Paisley & District Chamber of Commerce
In Attendance: Wendy Liddle, Joanna Pengelly, David Nathan, John Alpaugh, Dan Kerr, Sandra Blodgett, Max Johnston, Don McCullough, Tahnya Macdougall, Irene Collins, Jennifer Harris, Mary-Gail Johnston, Gary Parent, Peter Steinacker, Erica MacNamara, and Diane Eaton
The meeting began with a welcome and call to order by Jennifer Harris. Jennifer then introduced David Nathan of The Georgian Bay Treatment Centre For Youth, who in turn, introduced Gary Parent of the Board of Directors for the centre.
Mr. Nathan began his presentation of the centre with the Mission Statement and disclosure of the fact that the centre is a registered non-profit charity. The treatment program is geared for both genders age 14-22 years and will cater to 50 inpatients at any given time. GBTC is set to treat youth on a voluntary basis/3strike you’re out rule for addictions and concurrent mental health issues. The centre will use a combination of traditional and holistic therapies including equine and canine protocols. There is to be a focus on mindfulness therapies and physical activity as well as school. The education portion will be offered on site through independent learning courses with teachers on staff to aid residents.
Georgian Bay Treatment Centre has done their homework and considered research done by the Council for Addictions and Mental Health as well as looked at models for other centres with a similar goal. Mr. Nathan indicated the centre intends to begin operations in October of 2014 with 15-18 residents and slowly ramping up from there to the full capacity of 50 patients. There is a fee associated with treatment provided by the centre and that fee will come from the patient or family of the patient. It is the goal of GBTC to eventually obtain funding from the Ministry of Health and establish a fund to aid those that cannot afford the program.
The centre will run 24 hours a day with 3 shifts including teachers, youth workers, social workers, and counsellors. Georgian Bay Treatment Centre will have its own horses and dogs on site for the therapeutic programs. Mr. Nathan expressed his desire to have patients nearing the end of the program have the opportunity to go into the community and work with business owners in learning life skills and perhaps a trade.
Joanna Pengelly started of the question period by asking Mr. Nathan where he was going to source his staff? Mr. Nathan responded that he has had some interest already and would like to keep the hiring as local as possible, however, the final decision will be that of the executive director; and that position is of yet, unfilled. The centre will create positions for approximately 35 full time employees and will require those employees to either live in or move to the general area. Peter Steinacker had the next question with “Will all treatment be done on site?” The answer was yes. Safety concerns were next and Mr. Nathan addressed those by indicating that all patients will be assessed as to their suitability for the program and no violent offenders will be involved in the program. Mr. Nathan is prepared to administer community workshops and seminars regarding the centre and its purpose. GBTC is modeling their methods after tried and true practices as well as integrating their own innovative therapies and ideas.
Jennifer thanked Mr. Nathan and Mr. Parent for their time and indicated the Chamber support for their endeavour. The gentleman distributed business cards and pamphlets pertaining to the treatment centre for the attendees that were interested.
Jennifer called for nominations for new chamber executives and provided a brief JCP update.
Tahnya followed with an events update outlining the 140th Anniversary kick off dance featuring Country 93 Video Dance party. Paisley Ministerial Services will provide the BBQ for the dance, the Chamber will have hoodies for sale, as well as provide a silent auction that night. There is a teen dance as well and the volunteers for that have been established. We are still seeking volunteers to bartend for the age of majority dance, but will hire bartenders if necessary. Next up was a brief discussion on the Paddle Hunt, we are also looking for sponsors there. Fabulous Fish has offered their sponsorship for the Paddle Hunt.
Irene updated on the request for a letter of support for the Smallmouth Bass fishing derby and the need for a review of the Policies and Procedures for the Chamber of Commerce.
Jennifer wrapped up the meeting with a quick rundown of Spruce the Bruce and the approval of 2 grants. A reminder was given about the brochure swap in Kincardine on May 6.