Windsor

Few decisions made at first tribunal meeting about proposed mega-hospital

Some residents who attended the meeting raised concerns about not being able to hear what's going on, due to the lack of microphones.

The meeting was for the tribunal to collect information

Almost 100 people showed up to the tribunal meeting on Wednesday. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Talks about Windsor's proposed mega-hospital are continuing through the province's Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), where a local group is appealing the decision to place it on County Road 42.

Nearly 100 people showed up at city hall to learn about what's happening. The city council decision to place the hospital at County Road 42 has been a controversial one.

"Nobody lives there, so why build a hospital in a place that's very difficult for people to access?" said Eric Gillespie, legal counsel for CAMPP, Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Process, one of the appellents for the case.

The LPAT process replaces the Ontario Municipal Board as the new tribunal handling development appeals. Gillespie said he expects the hearing for the mega-hospital to set a precedent within the new process.

Hearing or no hearing?

On Wednesday, the tribunal gathered information to determine whether there will be a hearing for the mega-hospital appeal, and if so, what kind of hearing it will be.

Lawyer for CAMPP, Eric Gillespie, says the tribunal will determine if the hearing will be an oral or written one. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

If the tribunal decides there will be a hearing, it won't determine whether or not there will be a mega-hospital. Instead, the hearing will determine whether the decision for its location was made correctly.

That decision will be evaluated based on the "policies of the province of Ontario and the official plan of the City of Windsor," said Gillespie.

During this preliminary process, the tribunal asked all parties for their input on what they want to see happen in a hearing, and whether they want it to be an oral or written hearing.

A written hearing will be done through documents only.

The tribunal also approved 28 participants for the hearing on Wednesday, but won't determine which witnesses to call until a later time.

That means Jennifer Keesmat, former chief planner of the City of Toronto, who was brought forward by CAMPP, may not be called as a witness.

Citizen participation

At the end of the meeting, the tribunal said it will make a decision about the hearing in the near future.

The lack of any firm decisions was frustrating for some people at the meeting.

Krysta Glovasky-Ridsdale says it's disappointing that not a lot of decisions were made on Wednesday. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

"We didn't really get to hear what type of trial it will be, and when exactly it will actually be set, but it was really interesting to see," said Krysta Glovasky-Ridsdale, resident and participant.

For others, the placement of the tribunal on a Wednesday, in a room without microphones and a carpeted floor was a poor choice.

Patricia McGorman, a resident, said some people came out to participate and to find out what's happening, but still felt they were being excluded.

"And the disappointment for today is we're stuck in this room and you can't hear, there's no microphones, it's carpeted," she said.

"It's a beautiful new room, but you can't hear the proceedings, so it's really disappointing."

With files from Katerina Georgieva

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