Town agrees MHC donation for ventilators should be used for other capital needs

GORE BAY – The Town of Gore Bay council will inform Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) that it should redirect funds the town provided for the highly successful hospital fundraising campaign for four additional ventilators toward future MHC capital needs projects.

“The MHC is asking for direction from us and other municipalities on the ventilator fundraiser campaign,” Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne told council at a meeting last week.

The town had received a letter from Lynn Foster, president and CEO of MHC dated September 28, 2020 stating, “earlier this year, your community responded to M’Chigeeng First Nation Chief Linda Debassige’s request to support a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of four additional ventilators to be used by MHC in treating patients infected with COVID-19.” 

“This event was very successful and in a few short days, the goal of $80,000 was far exceeded. Approximately $207,000 was raised,” explained Ms. Foster. “Recently, MHC finalized the purchase transaction recording a final cost of approximately $73,000.”

“This brings me to the reason for this letter. Your community generously donated $5,000 to this campaign and with those costs now covered, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, MHC is seeking further direction from your leadership. MHC would be pleased to either, return the funds to your community, or redirect the funds to other MHC capital needs,” explained Ms. Foster.

“Once again, I would like to sincerely thank you for your community’s kindness and consideration. It is comforting to know that as an Island of people, comprised of seven First Nations and 10 municipalities, with varied cultures, we can unite together to one common purpose.” 

“We did donate $5,000, but as it was mentioned they raised more than they needed,” said Mayor Osborne. He pointed out that MHC purchased equipment to sterilize hospital rooms and equipment, but said he isn’t sure this is going to be completely funded. “My opinion is that we should leave the funding there for MHC to use on other capital projects. They have also down work to have a field hospital (for COVID-19) that we may benefit from.”

“I know some municipalities said the funds don’t have to go toward ventilators,” said Mayor Osborne. “Hopefully no one will every have to use them.” 

“I would agree that we should authorize them to use the funds we donated in the manner they feel is appropriate,” said Councillor Clark.

Council agreed to notify the MHC to redirect the funds to other MHC capital needs.