Manor board short one member and needs to elect a new chair, says ministry representative

MANITOULIN—A representative from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has clarified the confusion regarding the Manitoulin Centennial Manor board and the expired position of government appointment Manor board member and chair Mary Jo Eckert Tracy.

“Ms. (Eckert) Tracy’s appointment has expired,” MOHLTC media relations coordinator David Jensen responded to Expositor inquires. “She is no longer a member of the board. Ms. Tracy is no longer the chair of the board as she is no longer a member of the board. The board must appoint another one of its members as chair as the office of the chair is vacant.”

Ms. Eckert Tracy’s position expired in May 2014, however she continued to vote as a member of the board and chair the meeting until the board received correspondence informing her that her position had expired at the board’s January board meeting.

The Expositor asked Mr. Jensen what effect this would have on motions that Ms. Eckert Tracy had put on the table, and/or voted on during the time she was not actually on the board.

“This question raises legal issues relating to the operation of the board of management for the District of Manitoulin,” responded Mr. Jensen. “The ministry does not provide legal advice to boards of management nor does it provide legal advice to members of the public. As a result, we cannot provide an answer to this question.”

Manor administrator Michelle Bond told the board about the correspondence regarding Ms. Eckert Tracy’s position, adding that “the government has not reached a decision yet (regarding the vacant government position), but the board can send a letter to the minister (of MHLTC) expressing their support for Mary Jo’s reappointment to the board.”

During the discussion of the issue, the board carried a motion to send a letter to the MHLTC in support of Ms. Eckert Tracy’s reappointment, but was confused over whether or not she could remain on the board and act as its chair until such time that she or someone else was reappointed.

In the end, the board thought it would be best if Ms. Eckert Tracy continue the remainder of the meeting as “an observing member of the public” and asked vice chair Kathy Davidson to take over chairing the meeting. The board also agreed to contact the MHLTC before the February meeting of the board for clarification on how to proceed.