It’s with disappointment that we distribute this statement, however, CMHA Cochrane Timiskaming felt it necessary to provide media with our position in light of disappointing tactics taken by OPSEU Local 631 over the last seven days.
Local 631’s news release of Aug. 1 and interviews their leadership have given to media have created unwarranted concern in the community about the future of the Violence Against Women (VAW) Program, namely Tranquility House in Matheson.
We wish to reassure CMHA employees and the community that the VAW program will remain available for women who experience violence. There will be no break in service as we transition operation of Tranquility House to another agency. This was a difficult administrative decision to make, but the CMHA-CT Board of Directors thought it was the best decision to make for the VAW services. The Ministry of Social Services was informed of this decision and began the process to find another agency to offer the services.
The Ministry identified several agencies it deemed eligible to take on the delivery of the VAW services. These agencies were given until July 31 to decide if they were interested. The Hearst-Kapuskasing-Smooth Rock Falls Counselling Services (HKSRF Counselling Services) stepped forward, expressed interest, and will be receiving the services. HKSRF Counselling Services is experienced in shelter services and is dedicated to serving those who are victims of violence. They will serve the community well.
In the coming weeks, we will work with the HKSRF Counselling Services to develop a transition plan. A transition date has not yet been identified. Our priority is that the women served are transitioned seamlessly and staff are well-informed of the process throughout this transition.
It’s unfortunate the OPSEU Local 631 chose a campaign to spread misinformation and create unnecessary concern in the community about a valuable services such as Tranquility House.
For media interviews, contact:
Andreanne Denis, Communications Manager
(705) 267-8100 ext. 2230