Three major Montreal organizations – the City of Montreal, the Montreal Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, and Concordia University – have joined McGill University and McGill University Health Centre as members of the Keep the Shriners in Montreal Committee.
"Encouraged by the overwhelming response we have received from across Canada and New England, we are now launching a broader public appeal for support," explained David Culver, Chair of the Board of the MUHC. "We are urging friends of the Montreal Shriners Hospital to participate in an e-mail campaign in order to communicate the depth of support for keeping the hospital in our city to decision-makers south of the border."
Supporters may participate in the campaign by clicking on www.keeptheshrinersinmontreal.com. They then will be provided with background information on the issue and a prepared message, which they can modify or send directly. The site also provides access to background documents, opinion pieces and other relevant information.
"The Shriners and Montreal go hand-in-hand," noted Mayor Tremblay. "Together, over the past 85 years, we have built a world-renowned research and healthcare facility, which would be difficult, if not impossible, to transplant to another centre. In the name of the young children who rely on our hospital for care, we must make every effort to convince Shriners to keep our hospital open."
"Not only is Montreal a major urban centre easily accessible from anywhere in the continent's north-east, Montreal is also a centre of excellence in research and health care. It's clear that the Shriners benefits as much from Montreal as Montreal benefits from the Shriners. This is a constructive relationship which should be maintained," noted Benoît Labonté, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. "Our city is a research hub," added Dr. Fred Lowy, Rector of Concordia University. "This allows us to attract talented people from around the world, and in turn has enabled the team at the Shriners to become world leaders in helping children with Brittle Bone Disease and other debilitating conditions."
Other new members of the Keep the Shriners Hospital in Montreal Committee include:
Ramani Balendra, President, Canadian Tamil Congress (Quebec); David Birnbaum, Executive Director, Canadian Jewish Congress; Georges Bossé, Member of the Executive Committee, City of Montreal; Pierre Bourque, Leader of the Opposition, City of Montreal; Robert Bousquet, City Councillor, Ville Émard; Christine Boyle, Executive Director, Mackay Centre; John Bridgeman, former Westmount city councillor; Zenon Bryniawsky, Executive Director, Catholic Community Services (CCS); James Carter, Director, Community Health and Social Network; Michèle Ciampini, School Commissioner, English School Board of Montreal; Diane DeCourcy, President, Montreal School Commission; Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Rector, Services – Concordia University; Victor Drury, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Research into Children's Diseases; Marc Courtois, Chairman of the Board of the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation; Tom Davis, Chairman of the Board of the Mackay Centre Foundation; Jonathan Elkas, President, NDG Provincial Liberal Association; Economos Antony Gabriel, Archpriest of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church; James Gates, Associate Director, Neuro/Mental Health MUHC; Sheila Goldbloom, President – Board of Directors of the Queen Elizabeth Health Centre Community Services; Miriam Green, Chair of the Board of Directors, Queen Elizabeth Health Centre; Lyne Hamel, City Councillor, Louis-Cyr (St. Henri); Deborah Hook, Executive Director, Quebec Community Group Network; Dr. Arvind Joshi, CEO, St. Mary's Hospital; Rita Karakas, Executive Director, Save the Children Canada; Daniel L'Africain, President, AGASOM (Business Association of SW of Montreal); Margaret Lefebvre, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Income Funds; Rabbi Leigh Lerner, Temple Emanu-el Beth Shalom; Robert Libman, Member of the Executive Committee, City of Montreal; Marie-Josée Mastromonaco, School Commissioner, NDG; William Mitchell, Headmaster, Selwyn House School; Jacqueline Montpetit, President of the Borough of South West of Montreal; Nadia Papineau Couture, President of the Board of the Caisse Populaire Notre-Dame-de-Grâce; Dan Philip, President, Black Coalition of Quebec; Stanley Plotnik, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Jewish General Hospital; Ghislaine Prata, Executive Director, Constance Lethbrige Centre; Francine Senécal, Member of the Executive Committee, City of Montreal; Jeff Shamie, member of parish council of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church; and Louis-Paul Thauvette, Executive Director, CLSC St. Henri.
Shriners from across North America will be asked to consider a resolution calling for the closing of the Montreal hospital and for the start of discussions with the Government of Ontario on the potential move of the hospital to London at a convention in Denver, Colorado, from July 2 to 8, 2004.