On 23 November 2020, MPP Anand spoke about “Hospital Funding” as part of a Private Members’ Public Business statement. 

I rise today to speak on motion 119, the redevelopment and construction of the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and Stevenson Memorial Hospital in the town of New Tecumseth.

Years back, when my daughter was a couple of years old, we visited Collingwood and instantly fell in love with its natural beauty. There are many biking and walking trails in the vibrant town centre. In fact, we ended up buying a managed townhouse at Cranberry Resort near Highway 26. I loved the fact that we could enjoy the lake and the mountain together at the same time.

As my daughter grew, so the area did too. More and more people are looking to retire, settle or enjoy a vacation home in this slice of paradise. The Ministry of Finance actually projected estimates that the population of Simcoe region will grow to around 80,000 by the year 2031. This signals exciting times for the region: More people means more family means more jobs, homes, schools and prosperity.

The Stevenson facility was actually built over half a century ago, and the Collingwood General was originally built in 1887. Since then, they have invested in regular upgrades, small expansions and new facilities.

As the population increases, demand increases, too. I want to thank all the front-line workers and the hospital administration for doing an incredible job of meeting this incredible demand, especially during COVID-19, in these hospitals.

It is a basic tenant of our public policy: As the demand increases, supply must go up as well. This government understands that, and we are committed to ensuring that Ontarians have access to the high-quality care that they deserve. It is why our government is investing $20 billion over the next 10 years in the hospital expansions and upgrades. The Minister of Finance has recently committed to adding over 2,250 beds across 57 health facilities.

Madam Speaker, you know the region of Peel, which I belong to, is the fastest-growing region in the province, with a diverse population aging, with a projected 61% increase in seniors between 2016 and 2026, and 38% of the population has one or more chronic conditions. I want to thank Premier Ford for listening to the community needs and your promise to address the needs of health care in Brampton. As recently announced, both Trillium and William Osler will receive funding for the new patient beds.

I want to thank all the residents and all the elected officials from Peel for working together during COVID-19 and supporting the community. I want to urge them, let’s keep working hard for our residents not just during COVID-19, but post COVID-19 as well.

To the member and to the people of Simcoe–Grey and New Tecumseth, planning work is already under way for both Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and Stevenson Memorial Hospital. I want to assure you: Your government is here to listen and to act.

To the member: Thank you for your advocacy, and thank you for your commitment for 30 years. It’s thanks to you that we understand the importance of health care for our residents and we understand the need here in Collingwood as well. It will be a pleasure to support your motion.