CAMPP outlines issues as first day of mega-hospital hearings conclude

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) hearing continued Tuesday looking into the decision to locate the region's mega-hospital on County Road 42, near the Windsor Airport.

The City of Windsor and Citizens for an Accountable Mega-hospital Planning Process (CAMPP) have been at odds over over the mega-hospital's planned location, culminating in the LPAT that's once again underway this week in Windsor council chambers. 

The LPAT was put on hold in July after neither the City nor CAMPP submitted an agreed statement of facts or consolidated issues list when requested. 

In August, the tribunal directed CAMPP to focus its list of issues, narrowing the policies under appeal. 

Motion dismissed — 'no breach of privilege'

As Tuesday's hearing began, CAMPP put forth a motion to recuse the person overseeing the tribunal, with lawyer Eric Gillespie saying they have a bias. 

According to Gillespie, CAMPP was worried their opinions would be held against them throughout the proceedings, alleging that the city tried to "influence bias" against the group. 

The city's lawyer, Jennifer King, said CAMPP never brought up the idea of bias before, adding that the group had multiple opportunities to stop the agreed statement of facts from going to the tribunal, but instead waited to express their concerns at the hearing. 

"Mr. Gillespie, CAMPP, did not bring a proper motion. In my 12 years of practice, I have never encountered such deficient motion materials," said King about documents provided by CAMPP. 

After a more-than-an-hour-long recess, the adjudicator dismissed the motion, adding that they will not allow the hearing to be delayed any longer. 

CAMPP lists lack of Aboriginal consultation among issues

Once the LPAT hearing resumed, CAMPP was provided time to present their submission, which outlined more than 20 issues.

The group reiterated its support for the mega-hospital itself, clarifying their concerns are with the hospital's proposed location.

In addition to raising concerns regarding the cost of the project, as well as concerns that Indigenous communities in the region hadn't been adequately consulted regarding the mega-hospital's proposed location.

Everybody will have their fair opportunity to present their case to the tribunal - Eric Gillespie, CAMPP lawyer

In an interview with reporters following the conclusion of the day's hearings, Gillespie said that emails had been sent to local Aboriginal communities, but "there was no response."

"With all due respect certainly to our client and probably to many other people, that does not sound like adequate consultation," Gillespie said.

The tribunal is set to hear from City of Windsor and mega-hospital representatives, as the hearing enters its second day on Wednesday. 

Gillespie said CAMPP and the project's developer will have an opportunity to respond to those statements. 

"Everybody will have their fair opportunity to present their case to the tribunal," he said.