais sachez que je suis avec vous. Je suis née, j’ai grandi, et je vis toujours dans ma communauté francophone de Prescott-Russell. J’ai complété toute ma scolarité en français, de l’école élémentaire (école St-Jean, Pavillon La Croisée), au secondaire (Embrun), au collège (La Cité), ainsi qu’à l’université (uOttawa), où j’ai choisi d’étudier le droit, la common law, en français ! Il n’y a, et n’a jamais eu, question pour moi d’appuyer ces mesures.

Maintenant, nous devons évaluer où nous en sommes, et ce que nous pouvons et devons faire. Je suis avec vous. J’espère que vous allez m’appuyer.


North Glengarry grant

publisher Nov 20, 2018 - 3:16pm

North Glengarry is receiving $47,600 for a facilities assessment and asset management software project, delivered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' federally-funded Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP).

The funds were part of the $4.5 million the FCM) and the federal government have announced for 109 initiatives across the country.

Aging roads, buildings and bridges are the challenges to be tackled under the FCM's new Municipal Asset Management Program, a five-year, $50-million program designed to help Canadian municipalities make informed infrastructure investment decisions based on sound asset management practices. The program is funded by the Government of Canada.

CUPE ends strike

publisher Jun 11, 2018 - 8:55pm

A month-long strike that has curtailed essential services, including ambulance service in Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, has ended following the ratification of agreements between CUPE and the city of Cornwall.

All four groups, which include paramedics, library staff, and inside and outside workers, ratified the agreements. At its regular meeting on Monday, June 11, Cornwall City Council also ratified the agreements.

The City of Cornwall looks forward to employees returning to work on Tuesday morning, at which time many city services and programs will resume as normal.

On Wednesday, June 13, the Cornwall Aquatic Centre, Richelieu Day Care and the Winchester satellite office of Social and Housing Services will re-open. More information will follow about specific programs. The Cornwall Public Library board also ratified the agreement with its CUPE staff.

Crack quitting

publisher Apr 5, 2018 - 9:54am

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Grant Crack will not seek re-election in June.

The announcement comes only two months after he was nominated January 28 as the Liberals' standard bearer in the riding he has held since 2011.

In an April 5 statement, the former North Glengarry mayor said, "Earlier this year I advised Premier Wynne that I would not be a candidate in the upcoming election.After careful consideration and heartfelt discussions with my family, I concluded that the time is right to seek out other career opportunities. This was a very difficult decision.I have had the privilege of serving my community and the Province of Ontario as a political leader for over 17 years. During this time I have developed numerous relationships with political colleagues, community stakeholders and established friendships of which I am grateful and will miss on a day to day basis.I want to thank the great people of Glengarry Prescott Russell for giving me the opportunity to represent them in the riding locally and also as their voice at Queen's Park. I look forward to assisting the next Liberal candidate in the upcoming campaign and I am confident that GPR will remain red. I am also confident that my Liberal colleagues under the forward-thinking leadership of Premier Kathleen Wynne will form a majority government on June 7."