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I won't resign says Mark King, accusing Bill Vrebosch of trying to 'derail' Cassellholme project

'I am not going to be intimidated by a roughneck like Bill Vrebosch'

The gloves have come off in the dispute over the Cassellholme seniors project after Councillor Bill Vrebosch called for the resignations of Chair Chris Mayne and Vice-Chair Mark King.

King in turn has said he wants Vrebosch kicked off the Cassellholme board, saying his fellow councillor has been relentless in trying to scuttle the project.

See: Bill Vrebosch calls on Chris Mayne and Mark King to resign from Cassellholme Board after 'attack on council'

AndKing wants Vrebosch kicked off Cassellholme Board

"This has been the method that Bill and Tanya Vrebosch have been using to actually derail the Cassellholme build for the last year and a half," King told BayToday.

He says the Cassellholme Board has steadfastly tried to move the project forward because it is much needed and viable, and King feels the biggest need in the city right now is to support its seniors.

"The attempt that has been ongoing has been constant from both Vrebosch councillors and it's not surprising that they've actually stooped to this method. They don't show any concern for the senior population. If they have a problem with the flyer they need to indicate what it is because all the information provided in that flyer is documented information that the public needs to understand how the Board has proceeded," added King.

King accused Vrebosch, behind the scenes, of causing other area mayors to express concerns with the process for a great deal of time now with the intent "to demean" the Board. King says the flyer was specific and needed to provide the necessary information to people.

"Personally I'm terribly disappointed that they've now stooped to this type of method to publicly try and demean both myself, the chair, Chris Mayne, and the CEO of Cassellholme, Jamie Lowery, who has spent countless personal hours in attempting to move this project forward," said King. "It's unbelievably disappointing to see how Bill and Tanya Vrebosch operate behind the scenes."

Vrebosch says the flyer was never approved by board members, but King says both he and Mayne got an advance copy "to see if we were comfortable with it."

He's challenged Vrebosch to point out anything that isn't factual. "Every fact was checked and double-checked."

As far as the controversial "dithering" comment in the flyer, King fired back. "It's not an attack on individual councillors in any way, shape or form. That's his problem, quite frankly."

See: East Ferris council demands apology for 'dithering' comment on Cassellholme flyer

"The problem that has been percolating in the background is that the two Vrebosch councillors have strong-armed all the surrounding municipalities around North Bay."

King repeated his call for Vrebosch, who was appointed to the board to replace Al McDonald who had quickly resigned, to be kicked off the board.

"The requirement is to deal in the best interest of the Cassellholme Board, not the council you may sit on."

Mattawa mayor Dean Backer and East Ferris councillor Terry Kelly also recently resigned.

"They have been under extreme pressure from councils outside the city of North Bay," explained King. "This pressure has been pushed by the actions of the two Vreboschs trying to do everything possible to cancel the project and quite frankly, I am sick and tired of it. They need to come to the table and indicate whether they support the development or not. They say they do but have done everything in their power to criticize the Board, criticize the staff, criticise the tender process, and done everything possible to undermine this process.

"In my mind, we will continue as a board, and we will continue to work through this build. It's certainly my intention to stay on the board. I am not going to be intimidated by a roughneck like Bill Vrebosch!"

King claims the Vrebosch's actions have a lot to do with budgetary issues as the Casselholme build will play a part in the upcoming  city budget discussions. Tanya Vrebosch is council's deputy mayor and budget chief.

"The budget will be impacted by the Cassellholme build, which has been known for 12 years now, The problem we've been facing is that some of the councils have different priorities than senior's care.

"What is your priority? Are you prepared to support seniors, or do you have other shiny projects? That's what's at the bottom of this whole issue. There's a lack of support for seniors and I won't let that happen.

"To leave the most important asset we have, our seniors, in that kind of circumstance is deplorable, absolutely deplorable."

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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