Rally in favour of acute care hospital location Thursday

Members of 42 Forward-Our New Hospital launch their campaign in support of the approved location for the new acute-care hospital, September 9. 2019. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Everyone who is in favour of building the new acute care hospital on County Road 42 in Windsor is invited to a rally Thursday night.

The group 42 Forward formed in August and has since launched a postcard campaign in support of the location.

“There’s been so much negative information out there, a lot of it misinformation, and that’s what motivated us to get going,” said spokesperson Brian Stocks on September 9. “We thought somebody has to speak up and provide a vehicle for the majority now to be heard. So that’s what we’re doing, and we’re committed to that. Our biggest fear is that we lose the hospital, and we just don’t want to let that happen.”

Member Joe McParland also launched an online petition.

The rally is at the Signature Tribute Events Centre on Dougall Avenue. The event starts at 6 p.m., and several guest speakers will take the stage 45 minutes later.

A photo of Don Brunelle surrounded by his family while recovering in the hospital courtesy of Brenda Brunelle.

A photo of Don Brunelle surrounded by his family while recovering in the hospital courtesy of Brenda Brunelle.

Brenda Brunelle, of Windsor, is one of the speakers expected to speak at the rally. Her husband survived a catastrophic crash on Talbot Trail near Wheatley in 2017.

The rally will also hear from the co-chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Committee at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Cancer Centre, Diane Marley. Marley is also a member of the Patient Experience Task Force Committee at Windsor Regional Hospital.

Dr. Wassim Saad is the Chief of Staff at Windsor Regional Hospital, and Dr. Lisa Porter is a professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Windsor. They will also take the stage.

The location has its detractors. The group Citizens for an Accountable Mega Hospital Planning Process began its fight to have the hospital built closer to Windsor’s core soon after the city announced plans to build the hospital on County Road 42 at Concession 9.

CAMPP appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, saying city council used out of date information when it approved the rezoning of the land. It also argues the location near Windsor’s airport will deny thousands of residents timely access to healthcare.

The tribunal has three days set aside for the hearing next week starting October 8. The hearing will be held in Windsor City Council Chambers, and the proceedings are expected to begin at 10 a.m.