Children's Hospital In Ottawa Celebrates Big Expansion
Thank you for inviting me and for hosting this great celebration.
I'm pleased to be joined by our Ottawa Caucus: Minister Jim Watson and Minister Madeleine Meilleur, as well as Yasir Naqvi, and Phil McNeely.
And of course it's great to have here, Garry Cardiff, a man who dedicated his career to our hospital.
Garry Cardiff brought bold leadership to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
It was on his watch that CHEO took on new responsibilities, like Ontario's Provincial Centre of Excellence for Children's Mental Health and the Newborn Screening Program for all Ontario babies.
Garry also successfully defended our hospital against another government's plan to remove our cardiac program.
Because of Garry's leadership, CHEO remains one of only two freestanding, self-governing paediatric hospitals in the entire country.
Garry's name is now on this new wing and that's only fitting.
Because after 20 years of the loving guidance he has provided, he as surely left his mark here.
A mark not only on this hospital, but also in the hearts of all those he has touched through his devotion to our children.
Garry, on behalf of all those you have served, thank you.
I also want to thank each of you for the work you do: whether you keep this hospital running or care for patients directly, I want you to know that what you do is important because of who you do it for -- our children.
In fact, you've done it for my children.
It's one of the reasons we moved to this neighbourhood.
Over the years, you were there for the late night McGuinty family visits, the broken bones, the stitches, the surgeries -- all the things that worry parents.
Someone once said: "The decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide, forever, to have your heart outside of your body".
In the face of injury and illness, parents can feel helpless but because of CHEO, they never, ever, have to feel hopeless.
This new Garry Cardiff wing makes us even more hopeful.
The thought and care that went into this design is brilliant.
It's a brighter space for younger kids to get treatment.
It has a Teen Lounge for older children.
And parents also have new comforts, like cots and showers, when they need to stay by their child's side 24/7.
And, above all, the emergency room is almost 50 per cent larger.
This is modern, family-centred health care at its best.
And I am truly proud of everyone here today -- staff, volunteers, donors -- because your efforts, your love for this place and your love for our children helped build this wing.
I also want to mention the 700 construction workers who built this wonderful addition.
It must be a great feeling to walk or drive by this wing and think: "I built a children's hospital."
And it's not over yet.
There's more work to be done in the main hospital and more to do in communities across Ontario.
We won't rest until we've built the infrastructure and public services needed to serve our growing and changing province.
And by working together, we're bringing hope to families.
The hope that comes from knowing that we're building a stronger economy -- not as an end, bust as a means to a higher end -- and a caring and compassionate society.
So once again, congratulations on opening the Garry Cardiff Critical Care Wing.
And congratulations on providing Ottawa's children with the best health care anywhere.