The actions of The Block and the town’s administration have resulted in the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital losing its chance for redevelopment. The province didn’t include funding for the local proposal in its budget. The next opportunity for such funding will be at least a decade away, if one ever comes along.
If any of these people have even a shred of decency, of honour, they will all resign immediately. If any of these people felt even a twinge of shame for misleading the community while they pursued their own personal – and very destructive – agendas, they would resign.
There is a flaccid story about this appalling situation in the Collingwood Connection. In it, the hospital CEO blames the failure on a “lack of alignment” between the town and the hospital board. That’s his polite way of saying – as was made abundantly clear at two public meetings – the Block and the administration continued to put up roadblocks and red tape to prevent the hospital from moving to its preferred site.
Why wasn’t the mayor asked to comment in the newspaper article? She speaks for the town, not the interim CAO. Just more yellow journalism.
And as expected our interim CAO didn’t take responsibility, but expressed “surprise” that the hospital’s CEO would suggest the two were not aligned. No one who watched or attended either of those council meetings where the hospital board was confronted, grilled like felons, shown great disrespect would be “surprised” at this claim of non-alignment. Their only surprise might be at the cautious, reserved language the CEO used in describing this debacle.
They, and they alone, killed the dream.
And right after he received the news, the hospital CEO quit his job. Coincidence? After The Block killed his dream project? I don’t think so either.
As the Connection notes;
Brown also pointed to a statement by municipal lawyer John Mascarin, in which he said the town doing a peer review was not “highly unusual, premature and prejudicial.”
Mascarin was a sole-sourced and very highly-paid lawyer from a firm other than the town’s official law firm, hired (at taxpayer expense) solely to buttress the administration’s arguments to oppose the redevelopment. Mascarin was also the lawyer who recommended Brown for the interim CAO position to the former council, so his credibility doesn’t stand very high for me. Besides, Mascarin is a lawyer, not a planner.
So who wasn’t aligned? The medical staff were all on board, the three regional municipalities who share the hospital’s services were on board, the regional health services were on board, and the vast majority of residents who got involved and engaged, or responded to surveys were on board (aside from the teeny handful of troll-like Block supporters who oppose every change in town). The ONLY ones opposed were seven members of Collingwood Council and the interim CAO (and perhaps one large property developer who owns almost all the land around the current hospital site and has bids in on the rest).
And those who opposed it screwed up our chances at funding a new, larger, much-needed hospital. I have been told by a reliable source that one of this group made a statement to hospital officials last fall that, “If you attempt to move the hospital from its current location we will mess up the process.” That was stated as “we” not “I.” And so they all did.
Where is the public outrage? The protests? The angry letters to the editor? The calls for police investigations?
There isn’t a single thing The Block have done that has been positive this term. Nothing they have done that has been for the good of the community. Everything they have touched – the airport, the hospital, the shared services agreement, the electrical utility, the water utility – they have destroyed. Every good relationship this town has had – with partners, with staff, with neighbours, with regional municipalities, with developers, with the county, with the province – they have turned toxic. They have raised taxes three years in a row and given themselves a raise each time. The stench of entitlement is overpowering.
This is not a government: it is a wrecking ball; an unmitigated disaster for Collingwood. The Block should all resign. That is the only way they can prove they are not thoroughly corrupt, unethical, dishonest and the cause of all these disasters.
But you and I know they will not. They will blame others, point fingers at everyone else, shuck and jive. They never take responsibility. They will scurry behind closed doors to whine about how unfair everyone else is. They will buy more sole-sourced lawyers and consultants to defend their intransigence (at a cost to the taxpayer, of course).
Staying at the table they will prove everything I have said about them.
The public knows the truth (or most of it: there are still unanswered questions about secret meetings with a developer who bought up all the property surrounding the hospital…).
This group are to blame, no one else. Never let them forget it. They killed our hospital. They must resign. Now.
Collingwood deserves better.