“North Bay has a big heart,” Robert Corriveau said, “and I really appreciate that everybody on that council voted unanimously to study taking over Cassellholme.”
Mayor of Papineau-Cameron, Corriveau was recently appointed to Cassellholme’s board, and fully supports North Bay taking over ownership of the facility.
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“I have the utmost of respect for my colleagues here,” he said of his new board, “and they felt that North Bay’s bid to take over Cassellholme should be seriously considered and hopefully approved.”
As such, the board is currently working on a feasibility study to ensure that North Bay’s offer makes sense for all parties.
Corriveau has had his share of criticisms towards Cassellholme, but he is willing to work towards the common goal of reviving the senior’s facility.
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“I thought it was appropriate to start working together again and give it another try,” he said,
From the beginning, “we understood that the rebuild had to occur, and we supported that.”
One point of contention was that overall, the process “took way to long,” he said. “We thought this was going to happen around 2016 of 2017 and for unknown reasons it dragged into 2021.”
“That was disappointing because I think that these residents should have been looked after a long time ago.”
“If North Bay was in charge, I can tell you, it would have been done a long time ago.”
For Corriveau, North Bay taking over Cassellholme is “a great move” as “a municipality is in a much better financial situation to administer” Cassellholme “than a board of management.”
Having North Bay take over “would assure the future of Cassellholme,” he said.
Overall, “I think that we need to work together better than we did in the past,” Corriveau said of the board, noting “it was a rough go, and people got hurt on both sides” over the past years.
“Which is unfortunate, but I believe this could have been avoided if we had more diplomacy and a better understanding of where we were going and better communications.”
“And I’m not blaming anybody,” he clarified, “but the lack of communications and the forceful attitude of the board didn’t help matters at all.”
“But that’s water under the bridge,” he admitted, “we just want to move on now and see this project come to fruition.”
“I’m very optimistic, and I hope that the management of Cassellholme is as well, because we do want to see this project move forward, and we do want to see North Bay become the owners.”
“It would make it the perfect scenario.”
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca