Union signs pop up in favour of acute care hospital location
The chorus of voices in support of the location of the new acute care hospital in Windsor-Essex is getting stronger.
A week after 42 Forward came forward with its campaign in support of building the hospital on County Road 42, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has started distributing its own signs supporting the location.
IBEW Local 773 Business Manager Karl Lovett told BlackburnNews.com 500 signs have been distributed so far, and more have been ordered to meet demand.
“People who are not electrical related, not part of our brotherhood of electrical workers here, have been coming asking for signs,” said Lovett. “They’ve seen them. They call. ‘Can we have a sign?’ Come on down and pick up a sign.”
Lovett said he has met with members of the some of the local business improvement areas too that initially supported another campaign against the location. After listening to their concerns, he felt he needed to set the record straight.
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“The people that frequent your restaurants, the business professionals, the doctors, the nurses, the medical professionals there [at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Met and Ouellette Campuses]; they go home. They shower up and take their wife out to dinner — they don’t generally come from the hospital,” he explained. “And the same thing will happen at the new location.”
He insisted the location near the airport will also help local businesses, pointing out that Windsor residents often own even franchise restaurants in the south end of the city.
Lovett suggested even downtown residents will benefit if the hospital goes outside the core.
“If you do it in the city’s core, you’ll be tearing up roads for sewer, sanitary, that sort of stuff,” he said. “If you do it in a new location, in a green location, you don’t really have that same congestion of traffic because there’s nothing there.”
As soon as photos of the lawn signs started appearing on social media, some inferred the union is only protecting its members and interests, but Lovett insisted that is not the case.
“There’s no saying that my members are going to build that hospital. I’m thinking of the City of Windsor and the development that comes with it,” said Lovett. “Maybe it’s another company; maybe it’s a company from out of town, it’s about developing the area because with that comes the offshoot of work, not just work for my guys.”
42 Forward, the other group in favour of the hospital’s proposed location, is planning a rally at 6 p.m. October 3 at Signature Tribute Event Centre on Dougall Avenue.
Meanwhile, a group opposed to the location, Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Process will make its case to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Three days have been set aside for the hearing, October 8, 9, and 10 at 10 a.m. at Windsor City Hall in council chambers. It is expected to argue city council used out of date information when it approved rezoning for the site.