The Windsor mega-hospital will be built at the controversial site on County Road 42, according to a statement released by the Windsor Regional Hospital following an announcement by Ontario's minister of health that the project is fully approved by the provincial government.
Hospital CEO David Musyj said he's planning to drive out to the Windsor mega-hospital site and scratch the word "proposed" off the sign.
"Nothing is in doubt folks, anything is possible, and this is huge for Windsor-Essex," he said, adding the new site might not make everyone happy, but "darn it we came so close ... with respect to the plan that was submitted and the plan that's moving forward."
Critics still plan to fight site
Philippa von Ziegenweidt, spokesperson for Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Process claims ministry officials have told her organization the next phase of the project will include plenty of public consultation and the location is still not "cast in stone."
"It's still a field," she said, explaining she believes the site still needs to undergo re-zoning and an environmental assessment.
But a statement from the ministry explained the site selection process is up to the hospital and project steering committee.
"The hospital has identified a site for the new hospital," it read.
No doubt hospital will be built
Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was in Windsor for the announcement Friday.
"David and his team are going to build a new hospital right here in Windsor to meet the needs of this city and the surrounding region," he said. "Our government is pleased to be moving forward with a new modern hospital to serve the communities of Windsor-Essex."
"If there was ever any doubt it's right there in black and white, the investment and set aside funds in the spring budget so we are absolute committed to moving forward with this new hospital," he added.
The new hospital will serve more than 400,000 people.
The project is slated to start accepting quotes for construction by 2021.
Tayfour, Ouellette campuses part of discussion
In its statement, the hospital said its steering committee has agreed with the ministry to examine using existing buildings on an "interim basis."
That means staff will consider continuing to use the Ouellette campus for urgent care and some day surgery procedures.
"There remains a commitment to have an Urgent Care Centre (satellite Emergency Department) in the core of the City of Windsor operating at the same time the new acute care hospital is operational," reads the statement.
Moving acute mental health beds to the Tayfour campus to create a "regional centre of excellence" for mental health also "continues to be part of the discussion."