Group Against New Hospital Location Isn’t Giving Up

Philippa Von Ziegenweidt with the group Citizens for an Accountable Mega hospital Planning Process submits a petition to Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky's office on April 15, 2016. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

A Windsor group opposed to the proposed site of the region’s new acute care hospital is not giving up, after funding for the project was announced in the provincial budget.

The province is earmarking $9-billion for new hospitals in Windsor and the Niagara region, as well as renovations at three other hospitals across Ontario.

Citizens for an Accountable Mega-hospital Planning Process spokeswoman Philippa von Ziegenweidt is happy the cash is budgeted to build a new hospital, but says the announcement is not an endorsement of the site on County Rd. 42 across from Windsor’s airport.

“They have endorsed moving on to the next planning phase,” says von Ziegenweidt. “The money that will come with this next stage does not actually include money for purchasing that land.”

The group has gained thousands of supporters across the city.

It would prefer the new hospital was built in a higher density area of the city, somewhere between Lauzon Rd. to the east to Huron Church Rd. and from the E.C. Row Exwy. to the Detroit River.

“I know that the plan includes an urgent care centre in the core,” says von Ziegenweidt. “I think what people need to realize is that an urgent care centre doesn’t take overnight patients. It’s not a place that accepts ambulances, and it’s only supposed to be for non-serious medical issues.”

She says the group was not taken off guard by Thursday’s announcement because it had been in communication with the Premier’s Office and the Ministry of Health. Von Ziegenweidt also says the next stage in the process may be the most important part when it comes to the location of the new hospital.

“They assured us that this next stage is actually going to provide us with a good forum to be heard,” she says.

Von Ziegenweidt hopes that those who oppose the location of the proposed hospital will continue to write letters and emails to provincial officials, the contact information of whom are on the group’s website.