city of Airdrie, I've been yipping on about that city being the largest city in Canada without a hospital. I was wrong!
That dubious distinction belongs to the City of Vaughan, Ontario, located outside Toronto. It's now a city of around 300,000 - and they still don't have a hospital! The Ontario provincial government has been telling the good folks of Vaughan that they don't really need a hospital. Because hospitals cost a fortune to build! And after all, Toronto is just down the road -- and they have hospitals. This discussion has been going on for years now.
Vaughan was a small city of less than 50,000 only 30 years ago. It was (and is) one of the fastest-growing communities in Ontario. But a number of Ontario governments said a hospital would be too expensive for such a small place! Nothing happened.
Now they're coming up on 300,000 residents, and the Ontario government is saying, "Holy crap, they need a hospital! Why didn't anybody tell us?"
Does this whole story remind you of another small city just outside Calgary, with a similar story to tell?
The good news is that I understand the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is now under construction and will be completed in a couple of years. But its total cost will be be much higher than it would have been had they built it a few years back, when the need for a hospital in Vaughan was first identified by people living in the city.
They say that those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.
Well Premier Notley, there's a bit of history for you. What's the plan?