Too much confusion

The decision Friday by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to take control of Rainycrest Home for the Aged, appointing Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. as interim administrator in the process, clearly left heads spinning here—and more questions than answers.
The ministry said its control is temporary, “until a local solution can be reached.” Trouble is, a local solution apparently had been reached earlier this month, when the Rainycrest board of management unanimously recommended a proposal by the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board to manage the home.
A decision that earned the blessing of ministry officials a few days later.
Yet in the end, the ministry abruptly opted not to accept the Rainycrest board’s recommendation, nor the advice of its own officials, and instead took matters into its own hands
Which says two things. First, the situation was so desperate at Rainycrest that the ministry had to take immediate unilateral action. And second, we fumbled the ball so badly trying to deal with this issue locally that the ministry came to the conclusion we don’t know what we want.
Can you blame it? We had Riverside quietly calling a meeting March 3 to urge district municipalities to back its proposal to manage Rainycrest? We had most district municipalities, including Fort Frances, calling special meetings to pass said resolutions while apparently not knowing that the DSSAB, which is made up of municipal politicians from across the district, had submitted a proposal to manage Rainycrest?
We had Rainycrest chairman Dan Onichuk, also the mayor of Fort Frances, telling the Riverside meeting on March 3 that no proposals had been received when, in fact, the DSSAB had submitted one that afternoon. And we had Fort Frances Coun. Tannis Drysdale trying to convince the DSSAB last Thursday to withdraw its proposal when, in fact, it already had the approval of the Rainycrest board and ministry officials.
We had Extendicare in, then not in after a public outcry, then back in again—and now right in assisting Riverside at Rainycrest during the “transition phase.”
And through it all, we had the Rainycrest board refusing to publicly acknowledge who had submitted proposals by the March 4 deadline—and who it ultimately recommended to the ministry on March 7.
It’s time to axe the turf wars, finger-pointing, and secrecy and put the interests of the residents at Rainycrest first. We must work together—in an open manner—to devise a “made-in-Rainy River District” solution to get our home for the aged back to the first-class facility it should be.
It’s the least we can do for our seniors.

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