West Nipissing Councillor Anne Tessier no longer sits on the Au Chateau board, as council voted to remove her from that table during its last council meeting on April 4th. She was appointed to the board by council in early December, along with councillors Fernand Pellerin and Jamie Restoule and Mayor Kathleen Thorne-Rochon. Soon after, Tessier was elected chair of the board.

“I did recommend councillor Tessier be removed from the board,” Mayor Rochon said. “And I did so because there have been some concerns in regards to the use of social media.”

See: West Nipissing adopting social media policy

Mayor Thorne-Rochon also mentioned concerns “regarding the responsibilities of being a board member with the organization.” She said that at the last board meeting, she received “three or four text messages with screenshots from Facebook that contained comment by Ms. Tessier on a post that was critical of the management and operation of the facility.”

The administrator of Au Chateau, Jacques Dupuis, “was also made aware of this post, and the attacks that were made on him and condoned by Madame Tessier in her post” Mayor Thorne Rochon noted. The post “is going to have an impact on our relationship that we are able to develop with our partner.”

The mayor emphasized the importance of maintaining good relations with the senior’s home, as “the importance of this facility cannot be underestimated for our community.”

Au Chateaux “has an infrastructure asset value of over $100 million, they have an operating budget every year of $17 million, $13. 5 million of that money goes into our community in wages and benefits.”

Tessier’s comment were deleted, but Tessier requested the mayor read it for the people.

The mayor noted the post was shared to Tessier’s councillor page on Facebook “with information about the flu policy, and there are a series of comments that are derogatory towards administration and other board members” on the post.

“And the comment that you made,” the mayor continued “was ‘yes,’ in agreement, I’m assuming, with the comments above, and ‘I wish there was a magic wand. I am meeting with Mr. Dupuis today or on Friday about my role as chair. Hopefully I can show him my power over his position.’”

“And that’s the only comment,” Tessier said. “I didn’t agree with any other comments that were on the post.” She also deleted the comment soon after posting.

Tessier told council “I wish to remain as a member and the chair on the board of directors,” adding “I am capable and willing to act in the best interest of Au Chateau and of its residents.”

She explained that one of her roles as board member “is to ensure that the administration follows the Long-Term Care Act in the operation of Au Chateau,” and she alleged that “the residents’ plan of care is not followed as intended by the Long Term Care Act.”

Tessier noted that she came to this conclusion “after listening to many caregivers, personal support workers, and family members,” concerned about the level of care, and that complaints from caregivers “fell on deaf ears.”

See: Attracting staff is the main challenge for Au Chateau care home

She thanked everyone “who reached out to me to provide their negative experience of their family member’s plan of care, and I wish to remain on the board so we can work together to discuss how we can resolve to make sure that the plan of care is followed based on the Act.”

Council voted against granting her wish, most agreeing with councillor Kris Rivard’s sentiment that Tessier’s comments were “hurtful towards the relationship with such a valuable community partner.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

By David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 07, 2023 at 16:35

This item reprinted with permission from   BayToday.ca   North Bay, Ontario
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