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Saturday December 19th, 2015

Posted at 10:23pm

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A local citizens group is asking for City Council to defer a decision about funding the new mega hospital now that it’s scheduled to be a part of Monday’s 2016 city budget discussions.

The group Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process says that the item was added to the Order of Business for Monday’s Council, late Friday, after the deadline to register delegations to speak at the Council meeting.

According to Order of Business, Hospital Steering Committee Co-chairs, David Musyj and Dave Cooke, together with HDGH CEO Janice Kaffer, will be approaching Council to formally support the Windsor Hospitals’ System Plan. They will also request that Council commit to pay a share of the $200M local construction cost of the new hospital.

This past week they did the same at County Council, who did give support.

In a Facebook post, Councillor Rino Bortolin says, “Much to my surprise, and probably news to many, the CEOs of the two area hospitals are coming to Council on Monday December 21st to ask for a financial commitment for the new Hospital. We have been told more than once (including just last week) this would happen in the new year. Now we find out 3 days prior that they are coming during one of the longest and jam packed meetings one can imagine to discuss this enormous issue.”

The group has written a letter to City of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, asking Council to defer a decision on these requests until a later meeting when the community can participate in this crucial discussion.

Among the group’s reasons for a deferral include: that the posted Order of Business refers to a report that was not included in the meeting documents posted on the City’s website, the extraordinary timing of Monday’s meeting during the afternoon makes it difficult for residents with day-jobs to attend, and the timing of the inclusion of this item in the agenda did not allow delegations to sign up to speak to the issue before Friday’s noon deadline.

“It’s completely undemocratic to rush such an important decision through at the last moment, during the busiest and longest Council meeting of the year, without providing residents enough notice to send delegations to speak to the matter,” said group spokesperson Philippa von Ziegenweidt.

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