Windsor-Essex mayors writing to premier to advocate for mega hospital plan
Windsor and Essex County mayors are banding together to focus the Ford government on the so-called mega hospital project in the city.
The mayors met for an informal lunch at Willistead Manor in Windsor on Tuesday, and while various topics were discussed, the most prominent among them centred on the proposed single-site acute care hospital.
A letter is going to be sent to the Doug Ford-led Progressive Conservative government, ensuring the premier is aware there is a united front on the issue among the municipalities across Windsor-Essex.
“We’ve come together and recognized that this is very important,” said Drew Dilkens, Windsor’s mayor.
The mayors re-enforced their commitment to seeing the new hospital built at the proposed location at County Road 42 and the 9th Concession and the accompanying realignment of healthcare delivery in the region.
“It's making sure that those at the upper levels of government understand that folks in Windsor and Essex County speak, certainly at the political level here, speak with a unified voice,” said Dilkens. “We want to see this project happen and happen in a timely manner.”
The grassroots group, Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process, also known as CAMPP, has launched an appeal of the city's re-zoning of the land needed to allow the hospital to be built on the site.
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.
A date has not been set yet for the full oral hearing before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
“We're certainly not going to jeopardize a $2 billion investment in our region for the sake of a few people who are opposed to the site — and remember it doesn't matter where the site is proposed there would be a group just like this opposing that site as well,” said Dilkens.
The mayors are concerned deviating from the plan now could jeopardize provincial funding for the project.