CCH Capitulates to Public Outcry – Cornwall General Moratorium Announced – Decision Delayed Until March 7, 2013

Helen Periard & Jeanette Despatie
Helen Periard & Jeanette Despatie

CFN – It looks like petitions and outcries from the public have had a first impact in the situation involving the former Cornwall General Hospital in Cornwall Ontario.

After trying to sell the hospital without public consultation it appears that the board of the Cornwall Community Hospital have decided on a Moratorium to “review” the issue.

CFN helped expose the chronology of mayhem in our earlier stories(link to earlier stories) and have an online petition available that has drawn over 200 signatures so far.


Greg Kielic of The Journal wrote:



The hospital board had originally planned to review purchase offers at its meeting Thursday night. But Jeanette Despatie, CCH chief executive officer, said the board will instead review any offers at its meeting on March 7. The board decided to delay the review of offers for the former Cornwall General Hospital site due to the high level of interest that has been shown in the property and to give other interested parties time to consider options for the site, Despatie said. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit board, on the initiative of city councillor Andre Rivette, had been pushing for the site to been considered for long-term care, but Despatie said that is not within the hospital’s mandate. “We are not in the long-term care business,” she said in an interview with The Journal this morning.

Greg Peerenboom of the Standard Freeholder wrote:

“It was in the best interests to give the sale more time before we have more discussions on what might be offered to us,” said Helene Periard, hospital board.

The board is meeting Thursday, but it has postponed previously scheduled discussions on the Second Street sale.

Hospital spokesperson Shaun McDonald said the board won’t “receive or review” real estate offers for Second Street until a meeting on March 7.

Periad said the decision to postpone was made with feedback from a board subcommittee.

rivetteOne of the chief advocates for keeping Second Street, Coun. Andre Rivette, reads a different message from the board.

“It’s very clear, (the board) was learning how to run before learning how to walk,” Rivette said.

Well that’s step one ladies and gentlemen.   Now it’s time for a proper public consultation process to begin and for the community to truly decide what happens to this facility as we are the ones that have to pay the bill at the end of the day.

You can post your comments below.   And to vote in the online petition please click here.


medical arts pharmacy SENCARE



  1. The Journal? Standard Freeholder? Are you saying that the CCH board wouldn’t give a quote to CFN? Why am I not surprised.

  2. Who’s in charge here? What I just read was a crisis inside the hospital executive staff. The board wants this and the sub board wants that and our two females want their own way.
    Say goodbye to the whole lot, they can’t make a decent decision just a tactical time move of delay.

  3. Jamie so is that right the CCH board would not give you a quote ?

    Yet the rag le Journal who recently deliberately misinformed their readers(playing linguistic politics)and not printing the truth with regards to recent South Glengarry article got a quote ?

    Ah political smokescreen at it again ,hospitals are there to provide care not be a political instrument.

  4. Author

    Highlander I think it’s safe to say that CCH & their Foundation management can improve their relationship with CFN; especially after what they did at the big fundraiser where we helped land them a beer sponsor and they barred CFN from the event!

  5. I guess for the Hospital the TRUTH hurts,but by refusing to speak to a media outlet only limits their ability to get their message out there.

    The hospital needs the media to help repair their tainted image ,the public is very aware of the many problems management has .
    From you being bullied out of the hospital ,2nd street site sale ,discriminatory hiring practices ,the list goes on and on.

  6. It has been proven time & time again that the only truth comes from CFN,how in hell can we ever trust the journal again after it lied about SG meeting,SF no better but at least it apologized for Mac’s lies

  7. I didn’t see any quote, sorry are you referring to the cost of repair and upgrades or the selling price?

    There are a few sides seem to be missed here

    I agree the cost for upgrades will be high, but that is only due to people looking on how to bill for all the people on staff.
    They create documentation, procedures and often way too often interpret what is stated and justifying it with more procedures and paper work. For people such as Ms Periard and Ms Despatie the ability to see this is way above their ability. These old spinsters merely regurgitate old data.

    I am not sure who makes up the board, but they are the ones with the money and anyone working for them needs to justify what they are doing prior to approvals. Considering the board now puts this on hold speaks volumes on how poorly the proposal was presented. I bet a blind person could drive a bus through it and not hit a letter. Maybe if Periard could have written it in French.

    Someone said something about a subcommittee that is one of the additional procedures weeping money from the system. It may be under a different cost center, but it all comes out of the same pile of money.
    I have been working on the same projects for the past few months; I have one number to charge time to with a variation of sub changes for everything else I have to do under that code. The project has three different account numbers for accounting purposes of which each of them are used for different accounting systems.

    Why does it cost so much???

    The unfortunate spin here is we actually think this will make a change, we really need to focus on Newtons’ law of motion here where in he states “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. If you want to stop this venture you need someone able to push back jast as hard as they push forth….as you can rest assured Ms Periard already has a counter move for this hold.

  8. Periard/Despatie should be investigated by the Charbonneau Commission for criminal activities.

  9. All those who ignore CFN are ignoring its readers; who are voters, taxpayers, volunteers, potential volunteers, those who give charitable donations to the hospital and other causes, and people who spend money in community businesses.

    We are paying attention.

    Like Jamie always says, support CFNs sponsors and tell them you follow CFN news.

  10. Wonder what the offer all the ay from France has to do with CCH.

    Don’t believe Periard nor Despatie were prepared to stall any sale for 6 weeks ANYWAY despite public and MPP, Andre Rivette’s concerns and pressure. Not for 1 minute folks.

    The deal would have been done in day 1 if they could have got away with it.

    This once was a training hospital back ‘when’ with the East wing as rooming for the nurses in training, AND it was built AFTER the old McConnell Hotel Dieu.

    Would they not have found it ‘cheaper’ to tear IT down like they are trying to tell us about the Cornwall General??????

    Go figure some more folks.

  11. It makes me sick that nowadays, it costs more to renovate than to build a new facility, so demolish the the GH.
    What we need here is a Community Steering Committee to study the feasibility of turning this facility into a Long Term Care without costing an arm and a leg.

  12. “The board decided to delay the review of offers for the former Cornwall General Hospital site due to the high level of interest that has been shown in the property.

    Oh, now there are lots of offers after the cat got out of the bag? Naturally… What investor in their right mind would pass off such a gift, a hospital for a mere $2 mln?

    Perriard and Despatie should be investigated for intending to do harm to the hospital and the public (it’s their property) for trying to sell it at a bargain-basement price.

  13. Bruno, do you want to build “without costing an arm and a leg”? Don’t hire Quebec mafia and its Ontario chapter.

  14. Mr. Editor, (Jamie)

    Just who makes up this Board (CCH) ? On a separate note, I feel that the heat, is rising in the kitchen & some folks are not enjoying it ?
    “JIMMY OLSEN” good comments, for quite some time now, I’ve been ignoring all of the businesses, that are leading the parade against CFN ! It’s just my little way of saying “enough” !
    Glad to see MPP. Jim on board . Would it ever be nice, to see Counc. Rivette, get some help on this crucial issue, from the rest of Council ? Hello ?

  15. I can not figure out why Perriard and Despatie are not being questioned about their ethics and what they have done to the CCH image and why they have not been terminated for their actions.
    They are no different then the clowns who worked at the City, look at the image they left on this community. It will be many years before that stain is cleaned up or if it ever will.
    It pains many people to no end every time you drive by the hospital, it may have a new look but it’s nothing but a huge joke.
    We got the Benson Centre, we got the hospital. I am afraid of what strike 3 will cost us.

  16. “Although Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews, local MPP Jim McDonell and community members have suggested community consultation prior to the sale, hospital chief executive officer Jeanette Despatie doesn’t see the purpose”.

    Who Perriard and Despatie think they are? People, let’s FIRE THEM!

  17. Author

    Hi Mr. Magoo. Hope you’re enjoying your time in the sun while we all freeze! Here is the link to the Hospital Board via their website.

    I was informed by their spokesperson, Shaun MacDonald, that the next OPEN board meeting is coming in a few days and I’m going to encourage the public to attend.

    I think the community as a whole deserves a pat on the back for forcing the Moratorium, but the work isn’t done yet. I think we do need that public consultation and we do need an independent analysis of the condition of the facility.

    It’s amazing to see politicians come together like Councilor Rivette, and yes, our MPP, even if he was a little late to the party. It was after his exclusive statement to CFN that CCH announced the Moratorium. It just shows that we can all work together when it comes to helping our community.

  18. George
    I read the article you posted and Despatie seems a little cold hearted in her statement

    “I’m not sure what the consultation would be,
    ” Despatie told The Journal this morning. “It (long-term care) is not our mandate, quite honestly.”

    She seem to neglect the reason for long term care necessity is from the poor service she provides as hospital CEO.

  19. A “slight” delay to review offers. We want more than that! We want new people running the show at CCH ASAP to clean up this mess!!!!

    Also, yes, I agree with many of the above posters, CFN will give you the real scoop and not sugar coat things because of the fear of losing out on advertising dollars$$$$$.

    The truthful people of Cornwall will advertise with CFN and they are the ones that the citizens of Cornwall should be doing their business with. I know I will!

  20. Admin
    I believe you are, and I do hope I am wrong, but I believe you are misled by this stall tactic.

    There is nothing revealed that is not suppose to be revealed here. As I mentioned in a previous post, the proposals were so poorly prepared the board needed someone to stall the procedure.

    In the end nothing will change, and Ms Despatie knows this to be true. The Hospital is not for long term health care. That is a different entity and that will be her proposal in any future meetings.
    I commend you efforts but I truly believe t hey are in vain.

  21. Author

    Hi Hailey. I’m going to take a step back. Sometimes people do things because that’s the way they’re used to doing them. They don’t even see the wrong or folly in how they operate. Then some outsider points out and says “Hey! That’s not how you do that!” and that can result in a lot of pettiness.

    You’re right. This isn’t a victory; but it is a battle won and time now for more of the public to learn about this process and for those that realize how valuable this facility is to this community and can be in the future can take action.

    Jeanette may be right and CCH may not be in the Long term care biz, but the community is. The problem I’m seeing is a lot of buck passing; the hospital, the EOHU, the LHIN, the City, and province. SOME ENTITY has to be responsible for long care in our region and we need to pull everyone together and give them a good LOUD message that we want Long term care and the services that were in this facility.

    I asked the head of the LHIN that if there was funding for those 32 beds again and the hospital was sold where would they put them? There was no answer at that time. We need these answers before we, the public, that pays the bills, suffers more.

    And this little victory gives me hope when I can see such diverse forces come together.

  22. Hailey Brown
    January 24, 2013 at 8:07 am

    “I believe you are, and I do hope I am wrong, but I believe you are misled by this stall tactic.”

    Hailey I do believe this is a stall tactic but the public is becoming more aware.

    I am very proud of Cornwall citizens making a stand.Too often the public does not get involved when they should ,we live in a country where apathy rules.

    This apathy has been created by the government ,people feel their voice is no longer heard “so why bother ” this could explain the low voter turnout.

    The hospital management and Board by their actions and for varying different reasons have encouraged the public to exercise their democratic rights to speak up.
    The public is feeling empowered and desire to have their voices heard of which is the foundation of democracy ,far too often the public does not speak up on issues that effect them .

    I can be no prouder a citizen of Cornwall when the public gets involved in the political process and exercise their democratic rights .As Language Fairness for All (LFA) slogan “Freedom is not Free” we as citizens must maintain and fight to keep those rights,It is our obligations as citizens of this great City and Country to maintain those rights.

  23. I am hoping as well.
    Maybe if someone went with an idea rather then a question we would receive better results

  24. Author

    Hailey I can’t tell you how unprofessional this hospital management team has been. From the Allan Grieg farce (which the hospital has on CC camera) to how they’ve disrespected CFN and our viewers to even how they communicate with us. Add in the bs from the Hospital Foundation where they banned us from an event we helped land free beer for 500 people and it just shows how desperately change is needed from the top down. And that’s not counting staff issues over language and the Darlene Walsh episode. No, it’s time to get some professionals in charge of our hospital; if only for all of our won sakes and for the hundreds of people that work there. While our Mayor and former MPP may give Ms Despatie & Periard their support I don’t think most of the community would agree.

  25. Holy Roy Perkins! The idea that the proposals are too poorly prepared is bogus. All real estate transactions are simply documented. Agreement of Purchase and Sale and conditions if any, and remuneration offered.
    That being said, I always thought these two were physically repulsive. Now I know they have no souls. Son.

  26. In Cornwall, where “philanthropy” is just the cost of doing business — what pray tell is the bill going to be from ReMax because of this delay?

    Seems like Jamie and Terry just can’t lose.

  27. Spirit. Spirit is in great part, the heart of the matter here. I believe that the entire CCH administrative group, Ms. Despatie, Ms. Periard and their Board of Directors, (note, with respect to each of them), were blindsided by the tsunami or anger that confronted them in their ‘sale’ dump of CGH.

    Further, I believe that if they did NOT add insult to injury by their give away price recommendation of a mere two million dollars for a property some community members have held to a high as much as $60 million dollars, only invited this backlash.

    I also accept Ms. Despatie’s ‘comment’ that it was NOT in her mandate, vis a vis paraphrased, “to run a seniors residence nor ‘any function’ for that maintained at the former Cornwall General Hospital, PERIOD”.

    Then, for heavens sake WHY was the function of the transition/sale of the ‘newer building than CCH’ , that od CGH given to this group at all. Why have they been allowed the role of guardian/executer of the execution of the Cornwall General Hospital site. SHOULD THIS NOT HAVE BEEN MANAGED BY A BI-PARTISAN ASSOCIATION/AGENCY with the POER OF ATTORNEY to release the property to a potential buyer/consortium of buyers.

    The people of the Cornwall Community Hospital have neither the desire NOR the training to have been selected as the sellers in the first place. THIS WAS BADLY PLANNED FROM THE GET GO.

    With NO MANDATE, NO HEART/SPIRIT into it the wrong people with the wrong sense of the community/public feel towards the loss of CGH……..remember there was MUCH internat competition between these two hospitals long prior to the new designations to rebuild only the former Hotel Dieu.

    This competition was NOT ONLYin the ranks of department heads/ professionals, it was deep in the heart/spirit of the former religions of the two sites….one being Catholic and the other being protestant………DO NOT LAUGH THIS OFF…JUST ASK MANY OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEES AND PATIENTS…….there were other reasons they chose their hospital care other than simply which ever was closer…………and that my friends is why we today have so much anxiety inter mixed with this transition.
    That is why so much shock and awe has been felt by so many who lay in wait with baited breath at who will ultimately ‘take over’.

    The unknown, the inability to sell without predjudices and the fact of not knowing where in hell our seniors will transit from their current home to their last resting home. The promise of fair adequate and appropriate seniors residence became another ‘shock’ due to the inadequate responses from LHIN……stupefying our community even further. Stupid being the operative word here……….ALL AROUND.

    Cornwall Free News Online then has become the catalyst, the saving face, saving grace for allowing all our comments a voice…………where no other media has the guts to be open, honest and truthful……..Fully practicing prudence while Rome BURNS, FUMES and chars.

    One appropriate solutions since the CCH has no care for involvement in the sale of the CGH….EXCEPT TO GARNER INFLUENCE OF THE MONEY FROM ITS SALE…..must be removed from the process all together. Any and all the money from this sale must further be flagged back to our citizens via our city hall coffers for a later consideration to honor said citizens with a memorial recognizing the superior life of this former hospital to the community and S.D.G. and Akwasasne for all it’s many years of service. We had extraordinary people as doctors, nurses and YES as management here that can not and should not be passed over as though never having been.

    So, Jim, our illustrious MPP, Mr. Mayor Bob, and any and all others, where do you stand with these ideas. What can you do to legally wrestle the onerous power of sale away from these

  28. (to continue) WHOSE JOB IS IT ANYWAY

    PEOPLE, the CCH CEO and Board of Management/Directors. This should never have been their job IN THE FIRST PLACE.


    Some one or a number of people of influence, be it politicians, the LHIN facilitators……..or some other innocuous government department or agency legislated to sell/transition public properties should have come forward to use jurisprudence, with sensitivity training because we sure as (to repeat a sensitive word)…HELL have not had any professionalism via the current methodology, real-estate seller aside, up to this point

  29. An appropriate amount of the monies from the sale of these properties, other than to be used to create an appropriate monument uplifting the history and life of the CGH should be used for funding future needs of the community as recognized by the city council of the day.

    In this way, application for those needs can be assessed in a bi-partisan way…….that most certainly can include the MRI request of $500,000 gift.

    Can you imagine if we were able to acquire a sale for say $30,000,000 and manage it in a similar way as the fund placement from the sale of the former Cornwall Electric ?

    Boy’ has we been shortsighted or what. The public would have been satisfied. Or our tax levy increases could have been frayed to ‘0’ percent for years to come and ALL would gain.

    Perhaps a plebiscite would allow the community to vote on a number of ways such a fund can be used.


  30. Many agree admin and fully support you as do I.

    How do we fix it?
    Saying it needs help, or speaking on how poor these two spinster sisters are, or what happens between them and the mayor in back door stuff is not a solution. It is the fuel that feeds the fire and all the top dogs do is stay warm from it while we freeze.

    Have you ever found out who actually owns the hospital? I thought it was a public institution or building. If so only the public can benefit and must be part of decisions. Old legal practices have to be looked into for that.

    Of the advocacy groups has anyone put together a proposal to maintain the facility and not belong to the local love club? This could be presented to the government.

    You may disagree with our government, but they know just how much people require care. The reason you or we do not get what you pay for from government is…look at the photo atop your page. People like those old bitties do not know what they are doing…not a clue. One is a retired teacher who never really had to fight for anything in her career and another who is there because she likes to play the part of puppet. Who has the hand in the puppet we will never really know for sure but I think we have a pretty good idea, as easy as bob’s your uncle.
    Anyone can read something prepared by someone else and rewrite it to suite their application and the government knows this.
    New ideas fresh concepts and minimize the nonsense and I promise you the support will be here.

    Courtesy of how our past business practices have progressed the pendulum has swung the other way. Government is regaining control and we are giving it to them. Just take a look at he bill 115 scenario, different kettle same problem. Health care as education has gone bad because of the systems greed, mismanagement and lack of ethics. It is the very people in the system that has made this happen, not government.

    What about a private ownership? I bet Darlene and people of her caliber would jump at the chance for a change such as this.

  31. On a side note, you should ask Despatie where all the documents went when the Diabetic nurse left the hospital.

  32. My,my, my, it seems that someone has finally shown who is who on the commitee of the hospital.
    Just imagine, all those people who are suppose to help make intelligent decisions, allow two people to take the heat and make irresponsible decisions. Two million dollars and RE/Max had a say in it?
    Shame on you RE/Max.
    You might have made a little profit, but, you sure lost face at the selling price .
    Guess who I’m NOT going to call to sell my house.
    I looked at all the persons named and yet they did not give a damn about all those seniors who need long term care.
    Are they worried about loosing thier jobs or positions?
    Look how many people there are and how a reduction of person(S) can create a windfall of cash that could saved towards better care to the seniors/patients.
    But, then this IS a STALLING TACTIC, which is used by many corporations/businesses.

  33. Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care clearly has a mandate of long-term care. The Cornwall Hospital is a government agency. There you have it. If there is a will, there is a way…

  34. My understanding was that the ‘government agency’ that LOCAL referred to as being the former CGH was sucked dry of its hard earned surplus by the CEO and board of directors of the day to pay down the deficit of the CCH, former Hotel Dieu, or whatever uses they decided as the CGH automatically was ceded to the new CCH once the decision was reversed for the Dieu to be revived as the new location for the new city hospital.

    So, lock, stock and psych ward went to them as well. Some things look shady in Denmark here as the citizens continue to stir shake, rattle and roll over things YEARS (like EONS) much later.

    Too late now folks. They seem to be able to do whatever the hell they want to.

    Our only saving grace is that they under sell and the new owners come through on our behalf with bells on, with a seniors residence in the mix.

    Seems all our questions are for not and none of our business at this stage, because NO ONE is going to answer them.

  35. Author

    Dave if enough people ask the right questions you’ll get some answers. It always takes more than one or a handful of people asking that question. Monday the Hospital will be speaking at Cornwall City Council.

    If enough people care about this issue the council chamber should be full!

    How many will you be bringing?

  36. Dave Windsor And Hailey Brown both have have said it like it should be.
    I can’t understand, where a board/hospital commitee can be responsible for two(2) hospitals. I would be greatly surprised/shocked, if I saw thier paychecks.
    As far as slating a civic meeting at this pacticuar time and , it shows thier unintelligence towards trying to find an honest ending to this thier stupid errors knowing the outside temperature, time of the meeting,nothing more shows me how greatly the whole lot sure be removed,period.
    Goverment, move in.

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