• John Jantak

CAQ announces Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital will be built on originally chosen site

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges Prefect and Mayor of Rivière-Beaudette Patrick Bousez announced during a press conference at MRC headquarters that the provincial CAQ government has decided to build the much anticipated hospital on the original site that was chosen by the former Liberal government.

In a stunning reversal, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) provincial government announced today, February 1, the long-awaited Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital will be built on the same site that had originally been chosen by the former Liberal government.

Health and Social Services Minister Danielle McCann issued a statement this afternoon that confirms the site originally selected on Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes in Vaudreuil-Dorion near the Highway 20-30-40 corridor will be maintained. Construction work is expected to begin by 2022 and the hospital should be completed by 2026.

Change of heart

The change of heart comes six weeks after the CAQ suddenly announced just 10 days before Christmas their unexpected decision to relocate the hospital to other possible sites. The news was welcomed by representatives of the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges who held a press conference late this afternoon at their headquarters applauding the government’s decision.

MRC Prefect Patrick Bousez, who's also mayor of Riviere-Beaudette, said the mayors of the 23 municipalities that comprise the MRC and other officials worked diligently to persuade government representatives during a recent meeting that the original site was the best location for the hospital.

‘Couldn’t be happier’

“I couldn’t be happier,” Bousez told The Journal who explained part of the process that swayed the government to accept the original site. “They showed us a few sites where the hospital could have been located. We went back to the beginning and explained all the restrictions that were imposed on these locations compared to the one that was chosen by the MRC,” he said.

“We already examined all the other sites when we began the studies 10 years ago. The MRC, the city of Vaudreuil-Dorion, the mayors of every municipality in the region, the health and social service centre, the former provincial health ministry and government were all behind this site. And now the current government has chosen the best site available,” Bousez added.

‘It’s official’

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon was thrilled with the announcement and congratulated the team of delegates who persuaded the government to reconsider their decision to relocate the hospital. “I’m very happy. We’ve worked hard on this project and now it’s official. The hospital will be on the same land that was chosen,” said Pilon.

“When we met with their representatives on January 6, they had some questions and we answered all of them. Now I know we gave the right answers because they came back to the original land so it proved our point that this is the best site. When you can make a politician go back on their decision it’s a good sign because it’s usually very difficult to get them to change their mind,” said Pilon

“We did a great job and obviously they understand the same thing we understand. That if they want to have the hospital as soon as possible, the best thing to do is to go with the land where all the studies have been done,” Pilon added.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil CAQ MNA Marilyne Picard at a press conference at MRC headquarters said it was ‘super great news’ that the CAQ government has decided to build the much anticipated hospital on the original site that was chosen by the former Liberal government.

Provincial MNAs' reaction

Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Marie-Claude Nichols said the government made the right choice. “It’s really good news. This was the only sensible decision they could have made. I’m very happy with their final decision. There is no other suitable land or location in Vaudreuil,” Nichols told The Journal during a telephone interview from the National Assembly in Quebec City.

Soulanges CAQ MNA Marilyne Picard was at the press conference. She said the hospital announcement was ‘super great news.’

“The citizens have been waiting for this announcement for a long time. We decided this was the best place for the hospital because of all the infrastructure that’s already in place. Land that won’t be used for the hospital will be converted into a wonderful garden and green space,” said Picard.

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