CORNWALL Ontario – When politics take over principles we all lose. Today it was announced that the Cornwall General Hospital site was sold to developers in Ottawa for $2M. We have not confirmed that number as the Hospital has not sent us a release.
Sadly politics doomed a much needed facility for our community. The uses for this wonderful building could be many; and the new owners will be put it to good use, but will it help Cornwall and the people of Cornwall who donated so much and ultimately paid the bill?
Through a myriad of levels of government the hospital’s fate was sealed. A last minute attempt by Mark A MacDonald was an utter failure as Mr. MacDonald appeared to be more concerned in using the hospital to further his own political aspirations than to actually saving the facility as one supporter after another drifted away due to a lack of organization and results.
The first meeting to save the hospital drew over 100 people including our MPP (who also defeated Mr. MacDonald) and a few city Councilors. Subsequently poorly planned and notified meetings seemed to be focused on the mythical Concerned Citizens Coalition headed by Mr. MacDonald and a high school student.
Mayor Kilger responded to Mr. MacDonald’s efforts (they ran against each other in the last election) by calling, along with council, to create a committee that we have yet to see record of or hear mention of ever meeting.
The local initiative connected to Dr. Dany Tombler also was said to have fallen through while the entire process was shrouded in unnecessary darkness. After all; it is a public facility.
While many people supported saving the hospital for the community the simple fact is that people did not work together or come together. The big stake holders lay down after Mayor Kilger stated he was not convinced saving the hospital was a good idea. (compared to chem tanks on the harbour front?)
As Chantal Leclerc mentions in the video below there is no place for extra long term beds right now in the community other than the Cornwall General facility.
The big questions coming down the road is who pushed the buttons and why? How was Cornwall helped by dumping this facility?
At the end of the day is this simply another example of our community being let down by poor leadership? Will the $2 million dollars the hospital receives for this facility even compare to the cost of having to build in the future? I think not.
What do you think Cornwall? You can post your comments below.