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Both North Bay’s Liberal MPP and the hospital administration have misplaced priorities when it comes to keeping local jobs in our community, says a local coalition group working to reverse a decision to close the Nipissing Joint Laundry Services and move 26 jobs to Sudbury.

Henri Giroux, the president of the North Bay District CUPE Council, points out that the attitude of the hospital and the area MPP is best described as ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish.’

It’s ludicrous that the hospital’s vote to close the laundry is premised on saving money. If that were the pressing concern, shouldn’t the hospital be more focused on the public paying $500 million in interest costs in its private hospital contract,” questions Giroux.

Upgrading the laundry facilities and keeping the operation open and the jobs in North Bay is an investment in the local economy, adds Giroux, but paying huge interest premiums to an out-of-area private corporation will only benefit the bottom line of out-of-town investors.

It’s not just the hospital that has misplaced priorities, says Giroux.

What we want to know is why our Liberal MPP, Monique Smith, isn’t fighting to keep jobs in
North Bay. Where are her priorities when it comes to jobs rolling down the highway?” Asks Giroux, who asserts that, “this fight is not over.”

Over the next few weeks, a community coalition, focused on keeping the laundry open and the jobs in North Bay, will actively mobilize the community to fight the closure and job loss. A May 7th community meeting at the North Bay Legion is now being organized.

With the province moving forward on regional health care restructuring that could involve additional programs and jobs and services being transferred out of North Bay or merged with providers in Sudbury, what is happening with the laundry is of great concern, says Giroux.

I don’t think the people of North Bay are going to accept health system restructuring if it involves services and jobs rolling down the road to Sudbury,” adds Giroux.