• John Jantak

MRC is ‘stunned’ to learn Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital will not be built on current chosen site

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/MRC VAUDREUIL-SOULANGES

Architectural rendering of the regional hospital promised by the Liberal Government that reportedly will no longer be built on its originally proposed site.

The long-awaited Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital has hit another snag. The MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges confirmed in a press release late this afternoon they are ‘stunned’ to learn the majority Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has ‘backed down’ and the hospital will not be built on its chosen site in Vaudreuil-Dorion. The Journal broke the story early this afternoon, December 14, after a reliable source close to the project who asked to remain anonymous said it was cancelled. Instead, another as yet undetermined site is expected to be announced by provincial government officials at a later date. The hospital, which has been proposed since 2010, was supposed to have been built on a large piece of agricultural land north of Boulevard de la Cité des Jeunes, just west of Highway 30. The decision to scrap the current site was made because it would have been built on protected agricultural land, according to the source.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

From left to right – Yves Masse, Director General and President of the CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest; Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon; Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Marie-Claude Nichols; MRC Prefect and Rivière-Beaudette Mayor Patrick Bousez; Soulanges Liberal MNA Lucie Charlebois, and provincial Health and Social Services Minister Gaétan Barrette, at a press conference to announce the expropriation of 25 acres of farmland in Vaudreuil-Dorion for the site of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital on July 18.

The former Liberal government was planning to expropriate 25 acres of farmland which was opposed by area farmers. The site was also chosen because of its close proximity to the Highway 20-30-40 autoroute corridor and its central location to the several nearby municipalities including St. Lazare, Hudson, Pincourt, L’Île Perrot, Notre Dame de l’île Perrot, and Terrasse Vaudreuil. The hospital site was announced by former Liberal Health Minister Gaétan Barrette and former Soulanges Liberal MNA Lucie Charlebois during a press conference at the CLSC in Vaudreuil-Dorion in mid-July, two-and-a-half months before the provincial election that brought Premier Legault and the CAQ into power on October 1. Health Minister Danielle McCann even confirmed in a letter to MRC Prefect and Mayor of Rivière-Beaudette Patrick Bousez dated October 31 that she approved the current site although the layout plans required modifications. “I am speechless in the face of this announcement. I am looking forward to explanations of our (Soulanges CAQ) MNA, Marilyne Picard, and her government regarding their promises to speed up the process. I would also like to know what Premier François Legault thinks about this. He made a commitment to proceed with this project as quickly as possible,” said Bousez. It is still uncertain where the proposed 404-bed hospital will be re-located.

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