Next week will be my first AMO (Associations of Municipalities of Ontario)Conference. Its going to be held in London this year and goes from Sunday August 21st to Wednesday the 24th.
The conference is designed for municipal leaders from all over the province to meet and discuss issues and share knowledge and resources to help come up with solutions to problems. There’s going to be roughly 1600 politicians running around London (sounds scary doesn’t it 🙂 ) for those days and I’m personally looking forward to a number of events that will be happening over the course of the conference.
Most importantly to me is some of the meetings that have been scheduled with provincial representatives by Regional Chair Gary Carr and ministers in the Province of Ontario. I along with other Milton & Halton councillors will be attending these meetings. This will provide us with an opportunity to speak directly with those ministers, mainly the Minister of Health Deb Matthews and Minister of Infrastructure Bob Chiarelli. If those names sound familiar, you must have been reading my blog on a regular basis.
These ministers are two of the key decision makers when it comes to getting a green light for the Milton Hospital expansion. There have been meetings in the past, of course with no firm date or timeframe given to us, but hopefully we can “twist their arms” slightly in getting something done. It is no secret in Milton that the expansion of the Milton District Hospital is “THE” issue in town.
Week after week, organization after organization holds events in support of MDHF and the importance of supporting our local hospital. Thousands of dollars has been raised for the foundation and even more will come with future events.
Regional Councillor Colin Best wrote a letter to the ministers via the Milton Canadian Champion recently outlining our concerns once again with the lack of detail in their latest “capital project projections”
If there is one issue that everyone in Milton can unite behind its the hospital. We as elected officials in Milton have to keep up the pressure. Its been well documented on my site about the efforts of the Friends of Milton Hospital a few years ago and most recently the Grow Milton Hospital campaign and the numbers of signatures that have been collected and delivered to the Province of Ontario letting our voices be heard that we need that expansion to start now.
Unofficially the Town of Milton is over 90,000 in population with 100,000 in our sights. The hospital continues to be under intense pressure to be able to deliver the health care services that Milton needs. Beds are in short number, the nurses and doctors are doing their best but without the facilities needed to serve a growing population, it runs the risk of a disaster happening.
I’m hoping at this meeting, myself along with other Milton and Halton councillors can convince these provincial ministers (it IS a provincial election year mind you) to get off the fence and approve the expansion of Milton’s hospital. There will also be opportunities to speak with the provincial party leaders as well during this conference (Dalton Mcguinty, Tim Hudak, Andrea Horvath) and rest assure I will be “badgering” them as well over the course of the four days.
If you have any comments or questions you would like me to pass on to the Health Minister and Minister of Infrastructure, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will ask them directly when we meet with them.