A News Brief from Doug Draper
Posted October 28th, Ontario on Niagara At Large
Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has sent out a media advisory that the province’s Health Minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins, will be in Niagara this coming Monday, October 30th to make an announcement.
The health minister, according to the October 27th media release, will be making the announcement in the southwest corner of Niagara Falls at the corner of Lyons Creek and Montrose Roads, just off QEW – and guess what that is the site of.
Some of you may already know that is the place where, for the better part of five years, south Niagara municipalities, including Niagara Falls, Welland, Fort Erie, Port Colborne and Wainfleet, agreed through negotiations with Niagara Health (formerly the Niagara Health System) responsible for operating the regions hospital services, agreed to build a new hospital for south Niagara.
A billboard has been sitting at the site ever since and many, including this journalist, have wondered whether the provincial government would ever move ahead with plans to spend more than half a billion dollars building another new hospital there or anywhere else in Niagara at all – especially since a new one was already opened within the past decade in west St. Catharines, and people in the Grimsby area have been waiting, with fading hope, for the province to approve plans to replace the old West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in that part of the region.
But now we have news that the Minister of Health is coming down to the Niagara Falls site to make an announcement, and having the minister himself actually coming in usually means the government has something pretty major to say – and not of a negative nature or the minister would be more likely to stay away.
And let me finish with what may be an unpleasant thing to think about for people who want to save the close to 500 acres of Thundering Waters Forest, including the wetlands, located nearby this proposed hospital site.
If they do move ahead with plans to build the hospital, the value of lands around it are bound to skyrocket because people like being near a hospital, and that could increase the pressure to urbanize at least some of the Thundering Waters Forest lands astronomically.
You don’t need to be an urban planner or a real estate expert to consider that scenario. It is a no brainer.
We shall see what unfolds.
Hoskins is scheduled to make the announcement this coming Monday, October 30th at 2 p.m.
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