A new site surfaces for the future Gatineau hospital

At least that’s what the Coalition for an Accessible and Sustainable Hospital Center in Outaouais (CCHADO) wants, a few weeks, or even a few days, before the announcement of the choice of the site by the Quebec government. The Quebec government has promised a decision by the end of spring.

The coalition is this time focusing the spotlight on the sale by its owner of 555, boulevard de la Carrière. The former National Defense building, vacant since a fire in 2016, is central, on the edge of the Rapibus and benefits from conditions which would allow rapid start of construction of the hospital, insists the coalition. The current building would likely have to be demolished. It would be the most accessible site, for the most people, in the least time by bike, bus and car, according to modeling of accessibility times obtained by The right.

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555 boulevard de la Carrière has been vacant since a fire in 2016. (Patrick Woodbury/Le Droit)

Paired with the vast land at 625, boulevard de la Carrière, belonging to the Casino du Lac-Leamy, the site would be large enough to accommodate the construction site of a regional hospital center which would rise over a dozen floors, says the spokesperson. speech of the coalition, Patrick Robert-Meunier.

Putting 555 up for sale could also prevent the government from spending time, money and energy in the complex expropriation process necessary to build on the industrial site located a little further on the same boulevard.

Not contaminated

“It is a site which, according to studies carried out by the owner, is not contaminated, where the rock is not very hollow and which is ready to build,” says Mr. Robert-Meunier. We would have all the information on the conditions of the site. It must be added to the list of lands studied.”

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The spokesperson for the Coalition for an accessible and sustainable hospital center in Outaouais, Patrick Robert-Meunier. (The Law, Simon Séguin-Bertrand/The Law, Simon Séguin-Bertrand)

This list already includes the Asticou site, the industrial site on Boulevard de la Carrière and the site on Boulevard de la Technologie. The coalition also fears that Quebec will choose the latter site because of its advantages in terms of complexity and schedule. The main actors in civil society have almost all spoken out against this site because of its off-center location and the accessibility challenges it would represent for patients and workers.

“We will not give up,” insists Mr. Robert-Meunier. Even if Quebec had to announce the site on Boulevard de la Technologie. It would be too big a mistake to let this go. We will remain mobilized as long as there are no glitches on the ground and there will probably be elections before that. We won’t let the government make such a big mistake […] it’s never too late to do well. The government wants a ready-to-build site, they have the opportunity to save face with this new site becoming available.”

3,175 practically empty parking lots

Mr. Robert-Meunier adds that there are 3,175 parking lots practically empty during the day, during the week, just on the other side of Boulevard de la Carrière to serve the Casino du Lac-Leamy. “It’s an element that helps relieve pressure on parking space requirements on the hospital site itself,” he said. There is a way to pool these parking lots, they already belong to the State.”

By combining the area of ​​555, boulevard de la Carrière and its neighbor, 625, which is owned by Casiloc, the government could count on a little more than 79,000 m². Considering that the government has moved away from the formula of a suburban hospital originally put forward, it could have enough space to begin work on a main building which could reach 12 or even 15 floors.

There are also possibilities for expansion, notes Mr. Robert-Meunier. The Canadian Tire land and 455 Boulevard de la Carrière, which currently houses National Defense officials, could potentially be the subject of a transaction. The building built for the federal government and completed in 2010 is the property of the Brocolini firm. “As the federal government seems so concerned about the state of the health network in Outaouais, I imagine that it will not be too difficult for it to get rid of it,” says the coalition spokesperson.

Residents of Hautes-Plaines opposed

The Hautes-Plaines Residents’ Association (ARHP) has just completed a first consultation exercise on the development of the neighborhood. The latter has been at the center of much speculation in recent years, notably in the case of the Gatineau police headquarters and especially in the case of the future hospital.

The position of citizens in the area regarding the location of the future hospital center remains the same. Such an infrastructure would be incompatible with the Hautes-Plaines district, the environment and the reality of Outaouais, notes the ARHP. A more central site is desired by residents.

“We only a mega hospital cannot integrate harmoniously into the Hautes-Plaines district, but all the taxpayers of the Outaouais would lose out in the face of the construction of this infrastructure north of Gatineau, a developed city in the east. in the west, says the residents’ association. There are sites that meet the criteria of accessibility and sustainability.”

Meeting with the Minister of Health

The mayor of Gatineau, Daniel Champagne, as well as the prefects of the MRCs of the region must meet the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, Thursday, in Quebec, in order to address the critical situation currently experiencing the health network in Outaouais .

>>>The mayor of Gatineau, Daniel Champagne.>>>

The mayor of Gatineau, Daniel Champagne. (Simon Séguin-Bertrand/Archives Le Droit)

Mr. Champagne specifies that the choice of the site of the future hospital is not on the agenda for discussions. “The health situation is worrying at the moment,” recalls Mr. Champagne. However, I think that there is a momentum that is unprecedented regarding the need to act in terms of health and we must capitalize on this to try to resolve the situation in the region.

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