An open letter received by the Town of Thessalon to share:

June 10, 2023

Dear Town of Thessalon Mayor, Council, Staff, and Community Volunteers,


Working in public service, either as an employee, or as a member of a town Council, is often thankless. This open letter to the Town of Thessalon, Mayor, Council, employees, and community volunteers, is to simply say, Thank You.

Full disclosure – I personally know some of you and sit as a volunteer on town committees. I also have 30+ years’ experience as a public servant (work funded by all three levels of government).

I feel compelled to write this letter due to what seems to be more than one’s fair share of local “bad press” recently concerning efforts around health/illness care in our north shore communities.

In my opinion, this negative conjecture, while warranted, is misdirected. I have been around long enough to see provincial governments flip flop from models of devolution to

integration and back; and for federal governments’ ineptitude at handling downloaded health transfers and enforcement of Canada Health Act principles’ violation.

As Education is a legislated provincial responsibility, so to is Health i.e., Health is not municipal. The decades’ long lack of long-range health systems planning to align with the well- known tsunami of aging baby boomers with complex care needs, coupled with our

disproportionately high levels of older adults in northern rural towns – was easy to envision twenty-five years ago (especially if one worked in health planning like I did).

This is not to say local communities have no say in how to shape their provincially funded health/illness care system – from Board representation (Hospitals, FHTs, NP Clinics) to the latest iterations of DHC/LHIN/Ontario Health Teams. Those committed community volunteers who sit on such committees are to be commended.

Advocacy is one strategy municipal governments have at their disposal to affect provincial and federal systemic policy failures and shortcomings. I know the Town of Thessalon and its Council have been behind the scenes incredibly hardworking at this in the five + years I have lived here.

So, Thank You.

Yours truly,

Jo Beyers