By: Mike Anderson
It’s been nearly two years since the medical clinic on Dalton Rd. burned down, and there hasn’t been much progress made to replace it — which has folks in Sutton pretty riled up.
Residents want a new home for the Georgina Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic (GNPLC) built on the Dalton Rd property, and they want it now.
Their anger and frustration were on full display at the Georgina Community Health Care Council (GCHCC) AGM held on November 19 at the LINK.
GCHCC, a volunteer, non-profit organization that owns the land and is tasked with sourcing funds to rebuild the clinic, outlined its efforts to date — which seemed inadequate too many.
So much so, that some residents demanded that Chair Jim Beechey should resign – Mr. Beechey was spared that indignity, as he was technically no longer chair once a new board was sworn in.
Residents fear that with further delays the nurse practitioners may take a pass on the Dalton Rd site.
After all, the GNPLC is currently housed in a temporary facility on High St. that is cramped and lacks parking. Moreover, GNPLC has a $1.6 million provincial government grant sitting in a bank account, earmarked for interior renovations, which it needs to spend.
The problem is GCHCC has failed, for whatever reason, to get a mortgage. And, residents weren’t prepared to accept Mr. Beechey’s explanation.
Although Mayor Margaret Quirk disclosed that she had several discussions with Mr. Beechey and Beth Cowper-Fung, clinic director at the GNPLC, she declined to reveal the content of those discussions.
It was up to Deputy Mayor Rob Grossi to throw the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons by suggesting that the town could provide a loan or co-sign a mortgage for the new clinic.
Successful politicians have a knack for taking the temperature of their constituents, and Mr. Grossi’s thermometer was indicating a fever.
Thanks to Mr. Grossi, the offer has been made. Now, it’s up to the mayor and council to honour it — not to do so would upset a lot of voters.
After all, the town council can approve tens of millions to build the MURC and a new Civic Centre, but they can’t co-sign a $500,000 mortgage to build a much needed state-of-the-art medical clinic in Sutton?
It takes a village to build a clinic, but in this case it takes a town council too.