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Province, City of Charlottetown having ongoing talks over future of old hospital property

Coun. Alanna Jankov
Coun. Alanna Jankov - Contributed
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Talks continue between the province and the City of Charlottetown over the future of the old Prince Edward Island Hospital site on Brighton Road.

Earlier this month, Mayor Philip Brown said the city was going to be consulting with legal counsel after learning the province put down some millings to expand the parking lot behind the Aubin Arsenault Building, which is located directly next to the old hospital property.

Coun. Alanna Jankov, chairwoman of the city’s strategic priorities and intergovernmental co-operation committee, has been having discussions over the future of the property with Transportation Minister Steven Myers but no one has been saying much publicly about those talks.

“As mentioned previously, this land belongs to the province,’’ Jankov said Friday in reference the hospital land, “and we continue to work closely with them on the file. Any decisions about the property and its use remain that of the province so any new information would need to come from them. At this point, the city doesn’t have an update.’’

“As mentioned previously, this land belongs to the province and we continue to work closely with them on the file. Any decisions about the property and its use remain that of the province so any new information would need to come from them. At this point, the city doesn’t have an update.’’

- Coun. Alanna Jankov

City administration told The Guardian that the city is still in discussions with the province and is exploring options.

Myers did not respond to requests for comment last week but in an interview this newspaper did with him earlier this month, the minister said he was keen to collaborate with the city, that everything is on the table, that there are no closed doors on any idea and that his office wants to find out what the city wants to move forward on.

“At this point, the plan is to revert it to green space and I think there’s some interest in a public gardens area,’’ Myers said at the time.

As for the newly paved parking spaces, 40 were added but the minister pointed out that his department parked some of its vehicles behind the old hospital before it was demolished and that the millings are merely an effort to reclaim the spots they had prior to demolition.

The topic also came up at this month’s regular public meeting of council.

Coun. Mitchell Tweel
Coun. Mitchell Tweel

Coun. Mitchell Tweel, who moved a resolution last February that was supported unanimously to have the old hospital property revert to green space, wasn’t pleased to hear about the newly-created parking spaces.

“It’s certainly not the intention of city council to see it as parking at this particular site,’’ Tweel said. “It was made clear a year ago to the province that we would like to see this space become part of Victoria Park. There is a lot of concern amongst our residents as they see half-tonne trucks (and) cargo (trucks) parking down there on that particular site and the residents are not happy.’’

Tweel is asking for an emergency meeting with Myers or Premier Dennis King about making sure green space is the only option. Jankov assured Tweel she is on top of the issue.

Tweel added the province could address its parking issues by building a two-tiered parking garage at the provincial government buildings.

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