(Editor’s Note: The following is a letter to Health Minister Deb Matthews issued in response to an editorial in the Jan. 9 edition of NewsNow.)
Dear Minister Matthews,
Re: West Lincoln Memorial Hospital deserves your support
I am again writing to call on you to move forward with a new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital. For years you have put this project off, claiming there is no money in the budget for it.
So yesterday I announced my plan to create a million private sector jobs in eight years. With more people working we will be able to invest in important health infrastructure like a new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
However, yesterday you made a political announcement of the most cynical kind. After two years of silence on the project and leading into a by-election, you announced a new hospital in Niagara Falls.
Your government is spending $3.6 billion more this year than you did last year. That amount could have built the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital 25 times.
My question to you is despite all the new spending, why do you continue to leave West Lincoln Memorial Hospital off of the list, yet it was on the priority capital plan back when none of these projects were even on the Liberal government’s radar screen?
West Lincoln Memorial Hospital is a project based on need. It is about quality of patient care. Not only that, the community has already done their part. They have raised more than $14 million and even amalgamated with Hamilton Health Sciences to improve their viability for a new hospital. What they need now is for you and your government to do your part.
I urge you to stop playing politics with the health and safety of West Niagara and Stoney Creek residents. Make your decision based on what’s best for our health dollars and our fellow Ontarians, not what’s best for your careers. Put this project back on the capital plan for construction immediately. It’s the right thing to do.
I look forward to your response as I regrettably have yet to receive a response from you to my previous letter.
Tim Hudak, MPP