How ironic for Ken Lewenza Sr to trumpet his declaration that the time for discussion is over regarding our future hospital plans. Here is a man that once, as the head an uber-powerful labour union, made his name, forcefully challenging corporate and government rule.
No matter how many times he was told the discussion was over, he did not give up, changes were finally made, and Ontario workers became far the better for it.
Now, Lewenza looks at people, who are saying the current plan is not good enough, with distain and derision.
It seems he feels concerned citizens don’t deserve meetings on neutral public property, complete with neutral and objective moderators. They have no right to sign-in sheets and published feedback.
They don’t deserve real answers, delivered with respect, and not derision and hostility. They can’t expect meetings held at times working families find convenient to attend, complete with timely and well publicised advanced notice.
Nobody is denying that there needs to be improvements in the delivery of health care services here in Windsor and Essex County. These changes, once implemented, will affect our community for years to come.
The question so many are asking in light of all the opposition to the current plan is, “Shouldn’t we take all the time and make all the effort we can to make sure we have the best plan moving forward?”
People who are unhappy with the current plan, or naysayers and complainers as they are being unproductively labeled, simply want to push the reset button and start a new conversation.
Most of the information sessions or community consultations to date have been a one way street in small, controlled venues. Only by freely sharing ideas, opinions, and facts can we come up with the best plan.
The sense of urgency created by the questionable assertion that further discussion will cost us the hospital is a smokescreen.
The private interests that are a huge part of the proposed P3 arrangement stand to profit greatly over the years and certainly will not risk this windfall just because our community wants to take a bit more time to get it right.
It’s not just the location or the destruction of current facilities. It’s all the intricate issues involved and their affects over the next forty or fifty years that must be carefully weighed and analysed by the community at large.
As has been asked before, if the current plan is so ideal than why is it that that the community is finally waking up to it? Why is there so much opposition?
As Lewenza may have said in much earlier times, let’s get back to the table and stay there until the job is done right and we have the best possible health care for all the people of Windsor and Essex County.