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Alzheimer Society blindsided by potential address change

Non-profit may have to pay thousands as a result of new name for regional road; executive director says the society was not notified of the possible change

The region currently has plans for a new road, marked in red, to run between Thickson Road in Whitby and Thornton Road in Oshawa. The new road, Stellar Drive, will branch off from Champlain Avenue, marked in black and yellow, in Whitby, which in turn will be renamed to match the new moniker. Denyse Newton, the executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region, says the non-profit was never notified of the address change, only finding out about it in a newspaper ad.

The region currently has plans for a new road, marked in red, to run between Thickson Road in Whitby and Thornton Road in Oshawa. The new road, Stellar Drive, will branch off from Champlain Avenue, marked in black and yellow, in Whitby, which in turn will be renamed to match the new moniker. Denyse Newton, the executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region, says the non-profit was never notified of the address change, only finding out about it in a newspaper ad.

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

When Denyse Newton found out that her office’s address may be changing, it did not come in the form of a direct notice from the Region of Durham.

Instead, the executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region found out via a newspaper ad.

And it is because of this potential change that Newton says the non-profit may have to cut services as a result of this address change, unless the region changes its plans.

Currently, the region has plans for a new road between Thornton Road in Oshawa and Thickson Road in Whitby that would run north of Consumers Drive. Under the new plan, the new road would run off from Champlain Avenue in Whitby and continue east to Thornton.

The point of contention for Newton, however, is that Champlain Avenue would be renamed to match the new road – Stellar Drive – which, in turn, means the non-profit would have to pay to reprint any material with the old address.

“It was shocking for us. I would have expected that we would have received direct notice from the region,” Newton tells The Oshawa Express.

“Had my staff not seen it in the newspaper, we would not have had the chance to present to council. First and foremost, they need to consider how to advise tenants in a building for changes such as this.”

Speaking before the committee of the whole, Newton says the cost of replacing old material would cost the non-profit more than $16,000.

“It’s not a massive chunk of our budget – it’s below five per cent,” Newton said following her presentation.

“But any dollars that aren’t budgeted for takes money out of our service provision and we do not want to see this happen for an instance where it’s not our issue. It’s the region’s issue, so the region needs to reimburse us for that cost.”

Speaking to councillors, Newton said that if the Alzheimer Society was made to pay this cost, it could lead to fewer services for those that need them.

“In order for us to balance our budget, we need to find $16,000. That is going to come out of programs and services,” she said in council chambers.

“What that means is that there will be fewer support groups, there will be fewer educational sessions and possibly even waitlists, which we have prided ourselves in saying to the public, if you come to our door you get service.”

When contacted by The Oshawa Express, Ontario Power Generation, which has an office on Champlain, said it had also not been notified of the potential address change.

Regional staff is set to report back to council next month on the name change. Following a motion of direction from Councillor Amy McQuaid-England, staff will also investigate the possibility of reimbursing non-profits for the address change.