The JBMH is safe – the project will go forward. Funds are in the budget – and as long as the government isn’t defeated JBMH is a go.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON March 27, 2012      Here is the flash we got from Frank McKeown who was in the lock up reading the 450 page plus budget document:  Jbmh remains in the budget.  So there you have it – straight from the horses mouth.

Burlington had at least two people in the room where they get to sit and read the budget document but can’t leave the room or use their cell phones until the Minister of Finance stands up and reads the document.

Great drama and all kinds of fun being in a room with perhaps as many as 100 people who have read the same document each looking for whatever take their organization has on things financial.

Frank McKeown, top aide and thinker in the Mayor`s office, was there to get a better sense of what Burlington needs to do to improve its relationship with the provincial government.

Mario Joanette, VP communications for the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, was also in the room.  He wanted to be absolutely certain that his hospital was not on any cancellation list.

The budget document said:

Reducing hospital investments, including cancelling four previously announced major hospital projects and rescoping two others, will result in reduced borrowing of $570 million. The government will continue its investments in more than 30 new major hospital projects, in addition to the 25 major projects currently under construction.

 Previously announced major hospital projects to be cancelled are West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Redevelopment; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre — Replace Hemodialysis Unit; South Bruce Grey Health Centre (Kincardine) — Emergency and Ambulatory Project; and Wingham and District Hospital — Phase 1 Ambulatory and Inpatient Project.

Next steps: Well, once the Champagne glasses have been put away and the high fives are done – the hospital people will get down to work and make this really happen.  The city and the hospital still have to work through the agreement that determines what the hospital will do with the money the city sends their way, but the budget announcement will make everyone feel quite a bit better.

Brian Torsney, head of the fund raising campaign for the hospital, now has to ramp up his fund raising team and begin to pull in those dollars so that the Hospital Foundation can begin to show what portion of the $120 million they have to raise on a 50/50 basis with the city.  Burlington has more than $4 million of its $60 million in the bank.

Is this a good thing for Burlington?   We can wait till later in the week to address that issue.  It’s a done deal and that is what most people in Burlington wanted – so let’s get on with it.



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