Statement From MPP Graydon Smith Regarding MAHC’s Hospital Redevelopment Plan

Since the release of Muskoka Algonquin Hospital Corporation’s (MAHC) hospital redevelopment plan approximately 10 days ago I, like many residents of Muskoka and Almaguin, have attended the Hospital Board’s information sessions and engaged with community members, including physicians and nurses, to better understand what is being proposed and how it would impact acute care in our communities.

I personally attended the community information sessions in Bracebridge, Huntsville and Burk’s Falls. When ministerial responsibilities took me to Thunder Bay early last week, I had staff attend the sessions in Gravenhurst and Dwight. My office was also present at the virtual session and in Port Carling this week. I have fielded a huge number of calls and emails from those who wished to share their thoughts. To all that attended or reached out, thank you.

When I spoke on Tuesday night in Bracebridge, I urged everyone to slow down and take more time. Time to draw a breath and reflect on what has been said about the plan and why. I am pleased the Board has revised their approach to do just that. For those who fear we will lose our place in “the queue” for redevelopment, I have and will continue to work with my colleagues at Queen’s Park on your behalf to give the community the time that is needed to get to the right solution.

We have been presented with a historic and unprecedented commitment by the Government and Premier to redevelop the two hospital sites in both Bracebridge and Huntsville. It is our collective expectation that this happens. Both towns are deserving of two new hospitals. I am confident that a more balanced and equitable plan can be achieved.

This process must be centered on engaging with the community and having meaningful dialogue with doctors and nurses to develop a new plan that is satisfactory for all. In the meantime, I will be working tirelessly on your behalf to ensure the development of not only two great new hospitals, but a strong Parry Sound-Muskoka we can all be proud of.

MPP Graydon Smith

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry