CAMPP issues libel notice against Windsor Regional Hospital
Proposed acute-care hospital site at County Road 42 and Concession Road 9 in Windsor on Nov. 8, 2017. (Rich Garton / CTV Windsor)
Published Wednesday, October 9, 2019 9:26PM EDT
WINDSOR -- The hearing over the proposed location of the mega hospital continued Wednesday with a new twist.
The group CAMPP – the Citizens for an Accountable Mega Hospital Planning Process – issued a notice of libel against Windsor Regional Hospital.
It's because of a statement issued by the hospital after Tuesday's hearing.
During day one of the hearing at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, CAMPP wanted the adjudicator recused. The group was concerned his opinion had been swayed by details of why CAMPP and the city could not agreement over a statement of facts.
After a lengthy debate, the adjudicator dismissed the concerns and at the end of the day, the hospital issued a news release accusing CAMPP of delaying the hearing process and calling the integrity of the tribunal into question.
CAMPP lawyer Eric Gillespie argues that statement amounts to libel.
The group is asking the hospital to retract It and apologize,
"If that does not occur, that can be viewed as further indication of malice by the hospital," said Gillespie. "I do think people are losing track of the fact, this is not litigation between private litigants, this is a public interest case, and the hospital are public servants and we do not understand why these attacks continue."
Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj declined to comment on the libel suit, saying they want to see what it is exactly they are disputing before responding.
CAMPP is appealing city council's decision in August 2018, when members approved rezoning 400 hectares of land near County Road 42 and the 9th concession for the new $2 billion hospital.
At Tuesday's hearing, the group outlined 23 arguments against the decision -- from adding to urban sprawl to ignoring city and provincial policies to redevelop brownfields and protect farmland.
On Wednesday, lawyers for the city and the hospital made their submissions.
Windsor's lawyer Peter Gross argued there were three city planners and two hired by the hospital, who all say the official plan amendment and rezoning meet planning principles.
CAMPP will have an opportunity to respond to the submissions from the city and hospital on Thursday.