Windsor

Petition to keep mega-hospital's location sees support from more than 2,000

A man who started the petition wants to remind critics that the mega-hospital is meant to be a regional hospital, serving both the city and the county.

'I'm doing this for my children, grandchildren,' says Brian Finn

Brian Finn, who started the petition, says the chosen location for the new hospital is the best choice for the city and for the county. (Jason Viau/CBC)

While a group is in the process of appealing the decision to put the mega-hospital on County Road 42, a man started a petition, saying the site is the correct choice. As of May 2, just over 2,000 people have signed it.

Brian Finn started a Change.org petition, asking the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to throw out Citizens for Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process' appeal.

"This is the only logical place," said Finn. "There's no place in this city, traffic's bad enough, where are you going to put it?"

"If you put it on Tecumseh Road and Jefferson, and a train goes by, and you're in an ambulance, and you're having a heart attack, not a good idea."

As of May 2, there have been a little more than 2,000 who have signed the petition.

The new mega-hospital will be built on land at the southeast corner of County Road 42 and Concession Road 9. (Jason Viau/CBC)

The location of the new hospital has been long contested. Critics think it's too far from the city core, contributing to urban sprawl. Others worry the hospital will no longer be accessible for many people.

However, some people who have signed the petition want to remind critics that the mega-hospital is a regional hospital, designed to serve residents of both Windsor and Essex County.

"Our region is in desperate need of new infrastructure to serve a population distributed from Sandwich to Lakeshore to Tecumseh to LaSalle, Essex and beyond," writes Noah Tepperman.

Thomas MacKay wrote that the hospital will serve the entire region.

"The proposed site is close to many areas in the county while still being in the City of Windsor."

Can Windsor-Essex keep provincial money?

LPAT has decided to have a full oral hearing on whether or not the decision to locate the hospital on County Road 42 was made correctly. A hearing date will be announced at a later time.

Last August, city council approved rezoning of the land to build the mega-hospital. The nine-hour meeting heard from many delegates who were opposed to the hospital location. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Meanwhile, Finn worries that, with this appeal and ongoing opposition from some community members, the region might lose committed provincial funding for the hospital — especially if it needs to look for a new site.

"Premier Ford did not mention this hospital in his budget. He mentioned other hospitals," said Finn. "It could go to Hamilton or someplace else, they're ready."

He said the existing hospital sites are too old and overcrowded, adding the region needs a new facility.

"I'm never gonna' see even a shovel be put in this ground here," said Finn. "I'm doing this for my children, grandchildren."

With files from Jason Viau

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