VIDEO: City, County Rally Support for New Hospital Location
It's been nearly four years since the proposed location of the new acute care hospital was announced at County Road 42 and Concession 9 near the Windsor airport.
Since then, AM800 News has covered many stories about the project, including a mounting local campaign against that location.
But now some new voices have entered the fray, belonging to what Windsor's mayor calls "the silent majority."
"Put the shovel in the ground and let's get moving," says Tecumseh Mayor and Essex County Warden, Gary McNamara.
Drew Dilkens and McNamara hosted a news conference Friday with several people who say they support the hospital location to counter what they refer to as a "loud minority."
Dilkens and McNamara are referring to the actions of the Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Project (CAMPP).
The group has lobbied against the preferred location since the site was announced in July of 2015. Members have put up lawn signs, billboards and rallied at city hall meetings - arguing the removal of a hospital from core neighbourhoods will gut the city and lead to unnecessary sprawl.
Most recently, the group launched an appeal tribunal against a city decision to rezone the Greenfield lands for the hospital and more city development.
The appeal by CAMPP has also received $5,000 from the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, $2,500 from the Via Italia BIA and $1,000 from the Wyandotte Town Centre Business Improvement Association, plus $5,000 from local couple Frank and Saralee O'Reilly.
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has a message for Business Improvement Associations across the city; taxpayer money cannot be used to fight the location of a new Regional Acute Care Centre.
"The government is facing a $343-million debt and is looking to cut spending," says McNamara. "We can't give them a reason to cut the project that is critical to the health and wellness to all of Windsor and Essex."
A GoFundMe page is also set up by CAMPP and more than $56,000 has been raised. The goal is $100,000.