“I’ve been in politics a long time and I’ve never had so many thank yous,” said South Stormont Mayor Bryan McGillis.
Earlier this year, McGillis and the township of South Stormont chose to withhold funds from the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH). South Stormont was opposed to CCH’s new designation under the French Services Language Act (FSLA).
South Stormont had committed to donating $300,000 to the CCH, making $30,000 installments yearly between 2006 and 2015. Council decided to withhold this year’s donation.
On March 9th, McGillis reported that some people are “so surprised as to why we’re doing this. We have created awareness by withholding funds.”
McGillis said this is an issue involving human rights and equality. This is not, he pointed out, a language issue. It is an equal opportunity issue. “There are people who have been there for years who have been passed over for years. A lot of doctors are saying there’s a problem.”
McGillis said the outpouring of support at the March 3rd protest rally in front of the CCH proves that there “certainly is an issue there.”
“90 per cent of the calls and emails I’ve received have been positive. I know what I’m doing is the right thing. People elected me to work for the people.”
“I’ve shed some light on this issue,” he said, and “the support is overwhelming.”
“I’m hoping that everything works out and it’s a lot more fair for everyone. Let’s all work together.”
On February 16th, South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds commented on the situation: “South Stormont acted on what they thought were concerns to them. South Dundas has no commitments to the Cornwall Hospital.”