Shriners Hospital-Canada

The Shriners Hospital-Canada (also known as Shriners Hospitals for Children Canada and Montreal Shriner's Hospital) is the Canadian branch of the Shriners Hospitals for Children network. It is currently located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Located on Mount Royal, at 1529 Cedar Avenue, it overlooks downtown Montreal, and is close to Montreal General Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC hospital network, with which it is affiliated. The current institution has outgrown its facilities, and since it is surrounded by Mount Royal Park, it cannot expand.

Political uncertainty over relocation

Following years of wrangling within the Shriners and in Quebec, a general vote of the Shriners will decide the future of the Canadian hospital. Originally slated to move to the new MUHC superhospital site, but due to governmental footdragging by the Parti Québécois government, the project has been delayed at least a decade to make sure then French superhospital for Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) will be built first. With a change in provincial government, the MUHC finally has the go ahead. However this delay proved decisive in the new Shriners president wanting the hospital to move out of Montreal. With the push for an alternate site, Ottawa and London, Ontario both pushed for the new facility. The Ottawa Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario hospital supported Montreal first, but if it were to move, it wanted it in Ottawa. An Ottawa location would not greatly affect access to those in the US Northeast, or eastern Canada, only being about 200 km from Montreal. However, the Montreal hospital is the only Shriners hospital to feature French-language access, and those Franco-Ontarians, Franco-Americans, and Quebecois worried about a reduction in French language service, due to governmental decisions in Ontario that reduced French language health care by the previous Progressive Conservative government. The president of the Shriners brought up the bogeyman of Quebec separation to influence the move out of the province (this is not truly a meaningful factor, since the network is international, already covering three countries). The search committee found that it was preferable to move to London, Ontario. However, the Shriners of Ottawa, Quebec, eastern Canada, and northeast USA oppose this decision. A vote to decide was held by the Shriners members at the meeting in Baltimore on July 5, 2005. Of a total of 1214 votes, 608 voted in favour of staying in Montreal, 605 of moving to London and one vote was refused. London Shriners withdrew their resolution on April 12, 2006.

Two years following, unsatisified with the prior decision, the London Shriners decided to invoke a last minute resolution to move the hospital once again, based on the fact the Quebec government still continued to delay the project or fully decontaminate the land where the hospital is to be built. The issue was decided with another vote that was held on July 3, 2007. Once again the vote swung in favour of staying in Montreal, with 75% of members voting against the move. Despite the decision, construction is still delayed and only 90% of the land has been decontaminated so far.

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