Windsor

Windsor loses provincial lab

The permanent closure of the provincial medical lab in Windsor, Ont., raised concerns in the city's medical community Friday.

Lab won't be rebuilt after demolition

The permanent closure of the provincial medical lab in Windsor, Ont., raised concerns in the city's medical community Friday.

The facility, at 3400 Huron Church Rd., is slated for demolition at the end of the year to make way for the construction of the Windsor-Essex Parkway leading to a new bridge spanning the Detroit-Windsor border.

The Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion decided at a recent board of directors meeting that it will not relocate the lab after the current one is destroyed.

The lab, built in 1966, is one of 12 in the province that handles public health tests of water and blood.

The decision means test samples will now have to be sent to London or Hamilton for analysis.

"I have concerns about the service and especially the timely service that was provided by the provincial laboratory and how that's going to be maintained," said Dr. Allen Heimann, medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Calls to create 'government campus'

The board of directors at the health unit also raised concerns Thursday, calling for Windsor city council and the people of Windsor to speak out against the closure, said board member Bill Marra.

"The opportunity here is terrific," said Marra, who is also city councillor for Ward 4. "Why not consider taking the location of the proposed Southwest Detention Centre - the provincial jail - and start contemplating a provincial government campus, not unlike what we've seen in other cities across the province."

The provincial medical lab in Windsor employs 19 workers, who are represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 154.

The province has not said what will happen with those jobs once the lab closes.

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