WINDSOR -- More than 100 people attended a rally in support of a proposed new mega hospital in Windsor-Essex.
The grassroots group "42 Forward – Our New Hospital" hosted the rally Thursday night at the Signature Tribute Events Centre.
It was designed to raise support for the location of the new acute care hospital at County Road 42 and the 9th concession near the Windsor airport.
"This is a hospital not just for Windsor or the Windsor core, this is a regional hospital," said Joe McParland, a co-chair with the group.
A number of medical professionals and residents spoke at the event, including Brenda Brunelle.
Her husband Don was in a serious crash on Highway 3 in 2017, and Brunnelle said a hospital at the selected site would have saved more than 20-minutes in ambulance response time and provided more access to care for her husband.
"The silent majority is in favour of a hospital," said Brunelle. "We have given it a voice. We're going to send this message up to Queen's Park. Release the funds, get the hospital built. We are not second-class citizens. We are deserving of this healthcare."
Brunnelle said her family spent 90-days in a hospital in 2017, something that could have been avoided if they had a new hospital.
Another grassroots group, the Citizens for an Accountable Mega Hospital Planning Process – or CAMPP -- is appealing the city's zoning of the land for the new acute care facility.
CAMPP says it agrees a new hospital should be built, but not near the Windsor airport.
The group has argued the proposed location would encourage urban sprawl and is advocating for the new hospital to be located closer to the core.
That process moves to a hearing at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which will begin Oct. 8.
Windsor and Essex County mayors meanwhile sent a letter to the provincial government and Premier Doug Ford in June, suggesting all local municipalities fully support a new $2 billion mega hospital and its location