Council asking for consideration to issuing a Ministerial Order to designate the Poplar Sideroad site as the location for the new Collingwood Hospital
Collingwood Council has voted in favour of a motion that would eliminate certain time consuming and costly planning processes while providing clarity as to where the municipality stands regarding the preferred location of a proposed new hospital.
Collingwood Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson put forth a motion at the Monday July 23rd council meeting to instruct Town of Collingwood staff to send a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Minister of Health and Long Term Care, the Minister of Finance, and Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson asking that the province give consideration to issuing a Ministerial Order to designate the Poplar Sideroad site as the location for the new Collingwood Hospital.
In addition, Saunderson’s motion, seconded by Councillor Kathy Jeffery, asks the municipalities of Clearview Township, Wasaga Beach, Grey Highlands and The Blue Mountains to support the request.
Saunderson’s motion recognizes the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital has submitted Stage 1 a) and b) applications to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for the redevelopment of the Hospital identifying the Poplar Sideroad site as the Preferred Site.
A Ministerial Order would allow the Provincial Government to designate the Poplar Sideroad site as the site for the new hospital and bypass all municipal and regional planning processes. This was done with the siting of the John Di Poce Campus of Georgian College.
“The Province is the one government that has the ability to do this. They have done this before when they designated the Georgian College campus in 2010 and they have the ability to do it again, and it is their decision how the Hospital proceeds from stage 1 to stage 5 and where the site will ultimately be.”
In March of this year, the Town of Collingwood pledged up to $150,000 to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital to assist in obtaining any reports or studies necessary in the Stage 1 approval process. Collingwood has been the only municipality to make such a pledge in the hospital redevelopment approval process.
Saunderson said council has stated many times and in many ways that it supports the hospital redevelopment.
“It should be noted that motions dated January 29, 2018, September 11, 2017, August 29, 2017 and September 12, 2016 were all passed unanimously in recorded votes.”
“We are very pleased with the motion that was passed at Collingwood Town Council last evening, which aligns with the preferred site set out by the Hospital’s Board of Trustees in 2016.”
— Norah Holder, CEO, Collingwood General & Marine Hospital
Saunderson told council that he had talked with Collingwood General and Marine Hospital CEO Norah Holder prior to tabling the motion.
“I want to make sure that our partners know what we are doing, and she is very supportive of this motion and said to me that the critical messaging to the Province is that the Town and the Hospital are completely aligned in this redevelopment process.”
Holder told CollingwoodLiving.com that the unanimous passing of the motion is a very positive step.
“We are very pleased with the motion that was passed at Collingwood Town Council last evening, which aligns with the preferred site set out by the Hospital’s Board of Trustees in 2016. This is a very positive sign, which demonstrates the Town is now aligned with the vision of the Hospital and will be very helpful moving forward.”
Holder said the motion demonstrates that the Town is on the same page with the Hospital as both parties work to achieve the ultimate goal of building a new hospital.
“To now have the Town of Collingwood support the Poplar Sideroad location for a new hospital in Collingwood is certainly very positive, greatly appreciated and indicative of a good collaborative relationship between the Town and the Hospital.”
In a CollingwoodToday.ca May 17th article written by Erika Engel, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson was quoted as saying that the Poplar Sideroad site was his site of choice for a new hospital.
“It was “settled” in his mind that the new Collingwood hospital would be located on the Poplar Sideroad site and would become a teaching hospital with other healthcare facilities on the same site.”
In a July 3, 2018 news release on his web site, Wilson thanked voters for supporting him in the recent provincial election and again stated that hospital redevelopment in his riding was a top priority.
“Locally, my priorities continue to be the redevelopment of Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston. It’s time for these critical projects to move forward. “
On July 24th, Jim Wilson tweeted that he was happy with the direction Collingwood Council has taken.
“I’m pleased to see that Collingwood council has voted to support the Poplar Sideroad site for the future location of the new Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. Since the election, I have continued to work to get this project moving forward.”
Here is the motion put forward by Deputy Mayor Saunderson and passed by Collingwood Council:
CGMH REDEVELOPMENT MOTION
WHEREAS the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (the “CGMH”) submitted Stage 1 a) and b) applications to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for the redevelopment of the Hospital in October, 2016;
AND WHEREAS the CGMH has identified the Poplar Sideroad site as the Preferred Site;
AND WHEREAS by motion dated September 12, 2016 this Council unanimously supported the CGMH in submitting the Stage 1 applications to the Ministry including the selection of the Poplar Sideroad as the preferred site;
AND WHEREAS by motion dated September 11, 2017, this Council unanimously resolved to support the CGMH in any way possible progress to Stage 2 of the 5 stage redevelopment process;
AND WHEREAS by motion dated January 29, 2018, this Council unanimously voted to pre-approve up to $150,000 in the 2018 budget to assist the CGMH with expenses incurred in the Stage 1 process and Collingwood is the only municipality to have made such a pledge in support of the hospital redevelopment process;
AND WHEREAS it is agreed by the Province and the County of Simcoe that the Poplar Sideroad site will require extensive planning applications and processes including a Municipal Comprehensive Review to convert the Poplar Sideroad site from Employment Lands;
AND WHEREAS the Municipal Comprehensive Review is now the responsibility of the County of Simcoe and will require significant time and expense to complete;
AND WHEREAS the Provincial Government has the authority to designate the Poplar Sideroad site as the site for the new hospital and bypass all municipal and regional planning processes by Ministerial Order as was done with the siting of the John Di Poce Campus of Georgian College;
AND WHEREAS the Province has a new Conservative Government and Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson has publicly stated that building a new hospital in Collingwood is one of his priorities and that he supports the Poplar Sideroad site;
NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that this Council direct staff to send a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Minister of Health and Long Term Care, the Minister of Finance, and Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson requesting that the Province consider issuing a Ministerial Order designating the Poplar Sideroad site as the location for the new hospital;
AND THAT staff send copies of the letter to the surrounding municipalities of Clearview, Wasaga Beach, The Town of the Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands, and to the County of Simcoe and the County of Grey with a request that each Municipality and County write a letter to the Province in support of this request.
In a recorded vote, the motion was passed unanimously.
Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson (pictured below) has publicly stated that building a new hospital in Collingwood is one of his priorities and that he supports the Poplar Sideroad site, pictured above.
In an earlier CollingwoodLiving.com article, Town of Collingwood CAO Fareed Amin said one of the first things on his “to do list” upon becoming the Town’s new CAO was to get to work on the hospital file.
“I think it was all about understanding the vision, focusing on the results and finding ways to collaborate. This is what people in the community and the public expect of public and elected officials, to find ways to work together for the common good.”
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