BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF –
Just as Grey County was preparing the For-Sale sign for the Grey Gables property in Markdale, ratification of the recommendation to sell the long term care facility was unexpectedly scuttled.
Previously recommended by the Committee of the Whole, the vote was to take place at the June 8 Grey County Council meeting but before the vote could happen, several members of council stood up and walked out of the proceedings, their departure met with applause from the crowd in attendance. Those who walked out were Blue Mountains Deputy Mayor Gail Ardiel, Deputy Mayor Harley Greenfield, Grey Highlands Deputy Mayor Stewart Halliday and Chatsworth Deputy Mayor Scott Mackey, together with Southgate Mayor Anna-Marie Fosbrooke, Blue Mountains Mayor John McKean and Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen.
According to Halliday, the councillors who walked out “are concerned for all the senior citizens in Grey County,” he said. “We feel that everyone will be better served by retaining three long term care homes.”
He added that they wanted to let councillors who support the sale of Grey Gables to know that they should think twice before supporting the sale.
Anticipation of the vote had been high since the Committee of the Whole's May 25 recommendation. Many members of the Save Grey Gables group had hoped that enough Grey County councillors' opinions could be turned in time to prevent its ratification.
The action of the seven members of council meant that quorum for the vote could not be established, therefore postponing the decision until the next meeting of Grey County Council. It is hoped that this will give the remaining councillors time for sober second thought.
Should the sale be voted to proceed, it is unknown who might be interested in purchasing the 66-bed facility which currently meets Class A standards set out by the Ontario government. It was the Ontario long term care renewal strategy requiring that all facilities meet Class A standards by 2025, that caused the County to consider its options with regard to maintaining its three long term care facilities – one of which does not meet Class A standards.
As part of this decision, the 66 beds are planned to move to a new upgraded long term care home in Durham which would replace the outdated Rockwood Terrace facility.
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