• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Pilon welcomes regional hospital announcement


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon said he was pleased by the announcement made by provincial health minister Gaétan Barrette that the government has put a reserve on a parcel of land for the construction of a new hospital for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region at the junction of Highway 30 and Boulevard Cité-des-Jeunes.

The announcement made on Monday by provincial Health and Social Services Minister Gaétan Barrette regarding the eventual construction of a new hospital for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region was welcomed by Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon during the bi-monthly council meeting on April 4.

“It’s very good news,” said Pilon who along with other Vaudreuil-Soulanges mayors have been advocating for a hospital for the past eight years to serve the needs of the 147,000 residents that live in the region.

While the news was welcomed by many residents who have also been waiting patiently for the hospital, Pilon said he noticed a sense of skepticism among some people who posted comments on social media as to whether the project will actually happen despite the announcement.

Pilon said the former provincial Minister of Health and Social Services Yves Bolduc made a similar pronouncement several years ago that the Liberal government under then-Premier Jean Charest would commit to building a regional hospital, but it never materialized.

PHOTO COURTESY MINISTÈRE DE LA SANTÉ ET DES SERVICES SOCIAUX

The skepticism may be due partially due to similar announcements made over the years. “People are at the point where if they don’t see a shovel in the ground and actual work taking place that it’s not going to happen,” Pilon told Your Local Journal. “People feel they’ve been lied to, too many times.”

Pilon added that when you consider the fact that it’ll be at least another five to six years before the hospital is completed, it may further cloud people’s perceptions about how long the construction process will take.

“You can imagine what people will be thinking when they drive by the site three years from now and still see an empty field,” said Pilon. “People have to understand that it’s a long process when it comes to having a hospital.”

But with Barrette’s announcement, Pilon said he feels the project will be actually realized especially because the province has put a reserve on the land where the hospital will be located. “I believe his word,” said Pilon. “We have to see actual work begin within the next three years for the project to be completed in five to six years. I’m looking forward to 2019.

“With the hospital set to open within the current timeframe, construction would have to begin by 2019,” Pilon added. “It takes more than one year to build a hospital, to fill it will personnel, to put in all the beds, furniture and medical equipment. I would think that in three years we should at least see the start of construction.”

Pilon said the rationale for locating the hospital on Boulevard Cité-des-Jeunes at Highway 30 is because the transportation infrastructure is already in place and it will provide easy access to the new facility from Highways 20 and 40 and other secondary roads in the region.

“This will be a big help,” said Pilon. He added that a stretch of Boulevard Cité-des-Jeunes from the junction with Highway 30 will have to be expanded from two lanes to four lanes to at least Chemin St. Louis to provide easier access to the facility for ambulances and to accommodate the expected increase in traffic as development in the area continues.

Pilon also thanked regional provincial Soulanges Liberal MNA Lucie Charlebois, Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Marie-Claude Nichols, and former Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Yvon Marcoux for their continuous work over the years in support of a regional hospital.

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