Midhurst/November 16, 2022 – During our final meeting of the 2018-2022 term of County Council, County Councillors collectively and unanimously expressed their desire to share a supportive message with our community, residents, families and staff regarding our well-regarded long-term care facility, Sunset Manor, in Collingwood.
County Council and the Office of the Warden receive frequent updates from staff and from the community about the home. Staff's efforts and actions are guided by County Council, and Councillors wanted to express the continued support of our leadership team, administrative staff and those on the front lines each day caring for our residents at Sunset Manor. This has been a difficult sector to work in, made even more challenging by the pandemic and the heightened attention on this home. Council is extremely thankful for the dedication of our staff and everything they continue to do. Our residents have always received tremendous care and attention, prior to and throughout the pandemic.
We are very confident that the current residents who continue to live in the home are receiving excellent care and standard of living, and we look forward to receiving many more residents and families in the near future. We know the care in the home is exceptional, because overwhelmingly, the vast majority of families of Sunset Manor residents, especially those in the home most often, continue to see the care and attention first hand and support the home and staff.
The current situation at Sunset Manor is very complex. While we share our community's frustration that the home continues to sit with empty beds, we are optimistic that we are getting close to welcoming new residents and doing what the home does best: serving the community, our residents, and our families in need – as we have done for decades.
We also understand that the heightened attention on this home has been challenging for many. While some shared frustration is understandable, and while we welcome families and community members to bring legitimate issues or concerns to our attention, we are aware of some ulterior motives and agendas including the targeting of specific employees.
Targeting and harassing employees working for any organization (public, private or not-for-profit) is concerning and wrong. We are always keen to hear from our community, but these types of focused behaviours conducted or coordinated by a small minority of individuals against the home, our partners or our staff, should not be tolerated. These actions of targeting are frankly counterproductive to our collective efforts and ultimate goal of returning to full care capacity at Sunset Manor for our community.
County Council and the corporation strongly believes that every employee of our organization has a fundamental right to a workplace free from harassment and violence, and we strive to preserve the dignity, self-esteem, and fair treatment of every employee.
County Council has full confidence and support for our leadership team and the entire team of professionals at Sunset Manor and corporately. Their efforts, passion and commitment have for many years positioned the County as one of the top operators of long-term care homes in Simcoe County and Ontario, managing four of the region's most preferred homes and other senior services.
On behalf of County Council, we hope that this concerning behaviour and the resulting reputational impacts will end, and the commentary will be dismissed for what it is.
Our entire County team looks forward to sharing good news about Sunset Manor with the community soon, so that we may continue our long and outstanding legacy of seniors care in this part of the region. We also want to assure our residents that our collective support for the home and our staff is unwavering, that the care to our residents remains among the best, and that we are doing everything we can to move forward.
We support staff, our community, our residents and families, and we remain thankful for everyone's continued efforts.
~ Warden George Cornell on behalf of Simcoe County Council (2018-2022 term)