At a February Council assembly, Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau raised the problem of the shortage of water testing within the area.
At the moment he mentioned that it was very regarding. “If it has led folks to not have their water examined, it actually will. We made this very clear to the Minister of Well being at ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Affiliation) however haven’t heard something again from our delegation … nor has Dr. Patel responded to my letter.”
On Tuesday, March seventh, when talking to the Saugeen Shores Males’s PROBUS Membership, the Mayor who additionally sits on the Gray Bruce Board of Well being, mentioned that Gray Bruce Public Well being is specializing in an area plan to make sure that all Gray-Bruce residents have entry to free well-water testing.
Gray Bruce Public Well being (GBPH) has confirmed that it is going to be consulting with municipalities, companies, and different companions to develop an area plan aimed toward making certain all Gray-Bruce residents have equitable, handy entry to Public Well being Ontario’s free effectively water testing service.
In a media launch on March eighth, Public Well being mentioned that the plan would see GBPH establishing and servicing a community of water pattern drop-off and pick-up websites changing and including to these serviced domestically by a Public Well being Ontario (PHO) courier to make areas obtainable inside a 30-minute drive of any family in Gray-Bruce.
“Public Well being Ontario’s non-public ingesting water testing program is a crucial, high-demand service in Gray-Bruce that helps to make sure that the water our rural households, farmers, guests, and others depend on is secure to devour,” says Gray-Bruce Medical Officer of Well being Dr. Ian Arra. “Gray Bruce Public Well being, together with municipal companions, have been advocating for PHO to extend the variety of water pattern pick-up and drop-off areas in Gray-Bruce to fill current gaps, together with in Saugeen Shores, which has not had a drop-off location because the begin of the pandemic.”
It was lately discovered that not solely does PHO not intend to extend the variety of areas however is definitely contemplating eliminating many of the current drop-off websites.
“Due to this, we noticed a chance to take possession of this situation and create an area resolution,” Dr. Arra says.
“We will probably be connecting with native municipalities for his or her enter as to how we design this plan to make sure it meets the wants of everybody in Gray-Bruce. We want to thank our municipal companions, together with Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau, who’ve joined Public Well being in advocating for an equitable non-public water testing service in Gray-Bruce.”
“I want to see the Plex (Port Elgin) function a water pattern equipment pick-up and drop-off location,” mentioned Mayor Luke Charbonneau.
Within the meantime, the Ontario Ministry of Well being has expressed assist for GBPH’s plan to design an area resolution.
GBPH will examine implementing a courier service that might choose up water samples at a number of new drop-off areas in Gray-Bruce after which switch the samples to the PHO courier after they service hospitals within the space.
GBPH has, for years, collaborated with Public Well being Ontario and different companions to make PHO’s non-public ingesting water testing program obtainable freed from cost to Gray-Bruce residents who draw water from wells and different non-public programs.
Given the area’s geographical dimension and rural nature, a key to this system’s success in Gray-Bruce is having a number of areas all through the area the place folks can choose up water pattern kits and drop off water samples. Water samples would then be collected and transported by a PHO courier to a lab in London for testing.
In accordance with Public well being, within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, coverage modifications by Gray-Bruce hospitals resulted in a discount within the variety of obtainable pick-up/drop-off areas in Gray-Bruce. At the moment, several grocery shops, that had been deemed important companies, stepped as much as function short-term areas and are nonetheless in place together with areas in Owen Sound, Walkerton and Lion’s Head. Present areas.
Gray Bruce Public Well being has additionally been in discussions with PHO within the hopes of not solely re-establishing everlasting areas, however truly growing the variety of areas to make sure that all Gray-Bruce residents have equitable entry to this system.
Because the planning course of develops, GBPH has mentioned that it’ll hold the general public suggested.