August 23, 2011
Ontario to replace Peel Memorial hospital in Brampton
The William Osler Health System plans to demolish Peel Memorial Hospital and build a new facility in its current Brampton location with construction firms being invited to bid on the new project in early 2013.
The new hospital will be called the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness. Ontario Health and Long-term Care Minister Deb Matthews said during the project’s unveiling Tuesday that the contract will be a design-build-finance-maintain arrangement, using the alternative financing and procurement (AFP) model the province has used for several major infrastructure projects.
“We have had extremely good luck in the province with this model,” she said. “We know that we can move forward on these projects and have a building that will be maintained for decades to come.”
The current hospital was closed in 2007 and sits empty near the intersection of Main and Queen Streets in Brampton, about 40 kilometres northwest of downtown Toronto. Originally the plan was to renovate the existing hospital but since then the province decided to build a new one. Zeidler Partnership Architects was hired in 2009 to make a conceptual rendering.
Matthew Anderson, chief executive officer of the William Osler Health System, said more design work is needed for the new hospital. “We had to do a conceptual design in order for the (provincial funding) approval to happen, but through the next phase and before we put the documents out for tendering, we have to finalize what they would look like,” he said in an interview with the Daily Commercial News after the conference.
This is why the RFP will not go out until 2013, he said, adding the square footage has yet to be determined.
“Estimates have been made based on the volume of people they expect through the site and the types of services they expect,” he said.
Anderson added the province will pay 90 per cent of the total cost, with the community picking up the other 10 per cent.
Matthews said the province has included the cost of the hospital in its current fiscal plan.
“Internally, we had to put in a number so we could include it in our budget,” she told reporters during a scrum after the formal unveiling. “But in order to get the best possible price, we need to be quiet about what that number is because we want to get the best value for money.”
Dignitaries present at the conference included three members of provincial parliament: Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey, who represents Brampton-Springdale; Amrit Mangat of Mississauga-Brampton South; and Kuldip Kular of Bramalea-Gore-Malton.
Also present was Brampton native Bill Davis, 82, who served as Ontario’s Progressive Conservative premier from 1971 until 1985. “This hospital will be a guidepost for other hospitals not only in this province but in the country,” Davis said, jokingly referring to the city as a “small rural town,” which it was when he grew up there.
Three Progressive Conservative candidates in the upcoming election showed up, but it was evident from the reaction of Matthews and event staff that they were not invited. Amarjeet Gill, Sanjeev Maingi and Pam Hundal stood in front of the dignitaries with a sign that read, in part: “When was the last time the Liberals made this promise? Five days before the last election.”
At one point, Anderson asked the three to move further to the side so as not to obstruct the view of the invited guests.
“We’re taking issue with the fact that (Ontario Premier) Dalton McGuinty should be ashamed of himself with all these broken promises,” Hundal said in an interview with the Daily Commercial News after the event. “In 2007, they promised not to close this hospital, and a few days after the election, they broke their promise. This is a political stunt because it’s election year.”
Asked whether the Progressive Conservatives would handle the Peel Memorial hospital project differently if they win the October 6 provincial election, Hundal said Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak is “looking forward to seeing the planning results of this project.”
Hundal, Maingi and Gill are running as PC candidates for the ridings of Brampton-Springdale, Bramalea-Gore-Malton and Mississauga-Brampton South respectively.
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