Hospitals Belong Where People Live!

$62,537 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 391 people in 6 months
Created February 2, 2019
Fundraising Team
​Hospitals belong where people live. Residents of Windsor, Ontario are left with no choice but to take their healthcare into their own hands by launching a legal campaign to keep hospital services within the region's most densely populated neighbourhoods.

​Both Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) campuses (Met & Ouellette) are to be replaced by a single regional mega-hospital located on active farmland 13 km (8 miles) from the city centre. This will make hospital-based services much less accessible for tens of thousands of Windsor’s 200,000 residents. 

Local officials have used mixed messages and strategically limited public input and discussion about the greenfield mega-plan. This has misled many residents into believing they are gaining an additional hospital rather than losing two. Join our fight to give our residents a voice in this process. We fully believe in the need for updated local healthcare infrastructures. However, a decision this monumental, which will affect our healthcare for generations to come, should result from a process that is completely transparent and inclusive.

The only way we can achieve this result is by winning our legal appeal. However, this is a complex and costly legal challenge. We need your support.

When you donate, no matter how large or small, you are raising your hand (publicly or anonymously) that you believe that hospitals belong where people live.

This satellite image shows where the proposed mega-hospital is to be built:

More about the issue:
The proposed WRH mega-hospital is part of a larger development scheme: the Sandwich South Secondary Plan. The mega-hospital is to be built on what is currently active farmland adjacent to Windsor's airport. The 60-acre facility is being used to justify the residential and commercial development of a further 1,000 acres of prime agricultural land.

Yet, when you look at current statistics, the need for a new subdivision outside of the city core is not supported: the local population is aging and economic growth is stagnant. Other communities are tackling their healthcare infrastructure modernization by taking advantage of existing urban infrastructure. While the mega-plan may temporarily benefit a few developers, it will increase Windsor’s long-term residential tax burden and create barriers to healthcare for many of the city's most vulnerable people.

Developing Sandwich South also disregards Windsor's Official Plan and Ontario's Provincial Policy Statement. It creates further urban sprawl at a time when other municipalities are shifting to implement more environmentally responsible planning policies.

For five years, fact-based concerns raised by Citizens For An Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process, along with community groups that include the Ontario Health Coalition, and a growing number of individuals willing to speak out publicly, have been ignored. 

Together, we have been pleading with local decision-makers to develop a legitimately responsible, inclusive and transparent planning process. This destructive scheme will affect the region’s health, economic and environmental well-being for generations to come. 

While hospital officials encourage staff to express their support, the public is largely unaware that medical personnel are prevented from voicing negative concerns. There’s no debate about the need for updated local health care infrastructures. Residents in outlying municipalities also need and deserve accessible healthcare, though the solution does not lie in pitting county residents against city residents. There are better ways to improve Essex County residents' access to healthcare services that do not involve gutting the city core. 

​In October, 2018 we filed a legal challenge against Windsor City Council`s August 13, 2018 decision to greenllight the proposed mega-facility. 

We anticipate accruing more than $100,000 in legal fees to win this challenge. We expect a long fight. 

A note to health care professionals and other supporters who may need to remain anonymous: We thank those of you who have supported our efforts but who could not publicly come forward. We want to assure those of you who will financially contribute to this important campaign, that all anonymous contributions will remain completely confidential.

To learn more details about the issue and the legal appeal, including current population, health care and economic data, please visit our website.  

-Eric K. Gillespie: Our lawyer; he is a leading municipal and environmental lawyer based in Toronto. He has been counsel in many precedent-setting legal challenges including the Walkerton Water Inquiry, as well as Canada’s largest environmental class-action (Pearson/Smith v. Inco) and the ongoing G20 class action up to the Supreme Court of Canada. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto.
-Jennifer Keesmaat: Our expert witness; she the former Chief Planner of the City of Toronto, a recipient of the Canadian Institute of Planners’ highest Presidents Award, and a member of the International Panel of Experts, Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority.
-Philippa von Ziegenweidt: General media inquiries. Philippa is a former forensic accountant and financial analyst; she is a founding member of Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process.

"Given the legitimacy of the concerns raised by the public ... the duty to consider, address and engage concerns regarding the planning process, the planning rationale, mobility, access and equity are insufficiently met to satisfy even the most basic interpretations of the expectations from community engagement..."   -- Jennifer Keesmaat
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Thank you so much to each and every one of you who donated so generously towards our legal challenge! We are so grateful to everyone, but especially Frank and Saralee O'Reilly, who matched $5,000 in donations with their own money this month, as well as the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (DWBIA), who contributed a further $5,000.

Thanks to you all, we have raised over $40,000 in less than two months. Please keep sharing the link to our GoFundMe campaign -- this LPAT hearing is costly -- however, as we saw at this week's Case Management Conference, we have excellent legal representation, and for that, we are grateful too.

It is so important to keep up the momentum on our fundraising campaign, as well as our central message: Hospitals belong where people live!

Philippa von Ziegenweidt
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Thank you for helping us reach this phenomenal $20,000 milestone in our fundraising campaign!

Hospitals belong where people live. It's that simple.
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Thank you! Please continue to share and support and help us reach our goal!

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$62,537 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 391 people in 6 months
Created February 2, 2019
Fundraising Team
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