Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Matthew Shoemaker is speaking out against a recommendation by Ontario’s Auditor General to close the city’s public health lab.

City council recently passed a resolution calling on the province not to close the lab because it would cause further health care inequities for people living in the north.

Shoemaker said if the lab were to close, it would add to public anxiety about the state of health care in northern communities.

“It came at the same time as discussions of merging Algoma Public Health with Public Health Sudbury had been ongoing, (and) also at the same as a number of local residents losing their family physician or access to their family physician,” Shoemaker said.

“So, it contributes to the anxiety in the community that all these health care or health-related services are disappearing before our eyes.”

Shoemaker said the closure of the lab would be especially detrimental for rural residents who may utilize the lab to test well water.