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Brock council responds to Ontario Human Rights Commission

Ontario Human Rights Commission
Attn: Patricia DeGuire, Chief Commissioner

Dear Commissioner DeGuire,

On behalf of the council for the Township of Brock, we wish to acknowledge receipt of the correspondence sent from your office on October 6, 2021 and wish to take the time to thank you for your interest in the discussion to date. We also appreciate your offer to work with the Township on this important matter and look forward to furthering dialogue with your office regarding our concerns. Our hope is you may be able to help both parties find a way forward with this project and ensure the residents receive the supports required.

We are so grateful for the OHRC’s offer to assist in this important matter and we would like to seek advice on how to ensure services are adequate to encourage the success for new residents who will eventually move into this supportive housing development.

The population of Beaverton is 3,500 and services available are very limited. We lack the professional services of a doctor, our transportation is offered by the Region on demand, there is no taxi service, policing is limited, and has been a community concern over the past number of years. In addition, our nearest hospital is to the north in Orillia which is 35 minutes away with 3 railroad crossings along the route, which has caused delays in the past, in transporting patients in a reasonable time. We have serious fears for the wellbeing of our new residents and feel we have legitimate concerns with this development proceeding unless the appropriate services are in place to ensure its success.

These new residents will require the support needed to transition into our community and the ongoing supports to help ensure they are safe, comfortable, and cared for based on their identified treatment plan and intake process information. That is what we expect, and we do not feel we have been provided with a formal commitment to even a minimum level of long-term service. We also expect the Region to be fully responsive to address the needs of the residents in this Regional facility on a 24-hour basis, as it has been demonstrated that mental health needs do not only occur during Regional working hours. We have, to date, been unable to secure a long-term, formal service commitment that would facilitate success for our new residents.

We do agree that it has been a challenging discussion to date and that both parties have spent considerable funds trying to move the discussion along. I also think both parties would agree that it is important to get this right for the success of this project and to set the stage for further successful projects to be built in the Region in future years.

Again, thank you for taking the time to reach out and we look forward to future discussions with the assistance from your office.

Yours truly, on behalf of Township of Brock council,

John Grant, Mayor

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