An Open Letter To Percy Hatfield

Dear Mr Hatfield,

As a lifelong, died in the wool NDP’er, it saddens me to have to write this email, and have held off doing so for quite some time. But, I cannot sit by and watch as a select few, along with your and the NDP’s blessing, are prepared to side with land developers and other get-rich individuals at the taxpayers expense, and place a hospital on the very fringes of Windsor on prime farm land.

The expressed concerns over the proposed location of the proposed new acute care hospital should be considered as only part of a larger public discussion which needs to take place about the demand for and location of future health care facilities.

There are several major questions that need to be addressed.

Where are the studies that examine the costs and pros and cons of modernizing/expanding the two existing hospitals, rather than building a new mega hospital?

Where is the detailed justification for a 60-acre site for a new hospital, built on a flood plain on prime farm land, plus the new “bombshell” of rezoning 500+ acres of prime farm land on the backs of the taxpayers? This, with the given fact that new hospitals, in large urban areas in Canada and the US, typically require only 10 to 20 acres.

Why didn’t the site selection criteria include a regard for the importance of maintaining the viability of [Windsor’s] central core as well as the cost of providing the necessary supporting infrastructure for a more remote site?

And then there’s the fearmongering!

Past and present elected officials have warned that provincial funding will be lost if opposition to the new hospital, as proposed by a group of unelected health bureaucrats, continues.

I prefer to think that the government of Kathleen Wynne has the integrity to make funding decisions in a more objective and less spiteful manner, or is this the way the NDP conducts business? If so, this is no longer my NDP or the NDP of the socially responsible, hard working citizens of Windsor and Essex County.

We need a total re-think on this flawed and, quite frankly, arbitrary decision by a few unelected stakeholders, with Mr Musyj and Mr Cooke at the head. It is insulting to any democratic, forward-thinking individual how this process has been handled. It will have long lasting ramifications for Windsor, especially, and Essex County as a whole.

I have always felt and believed that the New Democratic Party was (is) a party that represented the people. Your position has changed that for me and many other NDP supporters.

I am asking you, along with your (our) party, to reconsider support for the location of the acute care hospital. It is truly the right thing to do.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration on this matter.

Yours very truly,

John S Holmes

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