Here is the long awaited response from Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli via a letter to the editor in the Milton Canadian Champion.
As the readers of my website will know, I have been demanding answers from the provincial level of government in Ontario to find out when Milton District Hospital will be expanded. Over the last several years many groups of citizens, levels of government and Halton Healthcare services has been trying to convince the LHIN’s and the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Premier of Ontario that Milton needs to have a hospital expansion.
The statistics are endless in our arguement that something needs to have been done a long time ago and must happen now. Halton Healthcare Services has made many presentations to council over the last while outlining the drastic need for expansion in a hospital that is designed for a population of 30,000 while Milton now is approaching 100,000.
The Friends of Milton Hospital collected over 35,000 signatures on post cards a couple of years back and delivered them to the Health Ministers office. Recently the Grow Milton Hospital Campaign submitted a petition to Queens Park with over 6,000 signatures collected in a matter of weeks.
The Provincial government promised the over 95 plus municipalities who are in similar, if not worse situations that Milton is in a detailed 10 year capital project list after the budget this past spring. The list was “coming soon” and I along with other Miltonians received tweets from the Premier’s press secretary saying the LHIN”s and the Ministry were “working on it” and something would be coming soon.
At the end of June, after months of promises, the provincial government released the Building Together plan outlining their priorities. The problem is there was no detail included. The town of Milton, the Region of Halton and for that matter every municipality has to detail their capital plans, with lists of projects, time lines, prices and how we’re going to pay for it. Thats a requirement the Provincial Government has for municipalities. We didn’t get a plan. We got promises.
You cant blame myself and the other municipal leaders in this town for being disappointed and frustrated. This has been an ongoing issue for many years and I for one am puzzled at the lack of committment the Province has for healthcare in Ontario.
The people of Milton are frustrated. You only have to bring up the hospital in conversation and blood pressures around the room begin to rise. At last nights town hall meeting when we discussed the hospital expansion levy and the potential expansion of MDH, residents were confused as to why nothing was being done for so long and why we as a municipality can’t do anything to speed it up.
All we are looking for Minister Chiarelli, Minister Matthews & Premier McGuinty is the green light. We are ready to go with the plan that’s needed to help improve the delivery of health care services in Milton. The hospital and the doctors and nurses within are stretched to the limit and even though they haven’t hit the breaking point…its getting close. The Town of Milton would like to put a plan into place so that we can fund our portion of the hospital expansion. We’re ready to consult with them to find the best solution possible for that funding. We are at the starting line…waiting for the green light.
The Town of Milton along with the Region of Halton is trying to build a community where people can live, learn, work and play. We want families to chose Milton for its great amenities, the schools, the restaurants, the places to work and learn at our education village and to be able to have a medical facility that can handle the current and future health care needs of its residents.
The time is now! Grow Milton Hospital!
Ontario Government committed to Milton
Re: June 30 story entitled ‘Councillors disappointed with infrastructure plan.’
Milton councillors criticized Building Together, Ontario’s first ever long-term infrastructure plan, for a perceived lack of detail.
They’re correct to point out that our government must tackle the province’s infrastructure deficit. Over the last six years, the Ontario government has invested an average of $10 billion annually in infrastructure.
Our commitment to schools, hospitals and roads is clear in Halton and across Ontario. Ontario’s infrastructure investments since 2003 total $62 billion, creating 600,000 jobs — including 620 jobs in Milton. We have committed $35 billion for the first three years of Building Together to continue our work.
Needless to say, we mean business.
The Dalton McGuinty government’s record is the best indication of what we’ll do for Milton’s infrastructure. Milton is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country. That’s why we have invested more than $34 million in dozens of infrastructure projects since 2003, including the Milton Centre for the Arts, Milton Sports Centre expansion and the widening of Tremaine Road.
We recognize the need to plan for future growth as well. That’s why we have provided more than $4 million in growth funding to Halton Healthcare Services, and a $1.5 million planning and design grant to Milton District Hospital to help further develop its expansion proposal.
The McGuinty government is also helping municipalities build their own infrastructure by uploading municipal services. When uploading is fully implemented in 2018, Halton Region will save an estimated $22.5 million per year.
Since 2004, the McGuinty government has also transferred $2.4 million to Milton for public transit funding (formerly known as gas tax revenue). We will continue to ensure Milton gets its fair share.
Through Premier McGuinty’s mandate, our government has built, expanded, and modernized hospitals, schools, community centres and public transit across the province — creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and making a positive difference for Ontarians. Building Together is a commitment and strategic plan to continue these investments in Milton and across Ontario.
Bob Chiarelli, Infrastructure Minister, Government of Ontario