QUEEN’S PARK - Northerners deserve answers from Doug Ford on why his government wants to separate the Northern School of Medicine (NOSM) from Laurentian and Lakehead universities without consulting the community or the universities, said Northern MPPs Jamie West (Sudbury), France Gélinas (Nickel Belt), Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk-James Bay), Gilles Bisson (Timmins), John Vanthof (Timiskaming-Cochrane) and Michael Mantha (Algoma-Manitoulin).
MPP Mantha brought the question straight to Doug Ford during question period Tuesday.
“The Ford government should not be playing games with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Too much is at stake for Doug Ford to be making backroom deals on the future of northern health care.
Northerners deserve to know why and how Doug Ford and Ross Romano decided to separate NOSM from its ties with both universities. The president of Lakehead said she was not consulted and that the move is not in the best interests of NOSM, the universities, or communities and that it will cost Ontarians more.
It took northerners years to build the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and its successful partnership with Lakehead and Laurentian universities. Because of this partnership, we have a health network of 1,700 health care professionals, and 600 trained doctors to meet the complex health care needs of Northern Ontario.
Northerners deserve to know why Doug Ford and Ross Romano want to jeopardize the financial sustainability of NOSM, erode Northern Ontario’s post-secondary institutions, and put Northern Ontario’s long-term health outcomes at risk.
Doug Ford needs to listen to Northerners and the universities who are calling on him to revisit his government’s decision and start consultations with students, University faculty and staff, healthcare providers, Indigenous communities, as well as community leaders who were left out.”
MPP West added that Doug Ford and Ross Romano are trying to distract attention away from the “complete and utter mess” they made at Laurentian University, because they failed to protect our public institution from the CCAA process.
“Forcing Laurentian into bankruptcy court will cost Sudbury $100 million,” said West. “The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is an award-winning, socially accountable medical school renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research. For a decision like this to be made by the government, in the midst of what’s happening with Laurentian, and without any community consultation, is just wrong.”