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Fight to save Grey Gables is far from over, OPSEU says

Markdale – Despite fierce public opposition, 10 members of Grey County Council voted last week in favour of a complicated privatization plan that would sell off the Grey Gables long-term care home in Markdale and transfer all long-term care beds out of the community.

But the fight to save Grey Gables is far from over, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) says.

“The residents of Grey County have a lot more fight left in them,” said Joan Corradetti, chair of OPSEU’s Long-Term Care Division. “For those members of Council who clearly haven’t got the message at this point, we’ll make sure they do before Council’s next vote on this issue on June 8. As politicians, surely they’ll understand what it means to suffer the consequences at the next election.”

OPSEU has raised a number of questions about Council’s sell-off strategy.

“It costs a lot of money to build a new facility, and will cost even more if it’s built as a public-private partnership (P3),” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The government’s ongoing experiment with P3s, or as I like to call them, “Profits in Private Pockets,” is a total boondoggle. Amalgamations and P3s are not only costly, they are often way over budget. And somehow the anticipated savings never seem to materialize.

“There is no guarantee that Council’s plan, which stretches years into the future, will save any money at all,” he said. “There are simply too many variables at play.”

The union is encouraging its members, and all local residents, to contact their local councilors and make their concerns heard.

Grey County councilors who voted in favour of the privatization plan include: Mayor Alan Barfoot and Deputy Mayor Dwight Burley from Georgian Bluffs; Mayor Barb Clumpus from Meaford; Mayor Ian Boddy and Deputy Mayor Arlene Wright from Owen Sound; Mayor Bob Pringle from Chatsworth; Mayor Sue Paterson and Deputy Mayor Selwyn Hicks of Hanover; and Mayor Kevin Eccles and Deputy Mayor John Bell of West Grey.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931