NORTH BAY, ON Documents obtained by the Canadian of Union of Public Employees (CUPE) through freedom of information (FOI) requests show Nipissing area mayors and councillors are privy to much more information about making Cassellholme a private nursing home, than they’ve shared with home’s residents, their families and the local community.

CUPE filed the formal FOIs earlier this spring, when initial verbal requests made to all nine municipalities that contribute a yearly levy to Cassellholme were denied. The content of the FOIs will be made available to media at a Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 10 a.m. media conference, 120 Lakeshore Drive, North Bay.

“We’ve spent a bit of time combing through the documents we’ve had returned and I’d like to tell you that all the information about the secret deal with the consultant hired by Cassellholme was handed over. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. But what is evident from the documents, is that the mayors and councillors know far more than they say they know, about the Cassellholme privatization scheme. We had hoped to be able to work cooperatively with councils to keep Cassellholme public and approach the province jointly for the funding for redevelopment,” says CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn.

Following a presentation to North Bay council on April 4, Hahn sent research showing that care levels for residents are better at municipally operated homes. Studies show that municipal homes provide more direct care than not-for-profits, and much more than in the for-profit sector.

“There is strong public support for municipal homes,” says Hahn. Research shows that people see municipal long-term care homes as part of the community, as a necessary service that should be owned and operated publicly.

“I have no doubt that like the majority of Ontarians, people in Nipissing expect their elected officials to play a role in maintaining high levels of care for residents, and ensuring that there is openness and accountability in the way at least one nursing home is run. When a nursing home is private, like it’s proposed for Cassellholme, the community would lose that say over resident care. There are very strong reasons to keep Cassellholme public and for the councillors and mayors to be frank with the community about their roles so far in this scheme to make Cassellholme a private nursing home,” says Hahn.

For more information contact:

Fred Hahn, President CUPE Ontario, 416-540-3979

Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300