SDG advises residents to limit ambulance calls to “severe emergencies” and otherwise find own rides to hospital if CUPE strikes

The residents of SDG await the outcome of negotiations between CUPE and the City of Cornwall, with a strike looming that would tighten ambulance services in the United Counties. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

United Counties government warns of effects on city-supplied services like ambulance, social housing and child care

SDG – Residents of the United Counties have been asked to limit calls for ambulance service to “extreme emergencies only” if City of Cornwall CUPE employees go on strike later this week.

SDG issued that plea today as the upper-tier municipal government makes “provisions” to keep a number of city-supplied services operating in the event of a work stoppage that could occur as early as Thursday, May 17, should the city and the union fail to strike a deal.

SDG must await the outcome as observer because the province has placed the city in the driver’s seat. It’s the contracted provider of services to the Counties — for land ambulance, social housing and child care — under an arrangement in place since the late 1990s.

In the event of no breakthrough at the urban bargaining table, SDG says residents should be aware of the following fallout:

Paramedics – Land Ambulance

A reduced complement of resources will be available to maintain emergency service coverage. In the event of a major emergency, additional Paramedics can be called in to assist. For the duration of any labour disruption, the assistance of the public is needed to ensure those that truly require emergency services have them available. Please call 911 for ambulance assistance if it is needed for severe emergencies such as shortness of breath, chest pain, major traumatic injury or having suffered a period of unconsciousness. If possible, please have someone drive you to your clinic, doctor’s office or emergency department for all other medical issues.

Social & Housing Services

The Winchester Satellite office will be closed, but the main Social & Housing Services office — located in Cornwall at the Justice Building (340 Pitt Street, third floor reception only) — will remain open.

Child Care

Those applying for Home Child Care or the Child Care Fee Subsidy will be required to come to the Cornwall office to complete an application and provide the supporting documentation regarding that request.

Ontario Works

Ontario Works applications will continue to be processed. Applicants can apply online at https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/apply_online.aspx or by calling the number below. Ontario Works cheques will continue to be processed and mailed out. Some necessary benefits may be processed. For further information, please call 613-933-6282 ext. 3205.

Housing

For Ontario Renovates, Social Housing (Registry) & Rent Supplement Program Applications, please call 613-933-6282 ext. 3315, to have your name placed on a call list. Those applying for the Homelessness Prevention Program will be required to come to the Cornwall office to complete an application and provide the supporting documentation required.