Ottawa Hospital to leave farm land transfer 'up to politicians'
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna vowed to revisit Experimental Farm land lease to Ottawa Hospital
The Ottawa Hospital's chief of staff says he will leave the decision about where to build a new facility to replace the century-old Civic campus "up to the politicians."
Dr. Jeff Turnbull comments come after the federal minister of environment and climate change voiced "concerns" about the planned move to a parcel of land on the Central Experimental Farm.
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"From our perspective, we just want to have the best site that can serve our community as best we can and we're looking at this from the perspective of what's best for patients."
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who is also the MP for Ottawa-Centre, promised Thursday to revisit the impending transfer of 24 hectares of land from the federal farm lands to The Ottawa Hospital.
McKenna made the comments after meeting earlier this month with a coalition of agriculture and climate change scientists, as well as heritage advocates, who criticized the decision. The transfer of 24 hectares to the hospital would represent about six per cent of the farm's 427 hectares.
The former Conservative government agreed to lease the land to the hospital in November 2014.
The land, across Carling Avenue from the current Civic campus, was selected as the preferred site after the hospital board and management team evaluated 12 potential sites.
Turnbull said it could be five years before construction begins on a new Civic campus, wherever it ends up being built.