Another scathing email to council

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Angry responseHere is the next scathing email from local businessman and developer Tom Vincent, sent to council following the debacle of Monday night’s ongoing effort by The Block to sabotage the hospital’s redevelopment. This is not the first time The Block have been severely chastised by the community over this issue.

To properly understand the context, you may want to read my previous posts about the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital’s redevelopment plans. But here’s a synopsis:

As I’ve written in the past, The Block opposes the planned redevelopment on Poplar Sideroad. The Block look for every opportunity to sabotage the plan, hoping to force the hospital to stay on its current site. That won’t happen, but as a result of The Block’s meddling, the Ministry of Health is likely to approve its move to Wasaga Beach where everyone seems to approve of the redevelopment. But perhaps this has been The Block’s intention all along.

On Monday, under the tissue-thin guise of self-righteous “due diligence”, The Block voted to spend $30,000 of your money to do a redundant “peer review” of the hospital documents. This is despite receiving just such a third-party peer review from the hospital, a few days earlier. The Block hopes to be able to present the Ministry of Health with some negative findings in an October meeting, which will scupper the move to Poplar Sideroad. And it may, but only to move it out of town.

In doing this, The Block have angered and alienated a huge portion of the town’s medical professionals (84% of them support the proposed site), our municipal neighbours, the hospital board and its facility committee, and thousands of residents. All for the sake of pleasing their small troupe of angry followers who oppose the move.

Here’s what Tom Vincent wrote:

Dear Council:
First of all I would like to thank Mayor Cooper, Kevin Lloyd, Mike Edwards and Deb Doherty for their wisdom, sound judgement and understanding the issues, in regard to spending tax payers funds at this time on a Deloitte Consultant to review the CMGH Submission I. It is too bad that Brian Saunderson, Kathy Jeffrey, Bob Madigan, Tim Fryer and Cam Eccleston displayed their poor judgement at last evenings Council Meeting.

Brian Saunderson made an impassioned plea to Council, that the $30,000 was insignificant in regard to the total amount to be spent on the Hospital Redevelopment and that the ‘Hospital’ had more or less supported the Town to do it’s Due Diligence. Well I guess that Brian used his own interpretation of the Hospital’s August 25 letter to Mayor Cooper which said the following:

‘CGMH is cognizant of the fact that Collingwood Town Council is looking to complete its due diligence on the preferred site so that it can be satisfied on their end that the right location is developed. It is our position, that this type of review is premature and will not produce any results that will strengthen the validity of the report with the Ministry.In further discussions with our consultants, there has been no example of this type of request from any municipality at this early stage or later in the process. Despite this, CGMH is prepared to assist you in achieving your level of comfort. Therefore, if the Town of Collingwood wishes to move forward with a review, we will forward the completed documentation to your chosen peer level consultant. Our consultants at Resource Planning Group and Stantec would be happy to discuss and provide insight on these documents with the chosen agency at your cost.’

Yes the Hospital did say in their letter that they would assist in the ‘Due Diligence’ IF the town wishes to move forward with a review. So the issue I have been trying to understand is why the Town has decided to move ahead with ‘Due Diligence’ at this time when the Hospital obviously indicates that ‘This type of review is premature and will not produce any results that will strengthen the validity of the report with the Ministry’.

To the Councillors that voted ‘YES’ to spending OUR TAX DOLLARS… your timing could not be more wrong and the optics are terrible, to say the least. The Hospital indicates in its August 26 letter that the First Submission Document will be vetted by experts in their field, evaluating all areas of the document, clinical analysis, space tables and the business case for the Hospital Redevelopment.

So my simple question is ‘What do you hope to gain by reviewing information that may or may not be relevant when the Province will return a detailed analysis on the First Submission?’

You will have ample time to review the returned analysis by the Province and as I said in my email below (ed note: posted in my previous blog piece), a more logical approach, would simply be to wait for the Province to revert with their positive or negative recommendations after their evaluation of the first CGMH Submission. If Council doesn’t understand any of the recommendations, they would first discuss their concerns with the Hospital, and then, if there are evaluation issues that need to be addressed, the Council could commission a consultant review and spend our tax payers dollars at that time with proper justification.

In addition, you are hiring a consultant that is an expert in location analysis… Why are you analyzing locations of the hospital before the Province reviews the site suggestions? Furthermore, if the Province is the decision maker on the redevelopment site, as it is spending the bulk of the Funds to develop the Hospital, then what will Council do with the decision on the site? Because many of you prefer one site over the other, if you don’t like the site selection by the Province, are you simply going to protest and derail the possibility of having a new hospital in Collingwood? Is there an underlying motive that I don’t understand with your approval of Due Diligence at this time? (ed note: yes: pandering to their dwindling handful of loyal supporters…)

Your direction with this immediate Due Diligence is flawed business logic and a waste of money. When you have the direction from the Province on the First Submission and if you didn’t understand the response after discussion with the Hospital, that would be the time to discuss a Consultant to assist you.

In my 40 years of business success, I have never seen such unfounded business logic and stupid decision making.

Thomas Vincent.

Collingwood deserves better. Our hospital deserves better. How fast can the 2018 election get here? Not in time to prevent The Block from doing more damage, I’m sorry to say.

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