CAMPP accuses hospital of libel

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

The group appealing the planned location of the new Windsor-Essex acute care hospital has issued a notice of libel to Windsor Regional Hospital.

Members of the Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process (CAMPP) issued the notice Wednesday over a statement released by the hospital concerning the motion by CAMPP to recuse the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The LPAT is presiding over an appeal by CAMPP of Windsor City Council’s decision to rezone land on Highway 42 for the new acute-care hospital.

The hospital’s statement, which is available on its official website, said that CAMPP’s recusal motion “shows that there is a tactic to just try to delay this process and hearing and call into question the integrity of LPAT”.

Eric Gillespie, the lawyer representing CAMPP before the tribunal, said that the statement is defamatory and false.

“It would be improper to use tactics of delay and it would be improper to try to undermine the integrity of a tribunal,” said Gillespie. “That is not what happened, that is not what the tribunal said in its ruling.”

CAMPP had filed a motion to recuse the adjudicator presiding over the appeal hearing, claiming there was bias against the grassroots group. The motion was denied however the adjudicator did not say anything about an unnecessary delay in his ruling.

Gillespie has asked the hospital to remove the statement from its website and apologize.

Windsor Regional Hospital is not commenting on the libel suit.

The tribunal hearing wrapped up its second day Wednesday at Windsor City Hall. CAMPP had an opportunity to present its case Tuesday, while the hospital and city of Windsor had their turn Wednesday.  On Thursday morning CAMPP will have the opportunity for rebuttal before the adjudicator rules on the appeal.

-With files from Maureen Revait