The Latest on Redevelopment

Letter to the Editor to appear in On The Bay, summer edition

June 21, 2017

There has been a lot of activity on the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) redevelopment front over the past couple of months, with some key milestones checked off and notable meetings which have occurred. In mid-May, CGMH received the first set of comments back from the Capital Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), on both its Stage 1 A and Stage 1 B, Master Program/Master Plan, submitted September 30, 2016.

A meeting was arranged quickly, and on June 12, 2017 discussions occurred with the Capital Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Hospital’s Stage 1 Planning Consultants, along with hospital Board members and Senior Staff, to discuss the comments we received.

This was a very productive and informative meeting, which helped provide further clarity to the team. We now have the opportunity to put the polishing touches on the Master Program/Master Plan, and provide insight into the comments the MOHLTC was seeking further information on. The hospital aims to have the updated submission back to the MOHLTC by early fall 2017.

While the hospital did not receive a planning grant in the 2017 Capital Budget, with support from MPP Jim Wilson, a private member's resolution, which called for the immediate approval of planning grants for hospital redevelopment projects in Collingwood and Alliston was passed with unanimous support from all three parties in the Legislature, on June 1, 2017.

Just to note, this is not an approval to move to Stage 2, but it’s a very positive sign to demonstrate that the government is serious about this project and reconfirms our notion that we are on the overall Capital List with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Even MPP Wilson agrees that until the cheque is sent, the community can help by writing letters and emails to the Premier and Minister of Health directly, and signing petitions.

The Premier can be reached at kwynne.mpp@liberal.ola.org or by mailing a letter to Queen's Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A8. Minister Hoskins can be reached at ehoskins.mpp@liberal.ola.org or by writing him at the same address as above.

As our CEO Guy Chartrand most recently stated, “it’s all about continuing to build awareness and moving the file forward.” There is still a long journey ahead and we continue to work through the five stage Planning Process, which aims to see a new hospital built in the South Georgian Bay community in the next decade.

On another positive front, the Hospital and Foundation were very pleased by the April 25, 2017 commitment by the County of Simcoe, as they continue to invest $45 million over the next 15 years into Hospital Capital projects. Collingwood G&M Hospital and Stevenson Memorial Hospital are at the forefront of the receiving end, as they continue to move their redevelopment projects forward.

CGMH is now working on planning applications for its preferred Poplar Sideroad site and continues to meet with the Town of Collingwood, County of Simcoe and other approval authorities/agencies, as it prepares to submit its Planning Applications. The sixth regional Mayors’ Forum will take place this summer and includes representation from Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, The Blue Mountains, Grey Highlands and the County of Simcoe. The Mayors’ Forum provides an opportunity for regional leaders to meet with Hospital leadership to collaborate on the government requirements set in the five phases of the redevelopment process.

While the redevelopment process remains competitive, with lots of hospitals all vying for Capital funds at the same time, we continue to gain momentum and have strong community support. We are on a very strong path forward, which will continue with the pre-work for Stage 2, as we await our Stage 1 approval to proceed.

Thom Paterson
CGMH Board Chair