Why a new mega-hospital in Windsor is personal for one couple

For Brenda Brunelle, moving forward with the mega-hospital project in Windsor is personal. Her husband was involved in a serious collision on Hwy. 3 in 2017 and rushed to hospital. She shared her story last night at a rally with the group 42 Forward — Our New Hospital.

'You have be in that experience to appreciate the value of a private room,' says Brenda Brunelle

Brenda Brunelle said a new mega-hospital would have improved her husband's healthcare and overall experience after he got into an accident in 2017. (Jason Viau/CBC)

For Brenda Brunelle, moving forward with the Windsor-Essex County Rd. 42 mega-hospital project is personal. That's because Brunelle's husband was involved in a serious collision on Hwy. 3 in 2017.

She shared her story Thursday night at a rally with the group 42 Forward — Our New Hospital.

"You have be in that experience to appreciate the value of a private room."​​​​​​- Brenda Brunelle

After leaving the ICU, Brunelle's husband required a private room, which cost the couple $16,000 for his 90-day stay. The couple's insurance only covered ward rooms.​​​​​​

Brunelle also said two of her husband's medical conditions went untreated because he was "too frail" to move from Windsor Regional Hospital's Ouellette campus to the hospital's Met campus.

Moving forward with the new mega-hospital project is important to Brunelle, because the hospital will house all medical specialities under one roof, while all rooms will be private.

"I can stay with my loved one in a private room and not face that kind of a bill," said Brunelle. "You have to be in that experience to appreciate the value of a private room."

CAMPP continues to oppose location

The hospital's location — on County Rd. 42 near Windsor Airport — has been a divisive issue.

The Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Process (CAMPP) has said the location is too far from the city centre, also arguing that the location contributes to urban sprawl and isn't accessible to some residents.

CAMPP is moving forward with hearings before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), which resume next week.

'The debate is over,' says 42 Forward

Members of 42 Forward said they aren't interested in "debating that process with [CAMPP]."

"The process that was followed to get that location was one of the best in the province, it was very transparent, very trustworthy," said 42 Forward co-chair Brian Stocks. "The debate is over. Let's move forward."

Stocks is now calling on the provincial government to release funding for the process's second stage. That would allow local healthcare officials to create detailed plans for programs, staffing and equipment for a new hospital.

No project timelines

Windsor Regional Hospital said Infrastructure Ontario has re-confirmed in recent months that this project is still on a list of things to do. But, there are no dates or timelines attached to the project.

Hospital officials recognize that the project, pegged at more than $1 billion, won't see shovels in the ground for several years.

"The proposed new hospital is still in the early stages of planning and it's important to get this early planning right," said David Jensen, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. 

Moving forward, the Ministry will continue to work with regional healthcare officials "to ensure that the planned hospital and other health service investments meet the service needs of the region."

About the Author

Jason Viau is a video journalist, TV host and radio newsreader at CBC Windsor. He was born in North Bay, but has lived in Windsor for most of his life. Since graduating from St. Clair College, he's worked in print, TV and radio. Email him at


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