• John Jantak

Land acquired for new Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital


PHOTO COURTESY CENTRES DE SANTÉ ET DE SERVICES SOCIAUX (CSSS) VAUDREUIL-SOULANGES

The land acquisition for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital has been finalized following a bumpy legal process involving expropriation, lawsuits, and a change in provincial government.

The long awaited hospital for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region is another step closer to becoming a reality after the provincial government announced it has finally acquired the land needed to build the hospital.

“The CISSS Montérégie-Ouest is delighted with this announcement. The acquisition of the land is an important step towards the construction of the hospital. It is also very significant for the population awaiting its arrival,” said Yves Masse, President and CEO of the organization in a statement.

“A dedicated team from the Montérégie-Ouest has been working actively for more than two years, in collaboration with its partners from the Société québécoise des infrastructures and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux so that the new hospital can accommodate its first patient by 2026 as planned,” Masse added.

Happy everything is on track

Provincial Health Minister Danielle McCann issued a statement saying the government “...is committed to providing all Quebecers with health infrastructures that meet their needs and especially in communities where a significant demographic growth warrants, as is the case for this project.”

Patrick Bousez, Prefect for the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Mayor of Rivière-Beaudette, was also pleased with the announcement. “We’re happy to see the project is moving forward and that everything is on track,” he said.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

Land expropriation

For Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Marie-Claude Nichols, the Coalition Avenir Québec’s (CAQ) government’s land acquisition announcement is just a continuation of the process that was begun by the former Liberal provincial government when it expropriated the land in July 2018.

Nichols said that after the land was expropriated, the landowners launched legal proceedings against the provincial government because they weren’t satisfied with the financial compensation package that was offered. She has worked on the hospital dossier since 2009 when she was mayor of Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot.

Controversial decision

This isn’t the first time that controversy has erupted regarding the site of the new hospital. Regional mayors opposed a proposal made in late 2018 by the CAQ government to move the hospital from its current location on Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes near the Highway 20-30-40 corridor to another unspecified location.

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon said at the time that the city had already started preliminary infrastructure work on the original site and that it was the best location within the MRC because of its easy accessibility next to the major highways. The site was also chosen for expropriation because the land isn’t deemed arable.

Construction to begin in 2022

After considering six other locations, Health Minister McCann announced in late January that the government reconsidered its decision to move the hospital saying the original site was the best spot to build the 404-bed hospital. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and the hospital is expected to be completed by 2026.

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