Premier's office says Doug Ford has changed stance on mega hospital
Published Thursday, August 15, 2019 6:35PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 16, 2019 1:27PM EDT
It appears Premier Doug Ford wasn't sold on the location for the new mega hospital in Windsor.
Dee Sweet, one of the vocal opponents of the proposed acute care facility at County Road 42 and the 9th Concession, released an audio recording of a voicemail left by the Premier on June 1.
"The one thing I don't understand Debbie is they put the new site way, way away from everyone, and I don't know, in my opinion, I could be wrong, but it doesn't make sense," says Ford in the voicemail.
The premier also promised to talk to the Minister of Health about the $2 billion dollar hospital.
But the press secretary for the premier says he now respects the decision made at the local level because of the extensive public consultations.
Ivana Yelich tells CTV Windsor Doug Ford did not have all of the facts at the time of the message, something he has now after meeting with Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.
Yelich adds Sweet left several messages for the premier, as well as other residents concerned about the hospital location.
Both the premier's office and the mayor say they will meet again within the next couple of months and the hospital will be one of the items on the agenda.
"I think he understands the importance of the project to our region," says Dilkens. "If you look at the condition of those hospitals, I mean the folks who operate those hospitals are doing the best that they can, the staff are doing a great job but the facilities are just old."
Dilkens said he had a brief conversation with the premier when Ford visited Belle River on July 23 for an event for the Essex Progressive Conservative Riding Association.
Windsor and Essex County mayors have come together in support of the location, and have stated that fact in a letter sent to the Progressive Conservative government
The group CAMPP – the Citizens for an Accountable Mega Hospital Planning Process -- is appealing the city's zoning for the hospital.
CAMPP has argued against the location for the new hospital as a spot that would encourage urban sprawl and is advocating for the new hospital to be located closer to the core.
The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal will host an oral hearing about the appeal beginning October 8.
Sweet is the same Windsor resident who filed an integrity complaint against the Mayor, suggesting he acted unfairly during a news conference on May 17 when he suggested different BIA's had contravened the Municipal Act with their support for CAMPP.