Dilkens’ Silence Speaks Volumes

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Windsor’s Public Library plans to put one of its branches inside the new so-called mega hospital. Social media posters are anything but enamored.

Some people suspect that the plan is a desperate attempt to defend the incongruence of building a hospital in a bean field, far from the populated areas of the region. Not only will it replace the city’s current two acute care hospitals, but it is urban sprawl.

This is something even the provincial government is against.

There are more than a few problems with both the hospital and the library. The costs of sanitizing the branch and its books, to meet stringent hospital standards, could be expensive enough to draw money away from more worthy projects within the library system.

Also, few people live near the proposed site. On a per capita cost basis, this could make the new branch the most expensive in the city and most likely all of the country.

Although, city council is blessed with the freedom of never having to say it is sorry, or even admit its mistakes so it could learn from them, this concept takes its cavalier approach to the next level.

It suggests this whole idea is a publicity stunt. A desperate ruse to cunningly convince taxpayers of the value of an island of a hospital in the middle of a farmer’s field.

It is not new for City Council to use a library to make the untenable tenable. This first happened back when the city was trying to justify spending copious millions of taxpayer dollars for a combined downtown library and swimming pool.

Fearing the humidity could create soggy books, Council went ahead with the project, swapping a waterpark for the library.

The pool itself was to appease mothers of swimmers who complained of being tired of travelling to Toronto for swim meets. Windsor’s pool was expected to attract endless competitions.

It went off the rails once Toronto, home of most swim competitions, brought not only its famed Etobicoke Olympian back on line, but also opened two new Olympic-sized pools. Now Windsor’s pool sits forlorn and mostly empty.

If history repeats, which it does, the hospital library could suffer the same fate.

There is some good in the concept. It has accentuated the hideous idea of pulling a community resource of two hospitals and squeezing them together to be plunked down in a distant undeveloped field.

It will cost Windsor taxpayer hundreds of millions to service the land. Not a cent of financial support will come from the county. Locating the hospital in the developed area of the city would save all these millions.

So far city mayor Drew Dilkens has allowed no public discussion of the hospital plan, nor of the library. Is he afraid of being embarrassed by people much more wise than him?

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About the Author

Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi