A new sign grading for local eateries goes into effect in 2016.    In theory it’s a great idea giving consumers a clear window via a Green card, inferring safety, yellow, and red for closed.    However in theory Communism is the best form of government which has never really worked out.

The issue is the potential for abuse for this system and the false sense of security it gives for establishments that might not warrant a green card.   It could be used as a weapon or a control tool.   We do after all live in a community where one restaurant was told that if they didn’t pull their ad with this newspaper they would not get a permit for an expansion, and another establishment that was told their free sponsorship had to end for them to get a permit as well, while other restaurants have been allegedly been given free passes for actions taken without permits.   (Permit issues are a whole other issue in Cornwall).

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit administers this new signage.    Their chief, Paul Roumeliotis is the highest paid government employee in the region leading the Sunshine list with a salary of over $300K alone.

Dr. Paul as he likes to be called, boycotts this newspaper in spite of it having the largest market share in its mandate to the point of not sending us health bulletins to warn the community when there are health issues.   A reasonable person might suggest that in itself puts the community at risk.

Dr. Paul boycotted CFN after another gentleman with the same last name demanded a free ad, and was refused.

The board of the EOHU is made up chiefly of some of the same politicians that lead a conspiratorial boycott against this same newspaper as well.

The current system has rare inspections of eating establishments with clear direction of failings posted on the EOHU website.   Consumers can type in the name or browse area eateries and see what is going on, how often a restaurant has been inspected, etc.

Having worked in the “Food biz” when I was younger I can tell you that it’s not a perfect system.  There are many places that seem to be given free passes with yours truly visually witnessing some pretty gross conditions getting clean bills.  Likewise, some locations owned by visible minorities seem to get tougher results.      Again, this isn’t to infer in any many abuse by inspectors, however the lines can get fuzzy.

With the economy the way it is, especially for restaurants, can they afford to have an agency such as the EOHU start to card them at the whim of the agency or inspector?   What are the protections, because once carded the impact in the day of social media can destroy a business.

James Moak 300x250 2014-05-25The EOHU sadly is run by politicians which should not be the ideal.  The purpose of the org is to administer on health issues.  Yet when CFN has asked for assistance on stories involving suicide, cancer, and other issues we have not been given information which the public clearly is paying for, especially via Dr. Paul’s ginormous salary, and deserve those answers.

Is it time for a review of the EOHU and a house cleaning?   Should politicians even be allowed to serve on a board like the EOHU without some connection or expertise related to the health industry?

What do you think dear CFN viewer?  You can post your comment below.


  1. i would like to know which restaurants are cleanest to eat at… sounds like a great idea, if they dont want a yellow card up in their restaurant they should keep it clean.

  2. I think its about time. I hope they close down restaurants if they dont pass inspections untill they pass the inspection. This is the only why some resturants will get their act together.I also worked in a pizza joint for three months it was never closed even after the inspectors issuing fines after fines.I couldn,t believe the stuff i saw.Totally sick

  3. Author

    In principle Julie I agree with you. Our follow up story shows which places were yellow carded in 2015 and which had as many offences and still were green.

    Any rule or law has to be applied fairly and evenly or it’s corrupt, and thus, a weapon that will hurt local business, and our local economy.

  4. I’d like to know the food establishments I buy from are safe.

    IMHO there are so many different reasons for receiving yellow or green cards. What one inspector sees as a green another may see as a yellow.

    I know Cornwall passed a bylaw dealing with this. But did the outlying municipalities covered by the EOHU do the same?

  5. When we lived in Cornwall many years ago there was a restaurant called Gedoros and was located on Pitt Street near the store that sells computers and my husband and I went in there one time and we had a pizza in the oven that is like a brick BBQ and we each had a beer on tap. That was a very nice restaurant. I don’t know if they still exist.

    Here in Ottawa the health department is always after the restaurants these days and not too many are still in existence. When I used to work in the federal government we used to go out at lunch time when we would have birthdays and when I came back I couldn’t type because I dipped my beak into the good stuff. I no longer see those same restaurants around and the business taxes including all taxes are out of this world and people cannot make a living. The finest restaurants have cockroaches and rats and a few were caught here in Ottawa (fast food restaurants) not long ago. The best is what you make at home yourself.

  6. Author

    Julie you can follow the link in the story to the EOHU site and check individual restaurants. But the best way is to talk to people and check them out as there are some good ones to discover!

    That’s the problem with this system. Some good restaurants are going to suffer by ratings that don’t dance.

  7. Jules….restaurants are a hard business to be in. The mortality rate amongst restaurants is very high in the first two years of business. The saying goes if you can last the first two years you have a good chance of surviving. Someone asked me a while ago to invest in a proposed restaurant with my retirement money. I said no. Restaurants is not something I’m willing to take a risk with.

  8. No system is perfect. No matter what is done this system won’t be perfect. But it’s better than what is done now.

  9. Author

    No Hugger it’s not. As long as one symbol doesn’t mean the same in all situations it’s corrupted. There have to be clear, and consistent enforcement of any regulation; especially if they want to put a sign on your business window.

  10. I agree to a point. It’s not corrupted, it’s an imperfect system. But no system is ever perfect. With the various criteria for getting green, yellow or red cards it would be hard to have a consistent system when you add in the human factor.

    I know Cornwall passed a bylaw dealing with this. But did the outlying municipalities covered by the EOHU do the same? If not, there could be issues with the validity of placing the signs on windows if a bylaw requiring them was not passed.

  11. What about an inspector who needs a few extra dollars to supplement his ginormous salary…….and gives green cards on exchange for cash???

  12. Stan….that happens in any industry é society. It`ll never stop.

  13. Sometimes an individual is served best by his/her own perceptions. Perceptions although not necessarily mired in the truth do reflect how we feel. Trusting ones own “gut” is so very much in hindsight what we should have done in the first place.

    So while I may appreciate the efforts of some who purport to offer protection, experience has proven that I am best served by common sense and my own cognitive powers.

    This stacking of jurisdictional authority only serves to cost the already overburdened taxpayer even more in my opinion.

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