Armstrong giving financial support to area hospitals

·2 min read

By Jamie Mountain

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

EARLTON – Armstrong Township council has agreed that the municipality will offer some financial support for the Englehart, Kirkland Lake and Temiskaming hospitals.

The decision was made at council’s regular meeting March 24.

Armstrong Mayor Jean Marc Boileau told council that a letter had been received from the Englehart and Kirkland Lake hospitals requesting a contribution of $5,000 per year from the municipality, while Temiskaming hospital was requesting “roughly $3,400 or $3,500 a year.”

Boileau said that he was “split between the two on this, personally,” because there are residents who either go to the hospitals in the north or the south.

“I’m not sure. If we decide to give X amount of money could we split it in half,” he questioned.

“We do have one or two taxpayers (staying) in the hospital in New Liskeard now.”

Councillor Michele Rivard questioned why the hospitals wanted so much in terms of a financial donation.

“Is it because there’s two hospitals, Englehart and Kirkland?”

Boileau and Councillor Kevin Léveillé responded that it was a good question.

“We don’t have to give $5,000,” said Boileau.

“We could do a little bit ... like New Liskeard it’s $3 (per capita) or $3,500. Really, it’s technically up to us to come up with a figure.”

Boileau also noted that a few years ago Armstrong would give a donation to the hospitals annually.

Armstrong clerk-treasurer Amy Vickery-Menard said that Lois Kozak of the Englehart Hospital had a physician recruitment committee at that time.

“I think it was because it was part and parcel with the Family Health Team but I don’t know how active the Kirkland Lake one is,” she commented.

“Way before all of this, municipalities used to direct like $2 per capita to the hospitals and they called it a bed levy. But it was just like a donation and they almost said it was like a membership rate, but this is going back like 15 or more years ago. It was always like an annual donation that was given in support.”

Council agreed to split a $3,500 donation between the Englehart, Kirkland Lake and Temiskaming Hospitals and that the donation would be included in the draft budget process for the municipality.

Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker