Health care crisis hits new low

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by Anastasia Philopoulos on September 17, 2014

health matters

‘EXPAND OR PERISH’: Back in May, regional health officials organized a series of public meetings and a rally at Vorlage Ski Lodge, pictured above, with the hopes of drumming up support.
Anastasia Philopoulos photo

In a shocking turn of events, the Des Collines health board (CSSS des Collines) has announced it is being asked to cut $1.42 million from its already stretched-to-breaking-point budget over the next three years.

“We’re definitely frustrated,” said health board president Michel Lafrenière. “We’ve been telling the government and providing them with evidence that we are underfunded. To have these further cuts, it hurts terribly.”

In early July, the Ministry of Health informed all the regional health boards of their working budgets and subsequent impending cuts. This year, the Des Collines health board must cut $253,560 from its budget. Next year, it will be slashed by over $500,000 (exact amounts for the next two fiscal years have not yet been finalized).

The announcement came on the heels of the Health Matters Now campaign, a bid made by the Des Collines health board to appeal to the provincial government for more money to deal with severe overcrowding and an increasing population. A number of public meetings and rallies were held, a business plan was developed and presented, and a petition bearing almost 10,000 signatures supporting the request for more funding was sent to the Minister for the Outaouais, Stéphanie Vallée, to be later presented to the Minister of Health.

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This path leads to new green housing

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by admin on September 17, 2014

Maggio exterior picture

The homes of Chelsea builder and developer Marco Maggio don’t just look good, their radon pipes keep those living inside healthy and feeling good.
Photo courtesy Maggio Construction

By Oona Woods

“Thanks for the path! I love it.” A woman jogs on the spot for a moment to say thank you to Chelsea developer Marco Maggio for the trail leading from Link Road and the new Pied-de-Vent Eco-Development through the forest and over a stream to Hendricks Farm.

Maggio is gratified. “That just proves that it is a good thing. It’s a good endorsement,” he said, explaining she must know him from seeing him on-site at the five-lot development. Being a developer in Chelsea may not always be the easiest of jobs and this interaction has cheered him.

“When I first got involved in the project I was surprised to find there were a fair few e-mails. . . . But now people realize the actual trail was not a pipe dream, I see people passing every day, on bikes, with kids, walking to the pub, the bakery, the church. They don’t have to go via the road anymore. People have come to the conclusion that their fears were not founded.

Maggio says they have endeavoured to make the Pied-de-Vent project as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. The high-end homes retail for between $500,000 and $750,000, with just one left to sell.

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Is $45M debt too much for Chelsea?

September 17, 2014

While many applauded Chelsea for producing a report that maps out its financial future, the effort towards fiscal transparency did not quiet the fears of many concerning the debt load the municipality is poised to take on over the next five years. On Sept. 10, Chelsea Council and a representative from accounting firm Raymond Chabot […]

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Unspeakable tragedy

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There are no words to express the grief gripping the Wakefield community. In the general store, at homes across the village, and at the elementary school and community centre where flags are at half-mast, residents are stunned at the loss of popular, athletic, 10-year-old Taylor Kelly who succumbed to her injuries at CHEO, Ottawa’s children’s […]

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It’s open! Brand new Wakefield Elementary (almost) in full swing

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It wasn’t easy, nor did it happen without some controversy (okay, a lot of controversy), but Wakefield Elementary School is finished. Well, nearly. Principal Julie Fram-Greig gave the Low Down a tour of the new school on Sept. 3, but even though students were busy putting pen to paper, the school isn’t quite complete. In […]

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Not without a fight

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    Could shorter route save choo choo? A few weeks back, the Low Down published a story on the front page with a headline that read ‘Gatineau stealing our train?’ Turns out the answer is: not if Wakefield has anything to say about it. “Essentially, we want to propose a project for the re-launch […]

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Athlete takes home gold for Slade

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As if breaking records and bringing home six medals wasn’t amazing enough, Madison MacKenzie was blessed with a particularly special and bittersweet moment at this year’s National Kayak Competition. The 18-year-old star paddler from Cascades Club in Chelsea raced the 1,000 metres singles event, named in honour of beloved national paddler Lucy Slade. Slade coached […]

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Dam, the Gatineau Hills look great from up here

September 3, 2014

High up in the cloudless, late summer sky, the dark blue ripples of the Gatineau River and the lush green of the Hills looked, quite simply, magnificent. Low Down reporters were treated to a morning hot-air balloon ride courtesy of the 27th Gatineau Hot Air Balloon festival on Aug. 28 and got a chance to […]

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Smokin’! Boucanerie back in business

September 3, 2014

When Michael Kaplan saw the bankruptcy sign posted onto the beloved Boucanerie Chelsea Smokehouse, he found the news difficult to accept. “A lot of Chelseaites wept, figuratively speaking,” Kaplan said with a laugh. “But really, I was stunned, I was heartbroken.” The 60-year-old Chelsea resident had been buying fresh and smoked fish from the smokehouse […]

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Rare disease plagues mom

August 27, 2014

When baby Sabine was born six-weeks prematurely at just 3.24 pounds, doctors didn’t know if she would survive. But close monitoring at the hospital ensured that the baby pulled through. Forty-three-year-old Karena Bellaar Spruyt was elated to finally take her daughter home to Wakefield. A nurse provided by the CLSC checked on Sabine’s health, and […]

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