Vic Fedeli made an announcement today that may help bring the controversial Cassellholme construction project closer to reality.
Today, Fedeli announced that the Province of Ontario will be guaranteeing its portion of the loan for the expansion of Cassellholme in North Bay.
The Loan Guarantee provided by the province will last for the entirety of the loan period (~25 years) and will allow Cassellholme to progress to the next stage of the project.
“We recognize that resolution of this financing issue was crucial in enabling the building of the 264 long-term care home, to provide much needed services for Northern and Indigenous communities,” said MPP Fedeli who held an online media conference Friday morning.
“During these discussions, our government heard loud and clear from the municipalities and we listened to their concerns regarding the impacts of the loan guarantee.”
“On a personal note, I deeply appreciate the collaboration of both Minister Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-term Care and Minister Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure, in the huge role they played to resolve the financing issue. They know that supporting Cassellholme’s redevelopment will improve and increase long-term care capacity in Northern Ontario,” added Fedeli.
Chris Mayne, city councillor and Chair of the Casselholme board, sported a yellow tie during the zoom call, as a means to say thanks to Fedeli, the yellow-tie wearing Nipissing MPP.
"Thanks for the tremendous support and past few months no one working harder than Fedeli on this file,” he said.
"The board is extremely appreciative of your efforts.”
Officials believe this announcement will remove a lot of the hurdles that were in front of this project.
"We spent three months, December, January and February, trying to resolve this very issue with the financing agency at the province and in the end they were very firm on their position so we had no recourse there. The city of North Bay took additional time to go over it with legal counsel; that took us to July and there was no resolution to it and it remained a significant issue for all the municipalities so moving forward that has been the most contentious to municipalities accepting redevelopment," noted Mayne.
"There are other concerns as well but this is certainly the most significant. So having this taken off the table from Minister Fedeli's hard work behind the scenes, this should make financing much for the municipalities as they no longer have to carry the provincial share on their books which impacts their abilities to borrow, their credit ratings, all the concerns they had with it so this is a real game-changer."
Fedeli notes that Ontario is making great progress on the $2.7B commitment to build 30,000 net new long-term care beds by 2028.