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Chesley Residents Visit Queen’s Park To Advocate For Hospital

Posted: May 19, 2023

(May 18, 2023)

By: Claire McCormack, Bayshore Broadcasting

A group of Chesley residents and local representatives are visiting queen’s park today.

The aim of their visit the Ontario Legislature to try to get a firm commitment from the Ford government to save their hospital emergency department and restore its services.

In recent years, the Chesley Hospital has experienced repeated emergency department closures due to the staffing crisis.

The visiting group includes the Chesley Hospital Community Support Group, Arran-Elderslie Deputy Mayor Jennifer Shaw, and the Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition Natalie Mehra.

Two petitions about Chesley were presented in the legislature; one by Waterloo NDP MPP Catherine Fife and the other by Liberal MPP Adil Shamji.

A portion of the petition read by Fife says, “There is yet another threat to the continued existence of our hospital and, whereas the ER in Chesley hospital serves an area of the total population of 6,900 people, it delivers emergency medical care for the whole constituency of Arran-Elderslie Township, including the towns of Chesley, Tara, Paisley and Dobbinton. It also provides services for those living in the nearby villages of Desboro and Elmwood and in the former townships of Brant, Sullivan and Bentinck, a large number of the residents are seniors and the area includes a large population of Amish and Mennonite families many of these residents do not have access to a private automobile and are disadvantaged in the effort to reach health centres in large communities by the long distance and lack of public transportation system they require close proximity to ER and hospital services and that proximity is best provided by Chesley hospital…”

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Rick Byers says, “Petitions are a normal part of the process that is here and I’m helping in lots of other ways and happy to do that and look forward to continuing that work.”

Byers says he met with the local group today, “I had a nice chat with them just now, I’m happy to see them here and reiterated my support for doing whatever I can do to make sure we get the Chesley hospital back to the service level it was in the fall of 2019.”

Byers says he attended two local public meetings, one in the fall, as well as the large rally held April 1st.

“I was there both times and heard the community and spoke as well, and I’m advocating here with the ministry,” says Byers.

The Chesley Hospital emergency department is open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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