I see DM Saunderson continues his assault on our hospital with his motion on the upcoming Sept. 11 council agenda:
Whereas the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital has received information from the Ministry providing additional comments regarding their redevelopment submission;
And Whereas Council is concerned this information may be of serious significance and impact on healthcare provision in the future;
Therefore be it resolved that Council herein request comments directly from the Ministry regarding the Hospital’s Phase 1A and 1B redevelopment submissions.
But apparently he is unaware the answers have already been posted on the hospital’s website. They’ve been there for the past three weeks. Anyone in the public can read them.
Apparently Brian doesn’t bother to read such stuff. That would mean he has to actually do his job as an elected official and check on the community he’s supposed to represent. He is probably too busy conniving in back rooms with his Block cohorts to waste time with such trivialities as being the sort of real deputy mayor his predecessors were.
Besides, The Block Don’t Read. That’s been well established this term. Reading means they might learn something, and they already know everything. And it’s hard work, too.
But you, dear reader, are smarter than them (so is a bag of hammers, but let’s not get into name calling) and you will read the comments from the Ministry of Health and Longterm Care and the hospital’s responses to same. And if we share anything in common, you will see that most of it is pretty technical, related to clinical issues and process, and very dry. Hardly the stuff of conspiracies. Dull stuff, really. Nothing sly or underhanded.
But, despite having it all out there for anyone to read, Brian bulldozes ahead with his motion, suggesting there’s something lurking in the shadows, something we’re not being told, a shadowy presence like Collingwood’s own New World Order. Or maybe he blames the former council (The Block always have someone else to blame…)
What claptrap. I trust you, dear reader, are more mature and more wise than this lot.
The Block bought into a bizarre conspiracy theory that the hospital is hiding something from them (they believe the hospital is being as secretive as they themselves are!). But it’s not the only bit of nonsense they believe in. They believe in equally bizarre – and puerile – conspiracy theories about the Collus share sale, the shared services agreement, secrets they’d discover on the old computer hardware they took back from Collus (which remains unused and on a skid in town hall months later…), about former Collus CEO Ed Houghton, about the mayor’s brother Paul Bonwick, about the airport, the fomer Collus-PowerStream board, the former water utility board, about pretty much everything. They are so immersed in their wacky, paranoid ideas that they make anti-vaxxers, chemtrail conspiracists and bigfoot believers seem relatively sane.
Now, I’m not going to go into the pathology of such wingnut beliefs, but suffice to say that nothing they believe in is based on fact. They have deliberately avoided contact with documents that might contradict and debunk their wild ideas. None of them have actually looked into the details, let alone researched any of these conspiracies or spoken to the staff involved. They just accept them at face value because, well, they’re The Block. Blind faith in wildly stupid things is in their ideological bones.
But you might expect at least one of this lot to actually check the hospital’s website now and then, because the hospital reps told them they would post the material online this summer. It was reported in the media two months ago. They told this again to the mayors and municipal staff invited to their mayors’ forum last month. And they did just what they promised. Apparently, since it seems keeping promises is alien to Brian, he didn’t check to see if they followed through.
Well, here’s the wake up call, Brian: they did. Your motion is irrelevant and another waste of oxygen. But I bet he makes it anyway, along with his usual self-aggrandizing huff-and-puff statements intended to antagonize the hospital staff and its board. Brian isn’t one to let slip the opportunity to pontificate on his own behalf.
As I wrote in a previous post, Brian’s motion is, to put it bluntly, full of shit. First, “Council” isn’t concerned (he doesn’t speak for council: the mayor does). Only his clique of sycophants at the table are “concerned” and only then because he or the interim CAO (or both) told them to be. You don’t really believe they think for themselves, do you? They haven’t in almost three years, why would they start now?
Second, healthcare is none of his business. In fact, it isn’t the town’s business at all. Healthcare is mandated by the province to the jurisdiction of other agencies and facilities. No one on council has any experience in healthcare, much less any degree in same. The administrative staff are not experienced in healthcare. Having this council decide on this community’s future healthcare would be like having your pet goldfish decide on what TV shows you should watch.
And you know that no matter how much data they received, none of them would understand more than a fraction of it, those who read even that much of it. It’s not about informed decisions: it’s about ideology.
And finally, we know this is just Brian playing to his few remaining supporters; the miniscule group who oppose any and every change in this town. Like Donald Trump, he has to keep pandering to the fringe elements to have any base left at all. But, you ask, what does he have to gain by being so confrontational? Aside, that is, from getting his picture and his quotes in the local media? That’s a good question…
And then there’s Don May, spotted having dinner with Brian in June, just before May made a contentious presentation to the hospital board chastising them for doing their job. He’s on Monday’s agenda too, as a deputation from “Hospital Redevelopment, Don May, Planning Consultant and Healthcare Specialist.”
When did May become a doctor or a nurse? If he’s not one, then why is the town calling him a “healthcare specialist”? That’s blatantly absurd – not to mention disingenuous. He’s a retired planner brought in by the interim CAO and The Block to criticize the hospital’s redevelopment plans, part of the ongoing assault on the hospital. That’s all. He’s just another brick in the wall Brian wants to build to prevent the hospital from redeveloping on the Poplar Sideroad site.
Having experience in planning and building of hospitals is not the same as having experience in healthcare. health care is “the maintenance and improvement of physical and mental health, especially through the provision of medical services.” Calling May a “healthcare specialist” is a sign of disrespect to the people who actually provide that service.
Why, you ask, would staff have someone who is not involved in the process and has a publicized, contentious relationship with its board make a public deputation? Anything he says is mere opinion and we know from his previous tongue-lashing pretty much everything he plans to say. But there he is on the agenda. That must have been an interesting dinner conversation, Brian. What did you promise him in return for his support?
The Block made a mistake by attacking the hospital last year (one of just many they’ve made this term…). As a result, the whole community has turned against them. But The Block won’t back down and continue to attack. May is simply a witness for the prosecution.
I suspect the local media – who never criticize their friends at the table – will lavish slobbering praise on both Brian’s motion and May’s presentation, as they do everything else associated with The Block’s personal agendas and vendettas.
But I think you know this is just another sleazy attempt to discredit and attack the hospital by a bunch of sleazy, underhanded characters at our council table. It is merely a continuation of The Block’s ongoing efforts to destroy this community.
The next election can’t come soon enough.
Collingwood deserves better.
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Update: After a stinging email from one of his former supporters that severely chastised him, Saunderson sheepishly withdrew his motion about the information. The email (dated Sep. 11) said in part,
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