Slanderous statements

Dear sir:
Once again the Fort Frances Times has printed biased comments from the board of directors of Rainycrest Home for the Aged without first verifying the facts.
Alberton Coun. Mike Ford, quoting a report from Rainycrest board member Ken McKinnon, in an article written by Fort Frances Times reporter Michael Hilborn on page B2 of the Nov. 17, 2004 edition, said that “some [Rainycrest] employees are reportedly using their sick days in such a way as to allow friends to fill in at the last minute.”
“Under some circumstances, the replacement worker is paid up to three times the normal rate for a shift. We wind up paying four times for the work of one person,” Coun. Ford noted.
This has to be the worst case of amateur journalism we have ever witnessed, and are appalled that this fine local paper would print such an irresponsible and slanderous comment.
The Times made no attempt to verify these facts and we publicly challenge Mr. McKinnon, Mr. Ford, Mr. Hilborn, and the Fort Frances Times to back up these slanderous statements.
Rainycrest employees are sick and tired of being publicly humiliated by the Fort Frances Times, the Rainycrest board of directors, and local councillors of Rainy River District.
As with any collective agreement, there is a time and a place to negotiate the contract. Mr. McKinnon, as a board member, should know better than to assume that he can negotiate a closed collective agreement in a public paper.
And when did Mr. Ford become a member of the Rainycrest board of directors with the ability to negotiate contracts in mid-term?
We challenged the Fort Frances Times articles of Sept. 23/04 and Sept. 29/04 to verify their claims that Rainycrest staff are over-paid, and heard no response from Fort Frances council or Dennis Brown (Rainycrest board chairman).
To this, we expect no less than a full expedited retraction of the article of No. 17/04 and a public apology to all of the hard-working employees of Rainycrest Home for the Aged for these irresponsible and slanderous remarks.
The so-called leaders of this district had better soon start supporting the local health care workers and stop belittling us at every turn.
We hope you all remember that we and our families represent a large portion of the voting pubic in this district. Long-term not only applies to the incredible care that we provide, but also to our memories come election time.
Signed,
Lori Caldwell, Susan Leahy, and Jack Gray (Executive Union of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local #65, Rainycrest Home for the Aged) and Carol Gustafson (Ontario Nurses’ Association).

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