I think it is important to recognize that the Civic hospital management team has a different set of objectives than the National Capital Commission. As such, it is not surprising that the two sides do not agree on the best site.
The Civic hospital management team views the siting of the hospital from a medical needs perspective (e.g. travel times for emergency services, accessibility for a significant portion of the population), and with a view of how best to leverage long-term asset management (read the still under construction Heart Institute facility). In addition, the Civic hospital management team cannot make decisions on factors outside their control, such as the city making significant improvements to existing routes to the hospital.
In contrast, the NCC views the decision primarily from a land management perspective. It has a portfolio of properties, some of which they are prepared to re-purpose. The NCC also has a history of making decisions that require others to make significant contributions. The vaguely worded part of their communications about Ottawa having lots of time to make changes to the existing access routes to Tunney’sPasture being a prime example.
The only overlapping part of these two very different mandates is that the Civic is looking for “free” land, and the NCC has land that it is prepared to “donate” to the hospital. When constraints dominate the decision-making process, the outcome is seldom ideal.
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