Letter from Jeff Wesley to Erie St.Clair LHIN Directors

Good Afternoon:

Amid all of the turmoil surrounding the emergency department at Sydenham District Hospital I wanted to reach out to each of you in a sincere, honest and very compassionate way.

The issues we face in society are not easy.

I clearly and vividly remember, as though it was yesterday, my time as Mayor of Wallaceburg when our community was terrorized by unknown chemical spills into our drinking water, when our largest taxpayer went bankrupt leaving a huge financial deficit, to fighting to save job after job in the manufacturing sector. Many nights I lay awake wondering what the right course of action could be – wondering if I was doing the right thing or even doing enough.

I did not have all the answers then nor do I profess to have them all today. But what I do know from my past experiences and which I apply to the current hospital issue is that you must listen to your community and to those who are most impacted by the issue you are dealing with. I learned this lesson the hard way but I will never forget it.

I sincerely ask all of you to join me in listening to the community, in listening to those most impacted by a closure of the SDH ED. If we all do this in the end everything will work out. I know it will.

Please be assured that I and the community are in this issue for the long haul. If the LHIN Board accepts the recommendation of the CKHA and approves a five year reprieve for SDH ED I will be the first in line to ask what I can do to help and what role you need me to take on. Many others in the community will follow my lead.   

As a lifelong member of this community and a 15 year municipal Mayor / Councilor I am totally committed to the community served by SDH ED and will do everything in my power to make SDH a shining example of what rural health care can be in Ontario. Together we can make this happen but I need your support.

Attached please find some letters and documents that you will find of interest. I have included a copy of my CV so that you have a better understanding of where I am coming from and my dedication to this issue.

All the best. I hope to see you at the meeting in Wallaceburg on May 9th.


Jeff Wesley