Mega hospital appeal heads to provincial tribunal
The first legal arguments against the proposed site for the so-called mega hospital in Windsor have been sent to the province’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
“There’s a long list of concerns about this proposed site,” says Eric Gillespie, the lawyer for the Citizens for an Accountable mega-Hospital Planning Process – otherwise known as CAMPP.
The challenge looks to overturn a necessary zoning approval from the City of Windsor that cleared the way for the new $2 billion single-site acute care hospital to be built on land at County Road 42 and Concession 9.
“Farmland is valuable, and what we're doing here is a city that has a lot of land that’s already being used for other purposes, we're talking about taking greenfields and turning perfectly productive farmland into, essentially, an industrial type,” says Gillespie.
Windsor’s council changed its Official Plan in August 2018 and re-zoned 400 hectares to make way for residential and business development in the area of the proposed hospital.
“Not getting a brand new hospital is no option for me,” said councillor Fred Francis during the summer debate. “It’s not an option for tens of thousands of our citizens that want a new hospital.”
CAMPP leaders stress their support for a new hospital, but are not satisfied with the chosen location.
The LPAT still must decide whether or not it will hear the group’s appeal. If CAMPP’s appeal is heard, Gillespie feels it boils down to one simple question.
“Whether this particular decision was correct, based on the policies of the Province of Ontario and the Official Plan of the City of Windsor,” says Gillespie.
The tribunal could see council forced to reconsider that change to the city’s Official Plan or could allow the planning process to proceed.
Either way, the tribunal will not be looking at any alternative locations.