Jenny Munro 0

Build Better Elder Care

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To: MPP David Piccini, Premier Doug Ford,

We oppose Southbridge Health Care's long term care plan for 65 Ward St., Port Hope.

The proposal is seven storeys. The first floor is administrative, a dead zone without space for residents. The main outdoor area is surrounded by three 85 foot high walls and a 100-space parking lot.

Most LTC residents have dementia and many are exit-seeking. Long corridors stacked in the sky is an outdated plan for this level of care. The best architecture for LTC has proven to be a collection of family style units with protected outdoor access to pathways, shade trees and gardens.

This building is oversized for the small lot and would tower over the neighbourhood, disturbing the peace with increased traffic, giant delivery trucks, noise and light pollution.

After buying Hope St Terrace in 2015 Southbridge cut full time staff, food quality, building maintenance and medical services. Their manager, ExtendicareAssist, had to close shop in the US after paying a $38 million fine for defrauding Medicare, billing for medical services not provided. Southbridge homes have achieved Ontario's highest pandemic death rate at 9%, among the highest in the developed world.

Blaming older buildings for their own stinginess and failure of care, Southbridge asks to consolidate their existing 157 beds in Port Hope. Ontario taxpayers will pay them for 35 more, creating 192 beds. The proposal would replace our historic hospital and shade trees with a 100 space parking lot, a pre-fab tower large enough to be the most imposing structure in town, engineered to extract maximum dividends from our frailest elders.

Meanwhile, for two years, residents and staff would live meters away from a noisy, toxic construction site.

Violating the height bylaw would be a gift to developers, setting a precedent for more and more hi-rise buildings in our residential neighbourhoods, until Port Hope's unique character, heritage and quality of life is lost forever.

While acting like a slum landlord, Southbridge siphons our provincial tax dollars to pay dividends to its millionaire and billionaire investors. Let them find a bigger site and build a more humane building.

We demand a better solution to the long term care crisis.


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