NORM PUTTICK/Straight Talk
Congratulations to Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews in saying “bickering” or “squabbling” o is a hard sell. She is talking about the site proposal in south Niagara at Montrose and Lyons Creek Road for a new hospital that is been challenged by several small municipal Niagara mayors. She also says about the bickering: “That’s democracy, I suppose.”
Minister, that’s not democracy – it is Niagara Region in its most natural political folly. I have letters from former ministers who use the words “get your house in order” and “there is triplication in Niagara” when speaking of why Niagara is not a leader in the province.
Matthews says the hospital is a hard sell to cabinet and it will be many years before any decision.
I offer the following to deal with a new Premier when chosen end of January 2013. The present Niagara General can be updated. Several months ago I had a 2 p.m. appointment for an x-ray. At 1:50 I was called for my x-ray. I said when getting settled “I can’t believe why all the grumbling about service at this hospital” and “this room looks new it is so clean.”
The person said “I do not know why they want to build a new hospital when this just needs a few updates.” I said, ” Do you mind telling me where you live?” Reply: “Port Colborne.
I said, “Then I guess all the yelling is just political?” Reply: ”Yes. They don’t talk to the people who work here”. The attendant did not know me so I revealed I was a former regional councillor. She said the departments run well and if mayors would talk to staff, they would find the GNGH could be modernized for less money then cost of a new hospital.
Niagara Region requires amalgamation of municipalities to speak with one voice. Only then will cabinet and ministers take Niagara seriously. The sad part is all councillors and staff along with many MPPs know this to be true and do nothing.
If common sense does prevail at regional council I believe the comments of Mathews while in should receive some credit for a prosperous Amalgamated Niagara.