MANITOULIN – Both Gordon/Barrie Island and Burpee-Mills councils have discussed and decided to make significant contributions to the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) toward necessary equipment and personal protective equipment in its fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“In regards to the original request for support to the ventilator fundraising campaign, council decided to provide a donation of $5,500 to go into the MHC general fund to be used where the funds are needed in the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Lee Hayden, reeve of Gordon/Barrie Island after a council meeting last week.
“This opens it up for the MHC to spend the funds on whatever they need for equipment, etc.” said Reeve Hayden. “The feeling of council is that enough funds were received through the fundraising campaign to purchase (four) new ventilators. Instead of saying specifically what the funds should go toward we decided that we would make a general contribution to the MHC for anything it needs for COVID-19.”
At a meeting of Burpee-Mills council last week, Reeve Ken Noland noted, “our council has a flat line answer on donation requests—we don’t make them. But on the issue, maybe we should reconsider this and maybe do something similar to (the town of) Gore Bay to provide $5,000.”
Reeve Noland said that since the fundraising campaign for the ventilators ($80,000) was attained, council could put their donation towards what the MHC needs to use the funds for in its fight against the virus.
“I prefer that what we give the funds to the hospital and let them decide what they think the funds should be used for,” said Councillor Marty Ainslie.
“Central Manitoulin did this and I think Gore Bay did this as well,” continued Reeve Noland. “The MHC has enough funding for the original ventilator campaign, but there are several other things they could use the funding for.”
“I agree,” said Councillor Art Hayden. “The hospital can choose what they think is the most needed to spend the money on.”
Councillors Wayne Bailey and Penny Palonen agreed as well, with the latter stating, “this is going toward a good cause.”
Council agreed to provide a $5,000 donation to the MHC fundraising campaign.