Newly-Released Documents Show Hospital Site Change Not About Protecting Farmland

Liberals did not consult Agriculture Department about where to put hospital

OTTAWA, ON – The federal department responsible for the Central Experimental Farm saw “little to no consultation” during the Liberal government’s review of the future site of the Ottawa Hospital, even though four of the sites supposedly considered were on the Farm. The revelation came from a letter Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada wrote to Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre.


The previous government accepted a decision from the Ottawa Hospital’s expert panel to locate the future site on the open field across the street, where an emergency helicopter landing pad is already located. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna ordered a review of that decision, ostensibly to avoid having the hospital take away research farmlands.


“But there is no evidence that the department in charge of the Experimental Farm told the National Capital Commission or the Liberals that the farmland in question was precious or irreplaceable. In fact, the government did not even ask, according to the department,” Poilievre said.


“This confirms what we suspected all along: that the changed location was not about protecting farm research, but a partisan and vindictive reversal of an earlier Conservative decision. The Liberals are forcing the hospital to move to a different site that has at least $11 million in decontamination costs and a sloped and irregular building space that is next to a fault line. These factors may delay construction in addition to adding cost. It is not too late for the government to admit its mistake and allow the hospital to build where it chose: in the big open field across the street from its current campus,” concluded Poilievre.


Read the letter here.