Racco says he’ll get more hospital funding if elected

4 Oct

The following appeared in our sister publications Tandem and Corriere Canadese last week.

By Allessio Galletti

“If I’m elected, I’ll be at Queen’s Park on Oct. 26 to request funding for the hospital,” said Vaughan mayoral candidate Mario Racco who has no intention of wasting any time.

Speaking on one of the 2010 mayoral election campaign’s key themes, he leaves no doubt as to his willingness and commitment in pursuing the structure that is so desired by Vaughan residents.

“I know who to talk to and I know how interested the province is in providing Vaughan with a hospital. I’m confident that we’ll have funding allocated within a year,” promises Racco if elected.  In terms of numbers, it would cost $1 billion for a hospital that would operate in tandem with York Central Hospital.  Of this, the former MPP says, about $350 million would come from Queen’s Park.

“I think we’ll succeed in obtaining a good portion of this, allowing us to proceed with the first phase.”

If he becomes mayor, Racco says he’d be able to turn directly to former colleague Deb Matthews – today the health minister at Queen’s Park – on behalf of the community.  But Racco is also willing to go further: “If elected, I’m prepared to go on the morning of the 26th, all the way to Queen’s Park to talk to Greg Sorbara, Michael Chan, and also Dalton McGuinty.”

Working with the province is just part of what the first citizen of the city above Toronto would need to do, and Racco expressed his readiness to do everything possible to help the committee raise funds for the hospital.

“The administering of each initiative would remain in their hands, but I’d place myself at their service for any requirements.”

And further, he would use his is own stature to seek other funding, even within the private   sector.  Speaking on the friction between the committee and the policies of the mandate that is just ending, Racco also says he’d do much better and would do everything possible to attain the goal that many desire.

The next few years will be fundamental to continuing the progress that has been underway for some time, with the goal of getting the Vaughan hospital built – so it’s not by chance that it is a priority for all the mayoral candidates. To this can be added the transportation rebus, as well as the issue of ethics that may well become a decisive factor for ultimate victory.

“Integrity is the most important thing for the Italian community,” says Racco, “and knowing that at City Hall there are people who are not very clean cannot but make one bitter.”

Promising transparency and hoping that “the two people who have been at war for four years” are swept away in the vote, the former MPP promises new life at 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.

“I’ll keep an eye on anyone creating problems of this sort and, if the improper behaviour continues, I’ll publicly denounce them.”

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