Who is Ford listening to when making decisions about the Ottawa Hospital?
OTTAWA - Following an announcement Friday that Premier Ford and his Conservative MPP’s are going ahead with funding the contentious expansion of The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus, Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden is questioning who this government is listening to when it is making decisions about the Ottawa Hospital.
“Thousands of people participated in a public consultation on the development of the Ottawa Hospital, and their position was clear: the new Civic Campus must properly integrate with the surrounding community, be linked to public transit and not impact our greenspaces. The current proposal for The Ottawa Hospital does none of that” said Harden.
Groups like the Ottawa Disability Coalition have raised serious concerns with the accessibility of the new Civic Campus, and the lack of consultations from the City, Province and Hospital Board with the members of the coalition.
“The lack of due diligence by the Hospital Board on the choice of the site has created a situation where persons with disabilities and marginalized groups who use public transit will not have equitable access to the health services offered at the new site. The City of Ottawa has failed to protect the accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion rights of these citizens” said Jerry Fiori, from the Ottawa Disability Coalition.
The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition is calling for a halt to the plans to cut down up to 750 trees at Queen Juliana Park to build a parking garage, and instead to use this space as a public Reconciliation Space for Indigenous people in the city.
Local residents’ groups such as the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association, along with local city councillors Shawn Menard and Jeff Leiper have all spoken out against the plans to destroy greenspaces and trees to build a parking garage, but their concerns have gone unheard by the Ford government.
“Premier Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott are not listening to the people of Ottawa when making decisions about The Ottawa Hospital. They are listening to their friends and Tory insiders. If this government continues to plow ahead with its current plans, our community and our planet will suffer” Harden said.