Montfort Hospital

Montfort Hospital

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Montfort Hospital

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The Montfort Hospital is a hospital in Ottawa, Canada. It is noted for being the only fully bilingual hospital in the province of Ontario.

The hospital was founded in 1953 by the Filles de la Sagesse Catholic order and was named after one of its founders Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. It was secularized in 1970. In the late 1980s it was rebuilt with a large modern section added.

Provincial restructuring

In February 1997 the Health Services Restructuring Commission, appointed by the provincial government of Mike Harris, announced that the hospital would be closed in 1999 alongside the Riverside and Grace Hospital due to lack of funding at the Provincial level. This caused an outcry in the Franco-Ontarian community. Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien both lent their support to keeping the hospital open. Quebec Liberal leader Daniel Johnson and federal Progressive Conservative leader Jean Charest also asked Harris to keep the hospital open. The Tory government asserted that francophone access to medical service would be fully available at the bilingual Ottawa Hospital and that the 200 bed Montfort was too small to operate efficiently. Harris criticized Bouchard and Chrétien for intervening in an issue clearly out of their jurisdiction.

A lobby group S.O.S Montfort was set up led by former Vanier mayor Gisèle Lalonde. Franco-Ontarian business leaders donated money to keep the hospital open and a rally was held on March 22, 1997 at...
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