During the Kincardine Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, Coun. Bill Stewart requested a discussion to provide background information of the situation at Brucelea Haven long-term care home. Mayor Anne Eadie opened the discussion by clarifying that the current suspensions of Bruce County staff are personnel matters and are confidential. She said further communication about that will come at an appropriate time. Eadie explained the power structure at Brucelea Haven. She said the Brucelea Haven administrator reports to the director of health care, who is one of seven directors at the County of Bruce and each of those directors report to the county CAO. “The long-term care home is (governed) under many acts under the Ministry of Long-term Care,” said Eadie. “It’s heavily regulated.” Stewart told Eadie that clarified why Brucelea Haven did not have a board of directors. “The licensee – it’s a totally different kettle of fish,” said Eadie. “The licensee is the County of Bruce.” Coun. Gerry Glover said he did not want to get into the personnel matters. He was interested in reporting to the public. “There have been non-compliance issues since early 2018,” he said. “Would you be able to comment, potentially, on how the county is prepared, or willing to address the noncompliance with ministry orders at Brucelea Haven, to ensure the well-being of the citizens there?” He said he is aware that the Ministry of Health is involved with the investigation, and then he asked what the county’s plan is to address issues at Brucelea Haven. Eadie said that it’s public knowledge that external experts in health have been hired to analyze the situation and come up with a plan. “That’s all I’m saying right now,” she said. Glover pointed out that it is a county funded long-term care home. “Yes, to a certain extent but there are also dollars from the province,” said Eadie. “Exactly, so my point is, it’s a county owned, ministry managed longterm care home,” said Glover. He acknowledged third party investigators have been brought on
board to look into operations at Brucelea Haven. “There are obviously residents from Kincardine area that live there,” he said. “So, when would there be a report coming back to this council formally to address us to let us know – I don’t want to read them in the paper, but I’m saying you are our rep to County council, so how are you going to respond to the families who have loved ones there going forward?” “It’s county council’s responsibility, so I can’t say anything more than that,” said Eadie. Glover said he can follow up on the report with county council directly. He pointed out it’s taxpayer funded so there’s a symbiotic relationship with the county. “It’s our business as well,” he said. “It’s everybody’s … county council is a separate council, so you have to respect it’s a separate council,” said Eadie. “You don’t go to HuronKinloss and demand that they give you all the details of what they are doing on certain things. You have to respect that it’s a separate corporate body.” Glover said he does respect they are separate council, that it’s upper tier government.
“I’m also aware there has been many compliance issues – some of them around safety concerns,”he said. “This is bordering on two years now. I’m not going to wait another year to figure out how we’re going to have a plan to move forward to mitigate that because regardless of who owns it, who is responsible, the fact is, it’s taxpayer funded and there are taxpayers living there.” There are families with questions and Glover wants to know what the plan is to address the non-compliance issues. “I am not asking for the moon and the stars,” said Glover. “I’ve seen the report but what are the big issues and how is county council, the stewards of that home, going to address that going forward?” Eadie said they have hired external expertise. Glover asked if the report from the external experts will be public knowledge and if it will be presented to Kincardine council. “That’s county council’s job,” said Eadie. “So, there have been no press releases because the process is underway.” Eadie said she could not say anything further on the issue. “I respect that,” said Glover. “I apologize. I’m not trying to put you on the spot, but there’s more questions out there.” Coun. Laura Haight raised her hand to ask a question. Eadie told council she would take no more questions. Eadie said she has given the basic information but it’s highly confidential because it involves personnel matters. She said all the issues are online from the ministry but it’s very involved. “I’m not going to attempt to explain it,” she said.
“There’s a lot to learn about all the acts regulating long-term care.” “I totally respect that and this is in my wheelhouse,” said Glover, who also is Chief Executive Officer of the Kincardine Family Health Care Team. “That’s probably why I’m asking more questions and trying not to be aggressive but, I respect it’s a confidential matter but safety concerns are not confidential to the people that we’re failing.” He said he wanted to leave that impression upon Eadie as a representative to county council. “I am going to tell you, no more,” said Eadie. “Safety of course is an issue at county council. It’s important to all of us but so is protecting the corporation as well, and confidentiality.” Glover pointed out that Eadie said it was a safety concern. “Publicly, how are we addressing the safety concern?” he asked Eadie.
“I’ll leave it at that because you are failing us bringing back this information, and the county is failing the longterm care home and the residents, period.” “You are entitled to your own opinion,” said Eadie.“But I can assure you that county council is acting in the best interest of our staff and our residents.” “I respect that, but for two years county council has done nothing with the non-compliance of the Ministry’s directive orders,” said Glover. “Unconscionable, I apologize,it’s a joke.” Eadie said she’s not saying anything more, because they have to respect confidentiality and legalities. “We’re not talking about personnel,” said Coun. Laura Haight. “It’s very complex and I’m cutting it off here,” said Eadie.“There will be more forthcoming … I assure you county council is acting.”