CAMPP’s request for recusal denied

Eric Gillespie representing CAMPP at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, October 8, 2019 (Photo by Maureen Revait.)

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal continues Wednesday morning after hearing the Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process (CAMPP) case Tuesday.

CAMPP is appealing the official plan amendment that would allow the development of the new hospital on County Road 42 at the 9th Concession.

The main point of the group’s argument is that the development does not meet the criteria of a effective development pattern as set out by the provincial policy statement.

CAMPP Lawyer Eric Gillespie indicated their goal is to get the decision sent back to Windsor City Council.

“There really is only one outcome that’s legally possible and that is for the matter to be referred back to the Windsor City Council,” said Gillespie. “CAMPP’s request is for the tribunal to direct the city to examine some of the areas more closely. We believe that that examination should lead to a different conclusion.”

On Wednesday, the City of Windsor and Windsor Regional Hospital lawyers will have the opportunity to present their case.

Before presenting its case to the tribunal Tuesday CAMPP’s lawyer put forward a motion for the adjudicator to recuse himself from the case. He argued that there may be prejudice toward CAMPP because of information put forward to the adjudicator before the tribunal began.

“There was a real concern that the tribunal could have been influenced by some of the exchanges that happened between all of the parties,” said Gillespie.

The adjudicator ruled against the motion because he did not believe there was any bias present.

Windsor Regional Hospital issued a statement following Tuesday’s proceedings stating this was just another delay tactic by CAMPP.

“The preliminary issue raised by CAMPP, through their legal counsel and spokesperson, at the outset of the LPAT hearing to make LPAT ‘recuse’ itself is troubling in the sense it, unfortunately, shows that there is a tactic to just try to delay this process and hearing and call into question the integrity of LPAT,” the hospital said in a statement.

Following the adjudicator’s decision, the tribunal moved forward hearing CAMPP’s argument. On Wednesday, the City of Windsor and Windsor Regional Hospital lawyers will have the opportunity to present their case.

There are a total of three days set aside for the tribunal. The adjudicator could come back with a decision after all the parties have an opportunity to present their case and make a rebuttal however it is expected he will provide a written statement at a later date.