Windsor

New report criticises proposed changes that would pave way for mega-hospital

Ahead of next week's meeting to approve amendments to Windsor's Official Plan and zoning bylaw that would pave the way for a new mega-hospital, Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Process released their rebuttal, calling it "a shocking and wildly inaccurate proposal."

CAMPP calls proposed Official Plan, zoning amendments "building for the past"

CAMPP spokesperson Philippa von Ziegenweidt speaks to media about their report against proposed changes to Windsor's Official Plan and zoning bylaw that would allow construction of a new mega-hospital at the edge of the city. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Ahead of next week's council meeting to discuss and vote on proposed amendments to Windsor's Official Plan and zoning bylaw that would pave the way for a new mega-hospital and development around it, Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Process (CAMPP) released their rebuttal.

The rebuttal, in the form of a report titled Building for the Past, calls the proposed amendments a "shocking and wildly inaccurate proposal."

The report alleges that outdated data, including population projections, have been used to justify the development of mostly agricultural land south of Windsor International Airport — formerly the former Town of Tecumseh lands.

In 2015, a hospital committee chose a farm located at County Road 42 and Concession Road 9 as the site for the new mega-hospital. Upon completion, Windsor Regional Hospital's current Metropolitan and Ouellette facilities would close.

"We all want a new hospital, we all want hospital investment, but doing it this way is not the right way for our future," said CAMPP spokesperson Philippa von Ziegenweidt.

Mary Elizabeth Menear says the proposed hospital site is too far for her to get to and she worries she won't be able to access care when her health issues arise at night. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

The group says allowing the changes ignores how the development of the area would affect the rest of the city.

Some of the group's points is that that it would cause business and residents to leave existing neighbourhoods, place the majority of city residents further away from health services and increase commuting distances and car-dependency.

In a statement released Tuesday, Windsor Regional Hospital said that the upcoming council meeting on the planning changes is "not an exercise to determine where the new hospital will go or debate the components of the new system," but rather a discussion to "determine how the area around the new hospital will develop over the next 30 years and beyond."

Windsor City Council will decide on the proposed Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendments at 6 p.m. on Aug. 13. At least 12 separate delegations have signed up to speak at the meeting.

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca.