Doug Millroy: The mall is pulling the plug on them


In reading the story in The Sault Star about the intention of Health Sciences North in Sudbury to lay off 76 unionized employees on top of the 33 non-unionized personnel already let go, one thing came immediately to mind – incompetency.

And by incompetency I am talking about those who have been in charge.

How could they have allowed hiring practices to get so out of hand that they can now afford to cut more than 100 positions out of a total workforce of 3,900?

Although the story didn’t tell us from where the cuts would come, it is obvious that nurses, registered practical nurses and personal support workers, those on the front lines of health care, will be involved since they are unionized employees.

Considering the hospital has 462 beds, it is hard to see that so many frontline workers could be let go without having an effect on patient care unless the hospital was vastly overstaffed.

Somehow I can’t see that being the case.

I think the whole idea, since the number of beds is not to be reduced, is to increase the workload on those who are left. I say good luck to the patients because these people can only do so much.

This is all coming about because the hospital has to find ways to eliminate a $11 million deficit.

The layoffs have been held off while a review by a third party sponsored by the Northeast Local Health Integration Network was conducted. The review team is about to present its findings to the HSN board.

I can’t see it going along with such massive cuts, especially in a time when an aging population is putting more pressure on our health care, but stranger things have happened.

IT APPEARS THE BOOK sales that many local groups hold annually in the Station Mall are in their last year.

The mall is pulling the plug on them.

Melissa Cuglietta, marketing supervisor at the mall, sent the following email to the groups a while back:

“Unfortunately, some changes are being made and we are no longer able to hold book sale fundraisers in the mall, beyond the ones booked for this year. Station Mall would be very happy to work with you and other community organizations to continue to provide support through fundraising efforts and promotional awareness. If you have any ideas for special events to hold in the mall that could help with these efforts for your organization, please get in touch with me anytime. I would be happy to set up a time to meet and discuss your ideas and how Station Mall can support your organization in holding special events here at our mall.”

I emailed Cuglietta for comment when I received a copy of the letter but did not receive a response.

I take that to mean that the mall doesn’t have one that makes any sense.

I had heard that Coles book store had complained about the book sales but in my mind, that would be a misguided thought as well.

People who attend the book sales held by the local groups read. This means books are circulating. And where did most of those books originate, probably in Coles.

I have always thought the book sales were a winning situation for everyone, the local groups, the mall, Coles and those of us in the buying public.

And they lend a sense of activity to a place that in these trying times can use all it can get.

Put the book sales back, please.

JEN GERSON, a freelance journalist based in Calgary who also is a contributing editor at Maclean’s, a journalist-in-residence at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law and co-host of the Canadian politics podcast OPPO, wrote a piece for the Washington Post on the allegation that Prime Minister did something inappropriate to a young female reporter from the Creston Valley Advance back in 2000.

She was savaged in the comments column under the story, the vast majority of the more than 300 who commented, some of them Canadians, seeing the same flaw in the original story that I did – what the hell happened?

There is no story without an explanation of what the complaint is all about.

Gerson, of course, sees it the other way.

“In short, although the details remain unknown, the report is a credible one,” she says in her piece, while essentially offering nothing to back up the claim..

She also made what I consider to be an egregious error in judgment.

She said, “According to an unsigned editorial, he (Trudeau) allegedly “inappropriately” handled a young woman while attending a boozy music festival in 2000.

The actual editorial accused the prime minister of inappropriately “handling” the reporter, something which publisher Valerie Bourne told the National Post had happened in a “blink of an eye”.

I am not sure whether Gerson switched the quotation marks from handling to inappropriately on purpose but the fact it happened does nothing for her credibility.

Considering that the reporter, who claimed she was in some way offended by Trudeau and who wrote the editorial herself, is declining to comment now, I think one of those commenting may have been bang on when he or she (very few use their actual names) claimed that the actual event may have been exaggerated because of the youth of the reporter.

I can understand this from actual experience. When I started out in the news business, I will admit that passion sometimes overcame reason.

In any event, the majority of those commenting in the Post believe we really don’t have anything going on up here in regard to the incident at hand.

But then, they have the actions of their guy, President Donald Trump, to contend with. Any action by our guy outside of an outright sexual assault would look pretty good to them.





  1. Melissa doesn’t work for Station Mall anymore so that’s likely why you haven’t heard back from her… maybe her email hasn’t been deactivated yet just FYI!

    • Really don’t think Coles had anything to do with this, just new Mall management with their head in the wrong place… You’ll notice she ain’t there anymore…Station Mall sucks in general, probably couldn’t get enough rent for the used book sale, and that seems to be the governing factor in anything that happens down there… Don’t go there much anymore…

  2. I don’t think the Station Mall owes you any explanation. Maybe that is why they haven’t responded.

    • No, I don’t suppose they do, Ted, but I believe it is an item of interest for many who frequent these sales. I’m curious about the real reason behind what changes made at the mall would necessitate the nixing of these fundraisers. Or, perhaps the change in staff at the mall will have resulted in a change in policy (one poster said Ms Cuglietta no longer works there), and future book sales might end up being a go after all.

      I suppose Coles, if they have in fact expressed concern, might have a legitimate complaint, but a small one, I think: these local charity book sales are not held on a daily or weekly event, as far as I’m aware. Are they not held three or four times a year max? Coles might be more wary of continual competition from Amazon and other online marketers, who provide used books at a reasonable price, even accounting for shipping. I can’t imagine they are too frightened of a handful of charity book sales, but I could be wrong.

      Written in the spirit of discussion, not argument…

  3. Doug, Melissa no longer works at the Station Mall, she had moved on to other employment about a couple months ago. You’ll need to contact other office staff now for any further information or comments.

  4. One has to wonder if the Ford administration is somehow connected to this This is NOT a time to be cutting frontline workers. The cuts have to start with administration. Every hospital and school board is heavy at the top. We have had declining enrollments here in this Soo yet no cuts have been made in the number of superintendents.

    • It’s simply ineptness at it’s finest. The ones lower on the totem pole always go first. Many people are not known for their brains so this will continue forever. The amount money of squandered in this world every day is sickening, but the higher ups do not care they will all retire with fat pensions and benefits no matter what.

  5. I have heard it said, many times, that we never see the management and administration included in these “extreme measures” of staffing cuts, like those proposed to balance a hospital budget. To my way of thinking, mismanagement begins at the top, so the responsibility to bring expenses into line should fall to those who make the decisions, not merely through the stroke of a pen or the clatter of (their assistant’s) keyboard, but in leading by example.

Comments are closed.