The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is calling for a public investigation behind the factors that led the Grey Bruce Health Unit to slam the door shut on its Walkerton office.
“The manner by which the decision was made to shut down the Walkerton health office is shrouded in secrecy and calls for transparent accountability by way of a public investigation,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Every local politician must stand up now and say ‘let’s get to the bottom of this disgraceful decision.’
“This decision has a real impact on many communities and their residents and it must not happen without the consent of their elected leaders.”
According to news accounts, even the health unit board of directors were kept in the dark about the decision to close the office.
“If that in fact is the case – that the directors had no inkling of what was happening – then the need for a public accounting of the move is greater than ever,” said Mike Grimaldi, Grimaldi, regional vice president for OPSEU, representing the Grey and Bruce counties.
He noted that by closing the Walkerton office, residents from the southern areas of the counties will be forced to travel to Owen Sound, often over treacherous winter road conditions, where the services of the Walkerton office will be relocated.
Grimaldi said it wasn’t good enough for the health unit to say that some clients will be accommodated at the Walkerton office “by appointment only.”
“That’s a suspect half-measure,” he said. “Drop in traffic is typical of public health and we shouldn’t be putting restrictive measures in place.”
Mike Grimaldi OPSEU Region 2 Vice President 289-213-3088 mobile