Saturday, January 22, 2022

Councillor calls for unity following social media suggestion

wallaceburg hospital sydenham

Social media is abuzz following a Facebook post by a long-time Wallaceburg journalist and hospital advocate.

John Gardiner said he thinks the community should head to court in an effort to save Wallaceburg’s hospital.

“I believe that the people of Wallaceburg should launch a class action law suit against the Health Alliance to regain our hospital,” Gardiner posted.

“When the Health Alliance was created, the people of Wallaceburg entrusted SDH to that organization. We gave CKHA a state-of-the-art hospital that was operating in the black, it has been totally and absolutely destroyed.”

Since posting the message at 9:29 a.m. on Thursday morning, Gardiner’s post has been shared over 335 times.

Here is the full message:

gardiner post

Gardiner is no stranger to speaking out in favour of Wallaceburg’s hospital.

In September of last year, he penned this letter which was published in the Sydenham Current: Letter: The gutting of a community institution

Wallaceburg Coun. Carmen McGregor said while being passionate and willing to help is great, creating unity in the community is important in the hospital fight.

“I think what they would like to see happen in our community is to divide and conquer,” McGregor said.

“So I worry about the pushing many groups around and different thoughts and theories going on out there. You know I think if John truly has concerns and thinks that is a possibility, that he should take out a membership at the hospital and I think that he should show up at that (April 19) meeting and make some comments. Maybe make a motion to make a request in that direction.”

McGregor added: “I think that it is very important at this point in time that we all stick together. Whether it be the Coalition, the SOS or the hospital (Sydenham District Hospital Board ) and both councillors. We all need to stick together and work together on this because I don’t think running off in different directions is going to get us anywhere.”

Carmen McGregor

Coming out to the UAW Hall on Tuesday, April 19 at 5 p.m. is important for the whole community, McGregor said.

“It is my understanding there will be more coming out on Tuesday at the meeting but you know it’s really important that everybody be there and that we have a really strong showing. You know if there are questions out there like John is asking, he should be there to ask those questions. Whatever we do as a community, if we want to try and save our emergency room, we have got to do it together, we have got to have a common strong voice.”

McGregor added: “There is nothing wrong with multiple groups but all of those groups have to work together in the same direction. If we start to pull against each other, and I hate to say it, but I think that is exactly what they want to happen and that is what has happened in the past in our community. There has been a lot of different groups that didn’t necessarily work with each other. Well they need to work together if we truly want to get this message through to the Province, we need to do it with a strong loud voice with a lot of people supporting the position.”

McGregor said she was “disappointed” to hear that the chair of the Tri-Board for the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has suspended governance activities.

“I don’t think that’s any way to deal with things,” she said.

“I know that happened with our board a couple years ago and I just don’t think that is the way to resolve issues. I don’t think you just close shop and expect to have anything accomplished. I don’t agree with it. I don’t feel it’s the way to move forward. Yes, there are some difficult conversations but you know you have to sit and have those difficult conversations.”

McGregor added: “The Sydenham Board has a membership to it and our board members are elected by our community. That’s not so with the other two boards. They are appointed positions. I fully believe in the way our board is set up and established because I think you lose the ability to fully understand what’s going on in your community when you cut your community out of the decision making process.”

McGregor said she knows the SDH board has a fight on their hands.

“I want to see our community get behind them,” she said.

“I want to see everybody get a membership that hasn’t got a membership by the end of this month. We need to do it in loud numbers. People speak in numbers and especially when you are dealing with Provincial and Federal Governments. If you only have a couple people complaining, nobody notices, but when you have a loud group holding strong together with that strong same voice, then that is going to speak a lot louder.”

Here is some more background information:

Wallaceburg councillor not happy: Wesley not happy with Chatham hospital boards

Kirenko presents about Nova Scotia model: VP presents ‘Collaborative Emergency Centre’ model

Recap of SDH board meeting on April 11: Wallaceburg hospital board ‘disappointed’ with latest developments

LIVE tweets from April 11 SDH meeting: Board meeting at Sydenham Campus in Wallaceburg, LIVE coverage

SDH Chair doesn’t agree with CKHA report: Proposed hospital changes does ‘not meet our expectations’

Health coalition meeting recap, April 7: New health Coalition fighting for Wallaceburg’s hospital

Advocacy group formed: New hospital advocacy group holding town-hall meeting

Full interview with CKHA CEO: CKHA president discusses Wallaceburg hospital situation

March 23 meeting recap: ‘Everything has to be on the table’

LIVE coverage of March 23 meeting: Wallaceburg hospital meeting at the UAW Hall

MPP bringing concerns to Queen’s Park: MPP: ‘The community spoke loud’

March 23 meeting preview: Doubts arising about Wallaceburg’s ER future

CKHA facing deficit: CKHA board meeting highlights

Imagine project background: New direction for a brand new Wallaceburg hospital


  1. Well said Carmen. I totally agree with what you said. We need to be one body and in unity in order to win this fight!

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