The economy of western Prince County is in shambles, there’s growing angst and anxiety about Employment Insurance changes and there continues to be short-term closures of Western Hospital’s emergency department in Alberton.
It is into that environment that the Western Hospital Foundation launches a campaign to raise $600,000 to purchase a new diagnostic digital X-ray machine.
It is, however, the hand that the Foundation has been dealt.
The Foundation deserves full credit for moving forward with the campaign in such an environment.
It is more important than ever that residents and businesses find a way to support the cause in spite of the current economic climate.
With all the ER closures that have been happening, community support will help demonstrate that the region still supports its hospital and wants the emergency department maintained.
But residents do need more assurances that the hospital and its emergency department are here to stay.
Area residents helped build the hospital decades ago and they have always been there to support it whenever funds were needed. That support is needed now more than ever, and not just from a monetary sense.
Youth forum promoting entrepreneurial spirit
On another West Prince note, the deadline is fast approaching for young people in the region to register for the third annual West Prince forum. The March 13 forum seeks to equip participants with some of the tools and knowledge they would need to start their own business.
Certainly at the rate people are pulling up stakes and heading west in search of work, there needs to be a bigger emphasis placed on starting one’s own business. For one thing, the senior segment of the population is growing larger and is projected to continue to grow. More services will have to be created to prepare for their needs.
Of course, the more new services that are created the more reason people will have to remain in the region, to fill the new jobs.
All the better if the jobs the new businesses create are year-round, as the employees will not have to worry about an Employment Insurance system which seems to be getting increasingly hostile toward seasonal workers.
The start-up of new businesses will help create excitement and optimism, two things that are seriously needed in these times of uncertainty.