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Ontario NDP to call out Premier Ford on Cassellholme funding

Erika Lougheed and Sara Singh are expected to call for the 'vital local long-term care project,' to be completely funded by the provincial government
2020 12 10 erika-lougheed crop
Ontario NDP candidate for Nipissing Erika Lougheed.

The Ontario NDP will hold a press conference Friday morning to pressure Premier Doug Ford regarding funding for the Cassellholme redevelopment.

Erika Lougheed, the Ontario NDP candidate for Nipissing, and Ontario NDP Deputy Leader and Long-Term Care critic Sara Singh will make the call for the "vital local long-term care project," to be completely funded by the provincial government.

See related: Lack of support from North Bay Council pushes Cassellholme redevelopment to the brink

Last week, the proposed $122 million long-term care redevelopment was paused as partner municipalities, including the City of North Bay and East Ferris Township, balked at guaranteeing the province's portion of up to $65 million in order to access lower interest rates for financing through Infrastructure Ontario.

See also: Cassellholme partner municipalities examining debt guarantee for $122M redevelopment

Lougheed also serves as a councillor in East Ferris and was acclaimed as the Ontario NDP candidate for Nipissing — the riding in which Casselholme is located — last December.

Lougheed has been vocal in pushing for Ontario to pay the freight for the non-profit long-term care facility

“Our municipalities shouldn’t have to choose between putting off redeveloping Casselholme long-term care home and taking on crushing amounts of debt,” said Lougheed earlier this year. “COVID-19 revealed that long-term care is in crisis, and the last thing the government should be doing right now is shortchanging a system that is already failing seniors.
“The province should be paying its share so we can redevelop Casselholme, but Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli just don’t want to spend the money. Instead, they’re offloading their responsibility and telling our municipalities: you’re on your own.”

See: Fedeli: Cassellholme funding 'is not going anywhere'

Chair Chris Mayne indicated following the possible collapse of the project last week no meeting of the Cassellholme Board of Management would likely occur until the end of the summer — barring major movement on behalf of the proponents — yet a meeting has been called for Thursday at 5 p.m.

BayToday will have coverage of both the Cassellholme board meeting and the Ontario NDP press conference.

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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