Mega hospital, Highway 3 among many issues discussed at Wynne town hall
From the new acute care mega-hospital to marijuana to affordable housing and water well, a number of topics were address by Premier Kathleen Wynne during her town hall meeting in Windsor.
More than 100 people attended the nearly two-hour meeting Thursday night at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts.
As Wynne campaigns for votes in an NDP stronghold, the Liberal Premier engaged in the help of popular former labour leader Ken Lewenza as the moderator. Lewenza asked for a moment of silence in the meeting as Wynne said she would offer more funding to reduce violence in Ontario schools.
The mega-hospital near the Windsor airport came up more than once during the meeting, with some residents concerned about the decision-making process.
But the Premier suggested the location for the new $2-billion acute care facility is still up the air.
Wynne also said she wanted local people to make the decision.
“It's important that the provincial government not impose a solution on the local community, that there be strong consideration at the local level about what needs to happen, how the decisions need to be made, what the locations are and then we work with you to ensure the funding is in place."
But Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj believes the site on County Road 42 is a done deal, and all that needs to be finalized is the zoning.
Musyj points to Health Minister Eric Hoskin's visit to Windsor in December, where the minister called the community engagement process "exemplary" and solidified the location for the new hospital.
Wynne also said she is committed to funding improved health care in Windsor-Essex.
"How can we get some of that funding and resources directed to this area?" said Wynne.
Other unscripted questions from residents focused on mental health, the sale of Hydro One, local amalgamation, legalized cannabis and the economy where Wynne discussed the importance of the auto industry in Windsor-Essex and the impact of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Members of the Water Wells First Group from Chatham-Kent were also in attendance. They expressed concern about the government's response to impacts in ground-water from wind farms.
Essex County Warden Tom Bain raised concerns about the Highway 3 bypass, saying it remains a dangerous stretch of road.
The Premier said she would be happy to set up a meeting between Bain and the Ministry of Transportation.
Earlier in the day Thursday, Wynne toured the St. Clair College Regional Training Centre where she discussed her government’s programs to help students succeed and find jobs.