Mayor Roy with an advocacy poster

Whitby deeply frustrated as Ontario budget ignores hospital

Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy yesterday pointed out that the 2024 Ontario Budget released on March 26 is now the third consecutive provincial budget to be tabled without funding for an urgently needed new hospital in Durham Region.

“This is unacceptable, especially considering Premier Doug Ford’s statement made February 15 that ‘there’s going to be a Whitby hospital’ and noting that a planning grant would be issued ‘very shortly’.”

Mayor Roy said she remains hopeful that this funding will be announced promptly, and that she will continue to advocate at every opportunity.

The Town of Whitby launched a community advocacy campaign on February 7 focused on the need for a new hospital. The community has rallied behind this cause, she said. Thousands of Durham residents have signed the call-to-action letter or contributed a personal story about why a new hospital matters to them.

“I share the deep frustration and disappointment of our residents, who are telling the province loud and clear that we need a new hospital – and whose voices are being ignored,” the mayor said.

In January 2022, an independent, expert panel selected a site in Whitby as the preferred location for a new Durham hospital. Since then, we have seen zero action from the province, she said.

A new hospital is not guaranteed until the Ontario government provides the $3 million planning grant needed to start the project.

The province has mandated that Whitby build 18,000 new homes by 2031, but isn’t investing in the necessary infrastructure to support this growth, Mayor Roy said.

“As Whitby’s mayor, as a Whitby resident, as a longtime healthcare worker, a mother and a grandmother, I urge the province to do the right thing and bring more healthcare close to home in Durham,” she added.

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