Meeting to Save Cornwall General Hospital Galvanizes Supporters in Cornwall Ontario – February 5, 2013

Meeting to Save Cornwall General Hospital Galvanizes Supporters in Cornwall Ontario – February 5, 2013

2nd HospitalCFN – The meeting space at McConnell Manor was full in Cornwall Ontario as presentations and consultations took place.   Organized by Mark A Macdonald, former City Councilor and two high school students (Josh Welsh &Emily Ladoucer-MacDonald) The public was able to discuss the future of the old Cornwall General Hospital; something that CCH management are refusing to do as you can see in our interview footage with both Jeanette Despatie & Helen Periard.

While Ms Periard & Despatie are insisting on the sale being a “Done Deal” members of the public are wrestling with the lack of communication to the public or accountability.   It’s almost impossible to figure out whose really responsible and why the sale has been handled in the manner it has.

First speaker was City Councilor and member of the board of the EOHU, Andre Rivette.

What we do know and confirm is that the Hospital cannot be sold without permission of the Minster of Health, Deb Matthews.

We do know that City Councilor Bernadette Clement is on new Premier Kathleen Wynne’s transition team.  IE she has the ear of the Premier to nibble on about gaining support for Healthcare in the region.

We do know that the plan nearly a decade ago was to move the Hospital, but this scribbler sees no documents that suggest that this hospital change hands in the manner that it has.

We do know that in spite of the EOHU wanting a Task force to look at alternative health care uses for the facility that Ms. Periard & Despatie put the hospital up for sale without having a RSP for which real estate company would handle the sale and instead tossed it over to Remax whose Terry Langdon handled the Benson centre lands as well.

We know that the hospital is refusing to share if they really did have an evaluation and if so who performed the evaluation.   As you’ll see in the question session video that one gentleman showed up with comparative listings that made the $2M sticker price non-sensical.

We know that there seems to be a total vacuum of leadership from the Mayor to the MP.  While our MPP showed up late and has been positive he seems to be shying away from actually stepping up and one, asking for a continuation of the funding for the 32 short term care beds at Second Street nor is he seeming willing to find solutions to protect the facility for the future.

Jim MCD HMPP McDonell arrived late to the meeting and did not speak.  He did answer questions after from myself and Greg Kielec of The Journal.

We also know that no clear numbers are available as to the clear costs of using this facility.

See all the players have the same answer; that it’s not their area of responsibility.    And to a degree they’re right.    It really is up to the community to put pressure so that our public servants respond.

We do need a current public consultation which covers honest questions and honest answers as opposed as the BS presentation made to council last week that really wasn’t challenged.  After all, if you don’t ask the right questions you won’t get the right answers.    And that begets the question as to why our Mayor and council refuse to ask those questions?

By far the most impressive speaker was Ms Manon Thompson who has worked in the past for both the hospital and CCH foundation.   Ms Thompson actually crunched some numbers that illustrate the crisis that our area, rich with voters over the age of 65 will need place in the short future.

It has been the community who has  built both hospitals.  And it is money from your pockets that has kept these two hospitals alive and running. 

Sadly CCH did not send a representative; nor did City Hall as they did a flash call budget meeting that precluded council from attending.  Councilor Rivette, who spoke, did so as board member of the EOHU and had to leave to attend the budget meeting; a rare call for a Monday night.

Healthcare being something that is my personal issue of choice meant that I’m active in this crisis as well.

Again, it’s up to the public to stop this sale or to make sure that if a sale takes place that the facility ends up in some form of Community trust or entity that will allow it to continue to be used for Health Care in our community.

Mark answered some questions after the meeting.

The bottom line is that there is no clear solution at this point.   The first step is ceasing the sale which we have created the following petition for until the community gets some clear answers and is consulted with.  After all it’s the community that pays the price at the end of the day!

Cease Sale of Cornwall General Hospital Petition


39 signatures

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Latest Signatures
39 James Marshall Cornwall Mar 01, 2013
38 Ryan Hollingsworth Cornwall Feb 13, 2013
37 Chelsea MacDonald Cornwall Feb 10, 2013
36 Lucille Deschamps Long Sault Feb 07, 2013
35 Manon Thompson Cornwall Feb 07, 2013
34 Mark A. MacDonald Cornwall Feb 07, 2013
33 Emily Madsen Cornwall Feb 07, 2013
32 Cory Cameron Timmins Feb 07, 2013
31 Frank Reaume Cornwall Feb 07, 2013
30 omer terriah cornwall Feb 06, 2013
29 Louise Kingdon Cornwall Feb 06, 2013
28 Helene A Lynch Cornwall Feb 06, 2013
27 Richard Lynch Cornwall Ontario Feb 06, 2013
26 Josh Welsh Cornwall Feb 06, 2013
25 Doris Douglas Cornwall. Ot Feb 05, 2013
24 Diane Bergeron Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
23 Dave Windsor CORNWALL Feb 05, 2013
22 Clayton Arcand Cornwall Ontario Feb 05, 2013
21 Stacey Watters Cornwall Ontario Feb 05, 2013
20 Debbie Cameron Long Sault Feb 05, 2013
19 maryanne pankhurst South Glengarry Feb 05, 2013
18 cathy jodoin cornwall,Ont Feb 05, 2013
17 Gary Samler Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
16 Louise Wilson cornwall Feb 05, 2013
15 William E. Beattie Corrwall Feb 05, 2013
14 Mark Walker Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
13 David Oldham Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
12 ian wilson cornwall Feb 05, 2013
11 Reg Coffey Ingleside Feb 05, 2013
10 Helene Paquin Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
9 Andre Rivette Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
8 Charles Branchaud Long Sault Feb 05, 2013
7 Laurie Branchaud Long Sault Feb 05, 2013
6 Christopher Cameron Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
5 marie soulliere essex Feb 05, 2013
4 mary bray cornwall Feb 05, 2013
3 Amy Ouderkirk Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
2 Rachel MacDonald Cornwall Feb 05, 2013
1 Jamie Gilcig Cornwall Feb 05, 2013

In the meanwhile here are a list of organizations that should play some role in finding a solution.


Cornwall City Council

United Counties of SD&G

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

The Champlain LHIN

The Ontario Ministry of Health

Health Minister Deb Matthews

MPP Jim McDonell

Organizers of the Coalition will be creating print petitions as well.

You can also vote in our polls below and post your comments.





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32 Comments on "Meeting to Save Cornwall General Hospital Galvanizes Supporters in Cornwall Ontario – February 5, 2013"

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I want to Thank-you for the coverage and and video off the meeting and all the work .Interviewing all parties involved great job .I applaude Mister Rivette for his support and Mister MacDonald for standing up for what is best for all of us Thank-you. As for Jeanette & Helen they don`t seem to be stable and not the quality staff that should be running a hospital. I would like to see them read us the rules for amalgamation. I would also like to see them read the French Language service Act. I read them and the actions of Jeanette… Read more »
Dave Windsor
With the care need for our seniors about to explode ANY potential buyer should be required to make a commitment to provide this property as a private health care facility. This would act financially the same as any Manor, Residence or Senior acute nursing care in that where financial needs are required, then social services for care should be applied just as it is with any other such facility in the counties. A qualified purchaser suggestion would even extend to Akwasasne MCA who can set this up in this way for their seniors as welll as the rest of the… Read more »
Dave Windsor

Would the city be able to enact a use bylaw for a health care facility only for this property prior to any purchase.

Code 10 is an open door for mkulti applications for the site location. This is an open window to use for any purpose a buyer may have. If it is NOT the same as we prefer, so sad, too bad, as it stands now.

Sick of Stupidity

Couldn’t blame the Akwesasne people for wanting their own hospital as I hear first hand over and over how CCH does not accommodate to “their people”. With a lot higher native populations, it only stands to reason that CCH if making any bilingual “rules” should have supported them rather than the very small, elite French only group here in town. Money talks.


^Good idea! The city could enact a bylaw to provide more time. It would then go to the Ontario Municipal Board for review. Stall things for at least six months.

Christopher Cameron
Stacey February 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm “I would also like to see them read the French Language service Act. I read them and the actions of Jeanette and Helen have made me ashame of being a true French Canadian.” Thank you Stacey for speaking up on the inequity the Hospital has created under THEIR version of implementing the french services language act. I am French /Native as well as Scottish I remain proud of my french roots as all others . But because I do not speak french does not make me any less french. Is the Haitian more… Read more »
Jane Doe

Why Mr Cameron has this subject about the Cornwall General hospital become a language issue.. I am personally fed up that every topic that is discussed ends up in language discussions and vents..

Long term facility beds are definitely in short supply here in Cornwall.. I know of 3 people waiting to get into these places and there is a long wait..

Mike Bedard
I agree let’s stick to the topic and stop talking about language unless directly related to the article. However, thank you Chris for your input and is nice to see you involved in something other than the language issue. Organizing and delivering a clear message is important! To gain support for this cause we need to show how this facility “could be used” to spark debate. Ex. Dr. Baitz suggested a Dr. Clinic in Cornwall and this facility may be part of that solution. However, the costs still need to be varified or all of this talk and effort for,… Read more »
Hailey Brown
Dr Baitz is again right on target with his proposed solution I could never understand why a Dr. does not have patient services in a hospital rather then in offices around town. Imagine how economically efficient it would be setting a fixed rate for Dr’s to set up in a hospital. There are many variations on billing possibilities but a flat rate would best suite all. Leaving money out of it, if a patient needs emergency services, it is merely an elevator ride to the patient. Mike the costs need to be verified? Or quantified? Putting them in one facility… Read more »
Stacey wrote: As for Jeanette & Helen they don`t seem to be stable and not the quality staff that should be running a hospital. Hmmm wondering how YOU arrive to that conclusion? If you never had dealings with them, how can you publicly degrade someone you don’t personally know? Until you know all the facts, you have no right to judge. Stacey also wrote: I would also like to see them read the French Language service Act What does the Act have to do with this article? The same question goes to Chris. The answer to that question is very… Read more »
Sick of Stupidity
@ stella Oh language WILL eventually have a lot to do with it. First off, those 2 women running the show were most likely trying to make a quick sale to some Franco group for a measly $2 million. Dump it quickly and quietly. Yes, we are discussing about the building itself, but if Chris, Stacey or anyone else wants to elaborate now and then it is not your place to JUDGE them. This city of language discrimination will not play fair when it comes to hiring practices. I will not mention language here again to keep the whining to… Read more »
Hailey Brown

Stelll interesting post, but when you state
‘Hmmm wondering how YOU arrive to that conclusion? If you never had dealings with them, how can you publicly degrade someone you don’t personally know? Until you know all the facts, you have no right to judge.”

I ask you, how do you know poop is bad if you haven’t tried it?

My big concern is, are we being had yet again with the big flip… low, sell high IN SHORT ORDER. $2,000,000,000 can be turned into $6,000,000,000 easy enough………….$6,000,000,000 can be rolled over into $12,000,000,000 before A 5 or 6 year cycle and so on until it reaches its more truer value…….WAIT AND SEE. IT IS VERY DOUBTFUL THAT ANY INITIAL BUYER WOULD HAVE THE SAME DESIRES AS THIS COMMUNITY TO SEE AN APPROPRIATE FIT FOR SENIORS CARE AND PERHAPS DOCTORS CLINIOC/OFFICES…. AND DOCTORS BEDS AS IN WHAT WE ARE LOSING, PARDON ME FROM WHAT WE HAD, D32 BEDS FDOR THIRD… Read more »
In reply to what this has to do with the (FLSA). This was all predicted on october 31 1985! Legislative Assembly of Ontario! By who you say? Dr.Robert W Harris ,”Because of the restrictive qualities of the Regie de l`assurance-maladie du Quebec and the contraction in patient care facilities,such as hospital beds,operating time ,etc….. Who is he ? He was the man who reconstructed alot of hands that where crushed in the rollers at Domtar! He was the only specialist of his kind in the region at that time,he worked at Cornwall General hospital and Hotel Dieux. I was there… Read more »
David Oldham

An important note on the FLSA in Ontario . This is not a mandatory program or requirement but rather an optional position that the hospital board adopted. Police forces such as the Cornwall Police Force which also serve the community in a vital capacity took a different path and chose to be reflective of the needs of the community when it comes to language. How progressive and fair minded is that ? Not to mention far sighted !

City RN

Love your passion Stacey! Yes, doctors leaving are another BIG issue. By the way I wonder if people know that until recently we had a cardiologist from Ottawa practising here. Reliable source told me that the other 2 older internists couldn’t get along with him so he went back to Ottawa. CCH also has a huge control over OR time and Doctors are forced elsewhere if you challenge them. Hmmm seems to me I heard that Dr. T is working in the US as well now, even with such a busy practice.

Mike Bedard
RE: Dave, ENOUGH with the language fiasco you discredit a valid cause by adding your FLSA BS to every debate …Stop!!! My wife and I attended an information session for Pre-Kindergarten Parents tonight and the Principals and Teachers made sure to ask if anyone could not speak French as they would speak in English for the parents! Do you think that anyone at any English school would be as willing, or capable, of speaking French for Francophone parents? NO they wouldn’t! The Francophone, who are proud to help everyone learn French are NOT the problem! Did you know that many… Read more »
hailey Brown
Mike I appreciate that you accomplished so much for yourself, especially in college. But a personal achievement and college best in book smart does not really rank all that high in my book. I would rather see a person achieve a “d” but has the ability to work well with others and have a good understanding of the expectations of the job and the ability to listen and learn. The problem with book smart is all to often the individual is poor with actual working conditions, poor with attitude and so sure of themselves that business is often lost. I… Read more »
Sick of Stupidity
@ Mike “…the fact that it may be cheaper and more efficient to build rather than renovate! This study/work may have already been done by the Hospital and can provide some vital details and, if provided by hospital staff, could possibly create some unity instead of divide on this topic!” Do you believe in the tooth fairy Mike? Have you not yet figured out that the hospital does not share anything with the public unless it fits their own agenda. Keep the faith, sit back and believe in CCH…..remember Jeanette laughs at the camera and says, “We are in the… Read more »
Mike Bedard February 7, 2013 at 12:09 am “Did you know that many SMART parents send their kids to French school even though they cannot speak a word of French themselves? Did you know that the French Catholic School that we attended made sure to offer additional support to those children and parents who fall into this category?” Mike now your saying only Smart parents (emphasized) the SMART send their kids to french schools ! That insults all those parents that do not ! Mike is not enrolling the children in French immersion allowing the opportunity to learn a second… Read more »

Educating oneself is a life long experience,its dependent on the persons willingness inform themselves.

Some of the richest people in the world are not that educated as per say ,but are smart and had the foresight and the ambition to see trends and follow through with their ambition.

Education is a great tool but its ambition and drive that gets you to your goal.


Mike Bedard has been schooled by the ladies! He really is looking for a pat on the back, as always talking about his “great accomplishments and defeats (not his fault?).” Now we get to know he has a wife and a kid going to French Catholic school. He would be very funny if he wasn’t such a tormented little man.
Good luck with pool company number three.


Haley wrote: That combined with Helen’s attitude are cause for the poor service many people receive…….

Oh ok. Hmm…..I’ve read many letters to the editor where people had nothing but praise for our hospital……but of course there will always be those who are never happy with anything or anybody.

Highlander wrote: There are many out there who may not have our credentials but are much smarter then you or I ……..FOR ONCE I AGREE WITH YOU………**smile**

hailey Brown

Again you seem to miss understand what was stated.

A few people sing praise and to you all is rosy. It a poor standard we set for ourselves accepting so little and paying so much for it. Raise the bar stella

Maybe you need a little time abroad and see what service and a efficient system is all about. As I said for all my own personal health needs I visit Kingston HDH.

hailey Brown

Latour is an old business name in the area. He is riding on dads accomplishments and rapport .

Different fields but once a mamber always a member


Hailey Brown February 8, 2013 at 6:22 am

Stella, Again you seem to miss understand what was stated.

That seems to be a frequent for her to misunderstand and misinformed others.

stellabystarlight February 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm
“Until you know all the facts, you have no right to judge.”

OMG LMAOFD YOU of all people stating this when on numerous occasions admitted you do not look ANYTHING UP.

So when you post its propaganda as you till this day not have provided ANY FACTS to back your statements.

Dave Windsor

Mike BedardFebruary 7, 2013 at 12:09 am

RE: Dave, ENOUGH with the language fiasco you discredit a valid cause by adding your FLSA BS to every debate …Stop!!!

Stop!! Though Dave Oldman and I have a lot in common, including ideas that just may work for the CGH regeneration, I request you be sure of which Dave to whom you refer in your comments. Thanks Mike.

Thank you oppressed 2 Yes but Dangermanmi6 the General Hospital was not under the FLSA : Reference :French language services commissioner report 2011-2012 to Francophone Minister Madeleine Meilleur Under designation of government agencies 1.3.1 advantages(a) “Indeed ,designation allows agencies to benefit from legal and political protection under the French Language services act.A designated agency or program provides it supplier with immunity that protects it from changes in the economic and political climate .Montfort Hospital is the most eloquent example of this advantage:it was able to avoid being shut down and broken up precisely because of its designated status.” “A request… Read more »
further on the report : “In the case of Cornwall Community Hospital ,which was created out of the merger of two health care facilities ,including Hotel Dieu Hospital ,that is precisely what happened.And given the fact the Hotel Dieu Hospital was designated under the French Services Language Act ,the new medical facility was then obliged to also apply for designation under the act .having acted any differently would have been disastrous for the Francophone community and ,more importantly ,illegal under the act and unconstitutional according to the UNWRITTEN principles of the Canadian Constitution ,as was illustrated in the Monfort court… Read more »
Under comments with regards to the report; “Happily ,the widely reported episode of the people who objected to the implementation of the French Services Act at the Cornwall Community Hospital showed us that (i)the institution managed to stand its ground on FULL COMPLIANCE with the act ,and (ii) such attempts to generate language crisis simply do not work in 2012.” When Madam Madeleine Meilleur (Francophone Minister) was asked by reporters with regards of the implementation of Cornwall Community Hospitals FLSA. She stated that the Hospital was responsible for the implementation but had felt that they perhaps went beyond their mandate.… Read more »