Milton Hospital Expansion Safe From Provincial Budget Cuts

Ontario budget won’t affect MDH

Christina Commisso, Milton Canadian Champion

Group say they’ll keep advocating for the MDH expansion until it’s complete. GRAHAM PAINE/Metroland Media Group

The Milton hospital expansion is still a go.

Following media reports last week that new hospital projects announced prior to the provincial election would be put on the chopping block in today’s budget, members of the Friends of Milton Hospital team were relieved to learn that the Milton District Hospital (MDH) expansion is safe and sound.

Speaking to the Champion from Queen’s Park, Councillor Mike Cluett said MDH isn’t one of the four hospital projects that have been cancelled in Ontario’s 2012 budget.

“Halton Healthcare Services is working on a plan for the expansion and has never stopped with the planning from what we’ve heard,” said Cluett.

He said after Finance Minister Dwight Duncan delivered his budget speech, a thumbs up from Halton MPP Ted Chudleigh signaled the much needed local expansion was on track.

Cluett attended the budget presentation with fellow Friends of Milton Hospital member Samantha Attew.

“We were ready with pitch forks,” said Attew, who said she was elated to learn the plan to triple MDH is moving ahead.

“I look forward to putting this thing in the ground,” she said from Queen’s Park. “You cannot play with health care. It’s something every Canadian is entitled to. It’s not a political thing.”

She continued, “I’m proud to be part of Milton and proud of Ted (Chudleigh).”

Cluett said the Friends of Milton Hospital will continue to advocate for the expansion until construction is complete — which was previously estimated for 2015 or 2016. “I give credit to the people of Milton for speaking their mind and letting the government know that we’re not backing down.”

Last night, Milton council unanimously passed a motion that reaffirmed the Town’s support for MDH and their willingness to help with the 10 per cent local contribution needed for the construction.

Milton Town Council Meeting March 26 2012

The next meeting of Milton Town Council is on Monday March 26, 2012 starting at 7pm at Milton Town Hall.

The governing body of the Town of Milton is Town Council, consisting of the Mayor and 10 Councillors who represent Milton’s eight wards.  Milton residents elect members of Council for a four-year term of office.  You can find a link to watch the Town Council meetings here.  The meetings are also broadcast on TV Cogeco (Channel 14).

Town Council deals with:

  • Matters requiring policy direction
  • By-laws or by-law amendments
  • Responses or actions to pertinent issues

Council also makes decisions on the recommendations of Milton’s two Standing Committees of Council:

  • Administration & Planning Committee
  • Community Services Committee

The link to the agenda can be found here.

Some of the highlites in the agenda are as follows:

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me mike@mikecluett.ca You can also go to the Watch Online link on my page to view from the comfort of your home.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Remember this? I do!

Deb Matthews: “…the green light… the go ahead… I want to be very clear. This money has been allocated. It is in our fiscal plan. It has gone through the treasury board. All of the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. This money is part of our infrastructre plan….this money is part of that plan.”

Do you remember this day? I do…and over 100,000 Miltonians do as well. Here is a press release from MPP Ted Chudleigh.

www.tedchudleigh.com

MILTON DISTRICT HOSPITAL EXPANSION: A PROMISE THAT MUST BE KEPT
Chudleigh urges the people of Milton to remain vigilant as the 2012 budget nears

(Milton) – With the tabling of the 2012 Ontario Budget less than a week away, and the Minister of Finance promising massive infrastructure cuts, Halton MPP Ted Chudleigh today urged the people of Milton to keep their voices strong to ensure the expansion of the Milton District Hospital is completed on time.

“All of us were thrilled when the Minister finally promised the hospital would be expanded by 2016. But we can’t kid ourselves. With the Liberals’ spending problem hitting us hard, the long list of broken Liberal promises and with talk of hospital projects being axed in the upcoming budget we need to keep our voices strong,” said Chudleigh.

“Was this just another Liberal lie to get elected?” asked Chudleigh

The PC Government began the project to expand the Milton hospital in 2001. In 2003, soon after they were elected, the McGuinty Liberals cancelled the expansion.

Subsequently, for close to a decade, the people of Milton worked diligently to explain to the Liberals the necessity of expanding the hospital. A booming population and undersized hospital were not acceptable and had begun to put the heath of their families at risk.

On August 25, 2011 the Liberal Minister of Health and Long Term Care finally heard the Town’s plea and promised the province would fund the hospital’s expansion, “I want to be very clear this money has been allocated. It is in our fiscal plan. It has gone through our treasury board. All of the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed,” she said.

“Was Milton lied to?” asked Chudleigh “I guess only time will tell.”

Indeed, noting that the announcement to expand Milton District Hospital occurred just before the provincial election, Chudleigh questioned if the McGuinty Liberals ever intended to keep their promise to expand the hospital by 2016.

“The Minister stood in the Milton hospital, with tears in her eyes, and promised the hospital would be expanded by 2016,” said Chudleigh. “If this was an election ploy it is unforgivable.”

Year End Interview With Mayor Gord Krantz

Pan Am velodrome big issue going into new year

Mayor hopes to see funding commitment for indoor cycling track

From Christina Commisso, Milton Canadian Champion

Mayor Gord Krantz says he has learned more about velodromes in the latter part of 2011 than in his whole life.

That learning curve is expected to continue into this year, as the velodrome is one of many Milton projects on the agenda for 2012.

The long-serving Milton mayor told the Champion in a recent interview that he hopes to see a funding commitment for the indoor cycling track this year — one of his many New Year’s wishes.

“This is a huge international sport and it’s growing. There will be 20 to 25 international meets in Canada each year, and they could happen right here,” he said.

Tourism boom could erupt

The 74-year-old mayor said if the velodrome business plan is approved by Milton council and construction is given a green light, he envisions a hotel or two popping up in the immediate area and a tourism boom for the town. “Tourism is a huge industry in Canada, and we’re looking for our piece of that industry.”

The velodrome is closely tied to the Milton Education Village (MEV). The 150-acre parcel of land at Derry and Tremaine roads will serve as home to the cycling track and to a Laurier University satellite campus if Milton gets its way.

Krantz said he was hoping to see more movement on the MEV campus in 2011, “but I’m far from being naïve,” he said.

“The Province has a cash crunch issue…I can’t blame them for being a little cautious,” adding that he’d like to see the funding come through in the next couple of years.

“Where else are they going to get 150 acres of free land? The Province is roughly 60,000 (post-secondary) spaces short and here we are ready and able and willing to help.”

Mayor wishes for ground-breaking

The mayor’s final wish for the new year is a ground-breaking for the Milton District Hospital expansion, a long-awaited promise that came to fruition this past summer.

As for predictions for 2012, the mayor said one thing will be inevitable in Milton — traffic.

“I’ll apologize for that in advance,” said Krantz, pointing to the Main Street grade separation just east of Ontario Street. “It’s going to cause a disruption and I’ll be the first one to acknowledge that.”

Asked why the Town didn’t plan the construction pre-population boom when the traffic impact would be less intense, Krantz said there was simply no way to fund the $50 million, four-year project.

“Development charges are paying for a huge portion of the project,” he said.

Krantz said while Milton is far-removed from the financial crises taking place around the globe, he believes the Town could feel some of the pinch.

“The federal and provincial governments can have an indirect impact,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if certain government services are downloaded to the municipal level. 

 

Milton Haunted House a HUGE Success

This past weekend at the Milton Mall was another edition of the Milton Haunted House.  Hundreds of children, young and old, made their way through a maze of ghouls n ghosts with surprises around every corner.

The Haunted House originated from Ward 7 Councillor Rick Di Lorenzo’s garage in Hawthorne Village.  People used to come from all over town to visit his home during Halloween to take part in his ghoulish creation.  Just last year, Rick along with others held this event at the Pirate Festival and raised over $5,700 for Milton District Hospital Foundation.

This years goal was $10,000 and even though the donations are still being counted, we are confident we either hit or surpassed our goal.  On behalf of the team (which included a LOT of people) I want to thank Miltonians for their generosity.  Our donation boxes were filled to the brim over the course of the two days and we were blown away by the enthusiam of the residents of our town.

To Rick and his even more enthusiastic mother 🙂 , Zeeshan, Jennifer, Kim, Ed, and the MANY volunteers, actors, face painters, greeters, raffle ticket sellers and everyone who took part in the event….THANK YOU!

Another big THANK YOU goes to the sponsors of the event who helped us out.  MinMaxx Realty, Milton Canadian Champion, Mattamy Homes, SST Group, Milton Nail Spa and of course without the help and space from Milton Mall, this couldnt have happened.

Taking Miranda around trick or treating last night I had the chance to hear directly from people who did come to the haunted house and the reviews were fantastic and they cant wait for next year.  There are a bunch of volunteers who are pretty tired and who also have the fun task of taking down the scary structure in the mall but Im sure theyll be ready to go for next year.

I was happy to help out this weekend and it was great to see all the smiling faces and the kids who came back more than once to get the full effects of the haunted house.  Some didnt make it through all the way and had to turn back but Im sure next year they will be back again.

Thanks again to Rick for the concept of the haunted house and thanks to his wife Nicole who is expecting their second child any day now.  Thanks for letting Rick do this.

We will see you next year.  Stay tuned for the final total … all in support of the Milton District Hospital Foundation.  Our community needs this hospital expanded and the community showed just how much this weekend.  Thank you!