Public may get chance to ask questions about Roseway Manor

·2 min read
Roseway Manor is slated for replacement. The facility opened in 1976.  (Submitted by Roy O'Donnell - image credit)
Roseway Manor is slated for replacement. The facility opened in 1976. (Submitted by Roy O'Donnell - image credit)

The public may get a chance to question municipal politicians about the decision to privatize Roseway Manor, a long-term care home in Shelburne.

The home is operated by the Town of Shelburne, the Municipality of the District of Shelburne and the Town of Lockeport.

"We are not going to be in a debate this evening, but we will be discussing this at a future meeting," Trudy Payne, the warden of the Municipality of the District of Shelburne, said at a council meeting Wednesday.

"It will be posted absolutely on our website like we do all of our agendas."

Payne could not be reached to clarify if this meant there would actually be a public meeting or a discussion about having a public meeting.

She made the remark once the Protect Our Seniors group ended their presentation. She then declined to answer a clarification question from one of the councillors.

"I will gladly answer your questions if your council will hold a public meeting and answer the people's questions," presenter Roy O'Donnell had said.

In April, the municipalities announced they would be privatizing the 66-bed facility. Some people in the area were caught off guard by the decision since there had been no community input.

Council blasted by group

During their presentation, Protect Our Seniors made a case for keeping the facility community run. It blasted the council for operating in secret.

Presenter Timothy Gillespie said the process has been "far from democratic."

"Some of you are my friends, I've known you for many years, but this has been a shameful exercise in keeping things all closed in," Gillespie told council.

"This is an important decision.... This is not about a ballpark, this is not about a chain-link fence around a splash pad. This is about the care of our most vulnerable mothers, fathers, uncles, neighbours, friends. I fail to understand how in good conscience this council could have proceeded without one word."

Presenter Darren Stoddard said privatization would be the wrong move for Roseway Manor because shareholders would take precedence over residents.

"For-profit means community voice would be no more," Stoddard said. "We will be told they'll listen to our concerns, but why would they? We currently have a community board that has a real voice."