Whitby awards $25,000 to Lakeridge Health Foundation to support new hospital


Published June 2, 2023 at 10:07 am

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It isn’t the $3 million planning grant promised – but not delivered – by the provincial government; not by a long shot. But it seems if anyone is going to get the ball rolling for Durham Region’s next hospital, it might as well be Whitby.

The Town has chosen the Lakeridge Health Foundation as the lead recipient of the Mayor’s Community Development Fund for 2023, a $25,000 grant to support the future health care needs of Whitby residents, including a potential new hospital in Durham Region.

Durham’s next full-service hospital was awarded to Whitby after an impartial Lakeridge Health panel chose a site in the north-west corner of the community (on land owned by the provincial Transportation Ministry) for the new facility early last year.

But political pressure from allies of Premier Doug Ford in Pickering – home of Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy and Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe, who ran for the party in the 2007 provincial election, have delayed any official acknowledgement of the future hospital in Whitby and the expected $3 million planning grant was not in the government’s spring budget in April.

That oversight was called “unacceptable” by Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy.

Since the Lakeridge Health panel chose Whitby as the site of the new health care facility, which will be the only trauma centre between Kingston and Toronto, Ashe has been vocal in his belief the hospital should have been awarded to his city – despite the exhaustive Lakeridge Health report – to a spot just a few kilometres from the Whitby site on land gifted to the City from developers.

Roy is still waiting on a meeting with Premier Doug Ford on the fate of the future hospital.

In the meantime, the $25,000 grant will at least get planning for the facility started and Roy, along with Lakeridge Health CEO Cynthia Davis, Lakeridge Health Foundation CEO Yves Gadler and members of the Community Development Fund Grants Review Committee, will be in the gardens of the Whitby hospital on Gordon Street next Friday for a cheque presentation and, very likely, a press conference.

The Mayor’s Community Development Fund supports local community groups, events, and initiatives that benefit residents and the community. Funding is available to local initiatives through lead grants up to $25,000, and community grants up to $5,000.

Money for the fund is collected through two events: the Mayor’s Gala and the Mayor & Council’s Golf Tournament.

The Whitby Hospital on Gordon Street, a specialty hospital that provides services such as dialysis and and geriatric assessment, will be the site of next Friday’s cheque presentation

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