Temagami wants out of Au Château

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The Municipality of Temagami is trying to sever its ties with Au Château Home for the Aged by the end of the year, but until the provincial government gets involved, they’ll remain a partner in the long-term care facility. That means it will have to continue funding part of the home, along with the Municipality of West Nipissing, unless the province lets Temagami off the hook.

After a 35-year-old federal and provincial ‘102 Special Funding’ agreement for Au Château expired at the end of 2020, the home sent out a schedule of apportionment of what each of the two municipalities would need to contribute to make up for the over $650,000 shortfall. That increase was the straw that broke Temagami’s back, as they’ve long argued they don’t reap the benefits of their contribution to the home.

“This proposed increase has caused council to revisit its past and ongoing financial support of Au Chateau particularly since no Temagami resident has occupied a bed at Au Château for over 16 years,” reads a letter from Temagami Mayor Dan O’Mara, addressed to the Au Château board. “In our view, Au Chateau’s operations should be supported from taxes raised from the municipalities whose residents occupy Au Chateau’s beds.”

Temagami sent the letter to the board on June 28, expressing their will to terminate their financial support of the home and have Mayor Dan O’Mara resign his seat on the board. In it, Mara suggests that accumulated surplus from previous years be used to offset the increased levy for this year, which sees Temagami owe $401,986.

Under the current agreement, Temagami covers 22.8% of the municipal contribution, while West Nipissing covers 77.2%. This puts West Nipissing’s share for 2021 at $1,357,793. If Temagami succeeds in pulling out, it is unclear where the $400K shortfall would come from.

West Nipissing Council formally acknowledged receiving the letter at the recent Aug. 30 meeting, but noted Temagami’s issues are nothing new and that West Nipissing currently has no role to play in their exit, as the matter needs to be handled by the provincial government. 

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