CAMPP says mega-hospital proposal contradicts Ontario’s climate change action plan.
A growing group of Windsor-Essex residents calling themselves Citizens for an Accountable Mega-hospital Process (CAMPP) say the mega-hospital proposed for the area needs a re-think. They say that, with the recent roll-out of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, the need is more urgent than ever.
CAMPP spokesperson Philippa von Ziegenweidt, says, “The mega-hospital proposal is not a done deal. For one thing, it’s in direct conflict with the Province of Ontario’s climate change goals. In fact, the mega-plan makes a mockery of these goals.”
Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan aims to create a greener, healthier, province through the following:
- Compact, mixed-use and pedestrian-oriented land use
- Reduced fossil fuel consumption, traffic congestion and transportation emissions
- Promotion of cycling and walking
- Protected agricultural lands
The group says the current mega-hospital proposal does not support any of these goals.
CAMPP points out that Windsor Regional Hospital’s current facilities are in established City of Windsor neighbourhoods with a population density 15 times greater than that of surrounding Essex County. The group believes in stark contrast, the mega hospital plan would demolish both existing hospitals and replace them with a single acute care hospital on farmland near Windsor’s airport. The proposed hospital would be farther from the city core than hospitals in any other cities in Canada, and much farther than the national average of just under four kilometres. The proposed mega hospital itself would force more people to make more and longer trips for care. In addition, medical support businesses and doctors’ offices would also be under pressure to relocate near the new facility, compounding the effect on patients and their families.
“The Province’s Climate Change Action Plan envisions compact, walkable communities,” said von Ziegenweidt, “but the proposed hospital location will result in significantly increased road use, more urban sprawl and less farmland. And It’s not just one 60-acre farm that is at stake. Developers are hoping the mega-hospital will unlock another 3,275 acres of productive farmland for development. Yet, at the same time, there is no projected increase in population or tax base to justify such development.”
‘We have a unique opportunity to re-think the hospital plan,” she added. “We must make sure it provides the best, most accessible health care. We must also support our communities through responsible use of tax dollars for infrastructure, sustainable urban land use planning, and protection of farmland.”
“When taking into account money spent to build and improve… raised for special projects and equipment for our existing hospitals over the years… that will just be demolished. Windsor and Essex County residents are being conned into believing that we should just throw all that away and start from scratch. We are also made to believe that the Province will be spending all this money to build a new mega hospital when, in fact, it will be a P3. A private company will fund, build and run this new hospital… and the ten percent we will raise through a tax hike will be used for what?” – Doug Hayes, Chair of the Windsor Essex Chapter of the Council of Canadians
CAMPP is a group of concerned citizens that came together in 2014 to bring greater transparency and accountability to the hospital planning process so that Windsor and Essex County residents see the full implications of what is being proposed.
CAMPP groups its concerns about the proposed hospital plan using the acronym “ACUTE”:
· Access to hospital healthcare services
· Cost to the community
· Urban vitality
· Transparency and public consultation
· Environmental sustainability