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Council passes motion asking the province to help hospitals and health care facilities with energy costs

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North Bay city council passed a motion to have the city reach out to the province to ask that hospitals and health care facilities, not only in North Bay but across the province, receive support for high energy costs. This motion comes after the news that the North Bay Regional Health Centre is cutting 30 to 40 jobs in part because of a 12 per cent increase in energy costs year to year. The motion was tabled by Councillor Mike Anthony who has tabled a few of these in the past, and believes that when cities across the province speak up together the province will listen.

He thinks that was part of what made the provincial government take the action they did on residential hydro costs, and hopes they will do it for health care costs because that’s the front line of life and death. Anthony says the motion doesn’t say that energy costs alone are responsible for job cuts and the problems hospitals in the province are facing. What it does say according to Anthony, is if it’s going to have any impact then maybe as a province they should look at giving hospitals rebates or finding other ways to give them a break.

Anthony says once these motions get support from other municipalities and gets on the radar of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, they can make a difference. When asked about people being skeptical whether a motion from North Bay council could have any sway, Anthony says he doesn’t believe that a motion in North Bay can solve everything. But, he added when motions keep popping up in municipalities across the province, they are speaking for their constituents. Anthony says that includes residents as well as businesses and organizations, and he believes it does get on the province’s radar. Anthony finished by saying it’s taken a long time, and it’s been a big fight but there finally starting to move on energy so he hopes they keep moving.

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