Following the decision on the location of the new hospital, the Ottawa Hospital adopted a new approach and established a new body for public engagement, the Campus Engagement Group. The Greenspace Alliance was invited to be part of this group, along with other members of the Protect the Farm Coalition, as well as local community associations and patient and family advocacy groups. The Chair of the Alliance was selected to co-chair the group, along with the hospital’s Chief Engagement Steward/Director of Communications. This section provides a record of the proceedings and outcomes of the CEG over the period of its existence from May 2018 to May 2021.
In person meetings were suspended at this point due to the pandemic and online meetings were scheduled only irregularly, and mostly at the instigation of the CEG. The change in CEO at the Ottawa Hospital, with Cameron Love’s appointment, the surprise retirement of Bernie Etzinger, the Director of Communications who co-chaired the CEG, and of course the COVID emergency which put hospital staff on the front line, completely changed the dynamics between the hospital and the CEG. After a workshop on transportation issues on April 2 organized by Parsons (the successful bidder for carrying out the studies required to lift the holds on the City’s zoning decision), any consultation effectively ceased. By the time online meetings were re-established in October, the public engagement consultants the CEG had worked with had been let go, Graham Bird and Associates had been selected as overall project manager for the new campus development and the CEG was sidelined. The remaining entries document this difficult period.