Northeast Town will carry on research into Continuum of Care plan

LITTLE CURRENT—Earlier this year, the Manitoulin Centennial Manor board accepted a financial report for the proposed expansion of the facility from KPMG consulting, which concluded that the proposed expansion to include seniors and or assisted living residents would not be financially beneficial, leaving the Continuum of Care Plan in limbo. A feasibility study that was previously done by SHS Consulting and C.J. Stewart Consulting Services in 2011 had been commissioned by the Manor board and paid for by the Northeast Town and outlined changes that could be made to the facility by adding a 4,400 square metre addition onto each existing floor, creating apartments and assisted living units to provide supportive homes for the aging population on Manitoulin with financial benefits for the Manor. Despite this decision, board member and Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin has said that the town will continue to explore senior housing options.

“The board (Manitoulin Centennial Manor board) accepted the report, but not everyone was happy with it,” Mayor MacNevin told The Expositor during an interview last week. “It (the KPMG report) was supposed to look at the financial feasibility of the Continuum of Care Plan and models that would work as part of the facility, but what we received basically stated that neither model would produce a significant net profit without all the financial detail that we originally were seeking.”

One of the main problems that Mr. MacNevin explained he had with the report was that there were a lot of assumptions made that were very different from the original 2011 Continuum of Care Plan.

“For example, in the case study section of the report, it outlines the number of units, rates and services of three senior residences and assisted living facilities: Finladia, Cassellholme and PHARA, but it doesn’t break down the cost of each service individually or how much of the costs are covered by the government,” explained Mr. MacNevin. “It is also a glaring question for me why the Manor is not the fourth home featured in the case study chart so that the rates could be properly compared.”

Mr. MacNevin said that a number of questions were sent from the board to the consulting firm after reviewing the final report, but that KPMG has not responded yet.

“The report seemed to come from the perspective that the goal of the Continuum of Care Plan was only to generate more money for the Manor, but the first study looked at ways to make the facility more sustainable as a whole,” added the mayor. “We know that the Island’s aging population is increasing and that we need to come up with a solution to not only make the Manor more financially viable, but also to provide homes for our residents.”

Though no future action is being taken as of now regarding the Continuum of Care Plan by the Manitoulin Centennial Manor board, Mr. MacNevin said that the town will be looking into senior housing options.

“Town staff is currently working on trying to arrange a meeting with the Finladia management team to visit the facility and gather information on how they run and fund their facility,” said Mr. MacNevin, adding that when a meeting is arranged he will invite members of the board to join him. “Just because the Manor board isn’t moving forward with developing senor housing and/or assisted living, the town has an obligation to continue to look into options.”

Robin Burridge