• Carmen Marie Fabio

Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital site announcement expected


PHOTO COURTESY MUNICIPALITÉ RÉGIONALE DE COMTÉ VAUDREUIL-SOULANGES (MRC-VS)

After immediate vocal protests following the CAQ government’s plans to re-examine the location for the long-awaited Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital project last December, the MRC this week said the exact site will be announced in the very near future.

“We issued a unanimous resolution in December from all the 23 mayors in the MRC,” said Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) Communications Director Simon Richard. “We weren’t willing to negotiate. It was the preferred site.”

As reported by The Journal in December, 2018 the Coalition Avenir Québec was considering moving the hospital to another location, away from the previously announced site on Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes in Vaudreuil-Dorion just southwest of the junction of Highway 30 and Highway 40. Though the site was once zoned agricultural it was determined the terrain was not arable once the topsoil was removed. The location had been announced by the Liberal Government in April, 2016.

The reaction to CAQ announcement was swift with both the MRC-VS and Liberal Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols issuing communiqués. Nichols, who was not invited to a January meeting on the topic, denounced both the decision and the unilateral partisanship under which it was made.

Richard said he’s feeling optimistic that the upcoming site announcement will have a positive outcome.

“They (CAQ) asked to see some documents and we had the impression they really studied the dossier,” he said, outlining all the preliminary studies and zoning changes that had been carried out over more than 10 years.

“It was not a decision made lightly,” he said. “It included study after study involving over 30 sites in the MRC that were profoundly analyzed including scientific studies on many aspects. We were persuaded it was the best site – that’s why we supported it.”

Population in the area is both ageing and growing and the hospital will have to meet the needs of over 200,000 residents in both the Vaudrueil-Soulanges and the Beauharnois-Salaberry-de-Valleyfield MRCs, all of whose hospitals are currently functioning over capacity.

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