Presentation of Les amis’ position paper on the Montreal General Hospital’s expansion project:

2011-06-27

THE LACK OF AN OVERALL VISION STILL PERSISTS


PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

Presentation of Les amis’ position paper on the Montreal General Hospital’s expansion project:
THE LACK OF AN OVERALL VISION STILL PERSISTS

Montreal, June 27, 2011 – Les amis de la montagne raised fundamental questions about the lack of an overall vision for the McGill University Health Centre’s (MUHC) redeployment plans during the public consultations held in 2008 and three years later, the organization maintains its position in light of the new project proposed for the expansion of the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) currently under review by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM).

“The question concerning the overall vision for the MUHC’s redeployment plan is still pertinent today and must be answered before any proposal is submitted for the expansion or modernization of an institution located on Mount Royal, a site with great heritage value protected by the Ville de Montréal and the Government of Québec,” said Sylvie Guilbault, Executive Director, Les amis de la montagne. “The 2011 version of the MGH expansion is still a major project for Mount Royal and it is very difficult for civil society to form objective and well-informed opinions in the absence of a global vision.”

As in 2008, Les amis de la montagne maintain that all major development of the MUHC must be diverted from the mountain to the Glen yards site where half of the 43 acre terrain remains available for construction. The MGH is already confined to a too-small site on the flank of the mountain that falls short of its needs, is difficult to access, creates an imposing barrier between the city and the park, and that intrudes onto a residential sector already disturbed by an excess of cars, trucks and emergency vehicles. Les amis de la montagne are additionally against the MGH’s expansion on the site of the residential building located at 1750 Avenue Cedar.

Les amis de la montagne’s position paper contains numerous recommendations intended to reduce the problems of cohabitation between these diverse functions. In particular, Les amis recommends the creation of definite and concrete guaranties to improve the integration of the MGH site within the Mount Royal Historic and Natural District through the greening of the site and within the surrounding neighbourhood through a revision of all vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area.

Finally, the organization recommends that these same forms of guarantee are enacted immediately to ensure that the MUHC undertakes no further development projects on the mountain.

Les amis’ position paper is available in French by clicking on this link.