Province agrees to Mayor’s request for more time on hospital funding

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 – for immediate release

Province agrees to Mayor’s request for more time on hospital funding

Council has until April 24, 2010 to make its decision on local share plan contribution

March 2, 2010 – For immediate release
The Ministry of Health has amended its project deadlines in response to Mayor Burton’s request for more time for Council to consider Halton Healthcare Services’ request for a $200 million contribution to the local share funding required for the new hospital. The project will retain its place in the provincial funding queue but Council will have more time to get answers and determine funding scenarios. Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn attended last night’s Council meeting to announce the new deadline of April 24, 2010 — the date by which Council must make a commitment to the local share plan funding if the project is to proceed.

“This Council remains committed to securing a new hospital for Oakville, and this extra time will ensure we get the best deal possible for our taxpayers,” Mayor Burton said. “Financial sustainability and enhancing our social environment are both key strategic goals for this Council. We have to work to find a way to achieve both these goals if we are to achieve our vision of making Oakville the most livable town in Canada.”

MPP Flynn’s announcement came at the beginning of Monday night’s Council meeting, which was thereafter devoted to hearing the results of the town’s public consultation process, and hearing from the many delegations present at the meeting who wanted to speak to the issue.

“We respect that public opinion is very split on this issue,” Mayor Burton said. “I think the extra time we have to make our decision will give Council the time to find a solution that bridges the split in public opinion.”

Council heard that all three surveys conducted by the town and Pollara Strategic Insights, an outside research firm, showed that only a slim majority of residents supported increasing property taxes by the amount required to provide a $200 million local share plan contribution to the new hospital.

Craig Worden, senior vice-president of Pollara Strategic Insights, told Council that such polarized results take time to overcome and that the public will likely react negatively if the issue was rushed. Worden also noted that similar studies across the GTA have found an average tax levy amount of $60 to $80 per year to be the ceiling in terms of achieving clear, solid public support. The town’s survey noted that a property tax levy of about $140 a year was required to raise the requested amount of $200 million plus interest.

Council will continue to hear public delegations on the issue on Wednesday March 3, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Read Mayor Burton’s letter to Minister of Health Deborah Matthews outlining the town’s questions regarding funding the new hospital.

For more information the surveys and public consultation, visit Funding a new hospital for Oakville.

For more information on the new Oakville hospital, visit their website.

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For more information:
Jane Courtemanche
Director, Strategy, Policy and Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601 ext. 3038
jcourtemanche@oakville.ca 


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Province agrees to Mayor’s request for more time on hospital funding