Peabody: Bruce County council to discuss motion on rural health care

BRUCE COUNTY - Chris Peabody, Bruce County warden and Brockton mayor, has a busy week ahead, with back-to-back council meetings and numerous events including the Golf Fore Hospice fundraiser for Saugeen Hospice.

The Brockton council meeting on June 18 included issues involving the resignation of Deputy Mayor James Lang.

However, there were several important reports presented at the meeting. Peabody made special note of positive building statistics, part of what appears to be an ongoing trend in Brockton. There was also a report on the upcoming Dinner on Durham event being put on by the Kinette Club on July 27.

Topping the agenda at the June 20 county council meeting is Bruce County’s Indigenous Reconciliation Framework and Saugeen Anishnaabek Reconciliation Pathway and Action Plan.

Peabody noted the plan won’t be voted on until July 4 – that’s when representatives from Nawash will be present. The warden has met with band representatives and has stated it’s important that they be present for the vote.

The plan focuses on cultural awareness, collaborative reconciliation efforts and fostering respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Another item on the county agenda is a motion brought forward by Deputy Warden Luke Charbonneau (Saugeen Shores) and County Coun. Mark Goetz (South Bruce) on rural health care. The motion notes that in light of all the development that’s taking place in the area involving nuclear power initiatives, it is essential that the area’s health care systems be maintained. The motion calls on Ontario’s Ministry of Health “to implement an immediate pause on all planned and future service level reductions and closures at hospitals within the Bruce, Grey Huron region.”

Among the projects referred to in the motion were “Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement, and other large-scale initiatives under consideration such as 4800 megawatts in new nuclear electricity generation, a nuclear waste deep geological repository, a pumped storage facility, and a large-scale battery storage facility.”

The motion stated that “our local health care systems are struggling with limited resources that impact service levels, emergency room closures, access to primary care, and the sustainability of our systems.”

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times