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Minden businesses take emergency department closure fight to Queen's Park

Business owners will make their case for keeping a rural Ontario community's emergency department open in Queen's Park just days before it closes.

Minden, Ont. residents have been fighting to keep their emergency department open after Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) announced its closure last month, citing staffing shortages as its reason.

On Tuesday, the town's business owners will plead to the Ford government to grant the community a one-year moratorium on the closure ahead of the June 1 planned closure date.

"My wife and I did research on this, and our 60 plus, 60 or older, they need healthcare, and if they can't get it here, they are going to have to move away," said Dennis Pennie, Co-owner of Minden Auto Care. "So our concern is this is going to make a big impact on us local business people, real estate, all that stuff, not just the healthcare, the whole community will be impacted."

Pennie will be among the business owners attending the question period on Tuesday in Queen's Park, followed by a press conference.

Alongside him is Mathew Renda, co-owner for Boshkung Brewery.

"We rely on the summer traffic to get us through the winter, so if people start moving away, cottagers don't come up, our business and our employees especially will suffer year-round," Renda told CTV News. "If we lose our E.R. and now we're forcing people outside of the community into Kawartha, into the Muskoka's, to Haliburton, what you're now going to impact is not only the Minden community, you're impacting all those other communities."

HHHS has said it would consolidate Minden's emergency department into Haliburton's hospital. 

"Hospitals are independent corporations who are authorized to direct their own operations, including decisions respecting services that they provide and in what locations, the Ministry of Health is not involved in these decisions, and to suggest so is false," read a statement from the Ministry of Health on Friday.

The campaign 'Save the Minden ER' hopes a court injunction will stop the process but intends to keep fighting to reverse the decision beyond June 1. Top Stories

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