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KINGSTON, Ont. Many in Kingston are questioning comments made recently to local media by Ontario’s health minister about the foodservice deal between Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and a factory-food operation outside of Toronto. Although an official written request has been made of Deb Matthews to suspend and investigate the contract, when questioned by media on her visit to town a few days ago, the health minister is quoted as saying what’s important to us is that they go through the appropriate process, which they did.”
Now the local group opposing the food deal is asking Matthews to prove to the community that the deal meets provincial procurement guidelines and environmental standards. So far, little has been shared with the public about the contract bidding process KGH used to assess proposals.
Although KGH is a public hospital, financed with public dollars, Compass, the bid winner, is a private entity, and, as such, under current provincial criteria, the deal terms can be kept secret.
People Who Care About Kingston, promoting a made-in Kingston food solution, will give the community an update on their campaign and the foodservice deal, including the legal challenges and potential breaches of provincial guidelines at a public meeting tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 9, 7:00 p.m. at Kingston City Hall.
Ethan Poskanzer, a senior research lawyer with the well-known firm Sack Goldblatt Mitchell (SGM) LLP, will be a guest speaker at tomorrow night’s forum. Poskanzer is available for media interviews ahead of the evening meeting. SGM represented a grass-roots coalition that challenged (and won) the proposed sale of Hydro One (the province’s publicly-owned transmission line system) by the then Conservative government.
Natalie Mehra, with the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC), and Ross Sutherland, a Kingston area nurse and member of the community coalition, will also speak at the public meeting.
For more information, please contact:
Ethan Poskanzer, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell – (416) 979-6423 (Office) or (416) 708-9003 (Cell)
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications – (416) 559-9300