It has been a core message since the formation of our group. It has been at the heart of virtually every publication we have made online and in print, yet still there seems to be confusion about where we stand on the issue. Let us be crystal clear.
We support both Waypoint and Chigamik CHC in our community. We acknowledge the very real need for both these and the many other health and mental health care service providers in our community and many of our members and participants use their valuable services, work for them directly or indirectly or are advocates for their services.
Furthermore, we are not against the concept of a Health Hub. In fact, the combination of these services in a new centralized location with combined funding that supports the project in either the building or furnishing stages is a well-conceived and creative way to solve logistical issues common to both organizations. It is wonderful and creative planning.
Where we come out of alignment with this project is the choice of locations. We stand united against the decision to re-zone pristine parkland, arguably nearly the LAST of our waterfront / water-facing parkland in the community. While we cannot fault the organizations for asking for it, to the exclusion of all other locations, we cannot endorse it.
To those on Council and in the community who support parkland re-zoning and commercialization, we oppose you and the concept of awarding historical community parkland to ANY developer for ANY reason other than recreational uses that see the green space remaining intact and accessible to everyone… not part of it, all of it.
To those who blindly support this project simply because it is for health care and nothing else matters, we oppose that over-simplified way of rationalizing this conversion of parkland. If this was not a health hub, if it were a retail store or office building for general use, would you still be fine with this plan?
To those who cannot or will not see that OurMidland.ca opposition to this project is exclusively about the parkland conservation, what more can we do to communicate this simple message?
WE SUPPORT HEALTH CARE AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE. WE VALUE THE PROPONENTS OF THIS PROJECT AND THE VALUE THEY PROVIDE TO OUR COMMUNITY. WE OPPOSE THE FACT THAT COUNCIL GRANTED THEM PARKLAND TO BUILD ON.
This is about parkland, environmental sustainability and stewardship; in essence – good planning.
If someone decided that they were going to take 1/3 of your property and give it away (without any compensation to you) you might be upset. Imagine now, that the reasoning behind the land-grab is simply “you still have 2/3 of your land left – what are you upset about – we never see you using this piece of land that we are taking”. How would you feel?
Parkland belongs to the community. It belongs to you, me, our children and future grand children.
It is easy to say, this is only 1/3 of a park… but when it come times to grow, and it will happen, there will be no choice but to give up more park… This will happen, it was part of the original “ask” presented to Council.
The only way to avoid this issue, the only right thing to do for Midland, is to deny this application and help find alternative locations to build our Health Hub on.
This is and always has been our stance. Can we be any clearer? That is the subject of the OMB appeal and appeal to the County about the Official Plan.