Councillors Split On Day Care Closure

Group of Coronation staff outside Lambton County headquarters in Wyoming. April 16,2014 BlackburnNews.com (Photo by Chelsea Vella)

Lambton County’s standing committee is split on the proposed closure of Coronation Park Day Nursery this September.

The Oak Ave. facility is projecting a $1.1-million deficit for 2014.

By a narrow vote of 5-4 Wednesday, the staff recommendation to close the day care passed, but it still must go before full County Council May 8.

General Manager of Social Services Margaret Roushorne says if the facility didn’t close, the money would have to be recovered by increasing the county levy or cutting other programs for children.

Councillor Peter Gilliland says the County has sank thousands of dollars in other projects the community hasn’t cared about at all. He voted to keep the centre open for the children, in which nearly 160 would be impacted.

Meanwhile, Deputy Warden Bev MacDougall says although it’s an ugly and awful decision to close a day care, she doesn’t want to jeopardize other services.

A group of day care staff and CUPE members picketed outside the Lambton County administration building and also went inside to watch the meeting.

CUPE 2926 represents 38 of the 40 staff impacted by the closure.

President Mary Aikin says they will continue to appeal to the public and plan to show up at the next Council meeting on May 8 at 9am.