Doug Ford needs to listen to Lakehead University’s president and staff who are calling him to revisit his government’s decision to separate the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) from its partnership with Lakehead and Laurentian Universities without consulting NOSM partners, said NDP MPP Judith Monteith-Farrell (Thunder Bay – Atikokan).
“The Ford government is ripping out NOSM from Lakehead and Laurentian universities, without any consultation with staff and communities affected. The president of Lakehead who was involved in NOSM since its inception said she was never consulted and the move is not in the best interests of the universities, NOSM, or communities in Northwestern Ontario and it will cost Ontarians more.
In one stroke Doug Ford made a backroom decision that will affect the work of many years to create a health network of over 1,500 health care professionals, and an institution that trained 600 doctors to meet the health care needs of Northern Ontario.
During this pandemic, Northerners need more doctors, more health care professionals and more support for their training, not less. Doug Ford’s move jeopardizes the financial sustainability of NOSM, erodes Northern Ontario’s post-secondary institutions, and puts Northern Ontario’s long-term health outcomes at risk.
Doug Ford must listen to staff at Lakehead, revisit his government’s move immediately and start a real consultation process with the students, University faculty and staff, healthcare providers, Indigenous communities, and community and regional business leaders who were left out.
The future of jobs at Lakehead, programs for students, and the economic and health outcomes of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario are at stake.”