Call for health funding denied at county

Elgin County council members, in a 6-3 vote on Tuesday, June 25, rejected a proposal from Central Elgin Mayor Andrew Sloan to provide $1.3-million in funding to help pay for a new magnetic-resonance imager for St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and another $500,000 to support the building of the new Elgin County Hospice in St. Thomas.

The payments would have been spread over six years and, in an effort to overcome resistance to his motion, Mayor Sloan offered to delay the start of annual funding until next year.

However, only he, Central Elgin Deputy Mayor Todd Noble and Aylmer Mayor Jack Couckuyt voted for the funding.

The rest of council, including Warden Ed Ketchabaw, Mayor of Bayham, Malahide Mayor Dominique Giguère and Deputy Mayor Mark Widner, Southwold Mayor Grant Jones, Dutton Dunwich Mayor Mike Hentz and West Elgin Mayor Richard Leatham voted it down.

They all claimed they supported the hospital and hospice, but that they should wait for a pending staff report on a policy governing donations outside the “core services” the county was mandated to deliver under the Ontario Municipal Act.

For complete details, see the July 3 edition of The Aylmer Express.