October 26, 2005
(Executive Council)
(Health and Community Services)
(Transportation and Works)

Ceremonial sod turning for Corner Brook long-term care facility

Premier Danny Williams, today turned the sod on the future site of the long-term care facility in Corner Brook. The Premier was joined by John Ottenheimer, Minister of Health and Community Services; Charles Pender, Mayor of Corner Brook; Tina Moores, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Western Region Integrated Health Authority; Tom Rideout, Minister of Transportation and Works; Tom Marshall, MHA for Humber East, and Kathy Goudie, MHA for Humber Valley.

�The day has finally arrived when we officially turn the sod on this long-awaited and much needed facility for the western region,� said Premier Danny Williams. �Our government is committed to enhancing long-term care and accommodations for seniors across the province and to making strategic investments in areas where there is a demonstrated need. A new long-term care facility has long been identified as a priority for the residents of this region of our province, and we are proud to see this multi-million project underway.�

Health and Community Services Minister John Ottenheimer said the province�s changing population and shifting demographics necessitates that the province be proactive in meeting the health care needs of the people of the province. �Through effective planning and strategic investments, our government is working to ensure that our health programs and services are sustainable for future generations.�

Government invested $2.7 million in Budget 2005 for the preparation of the site and design of a long-term care facility in Corner Brook. Marine Contractors Limited, Pasadena, was awarded the contract on September 30, 2005. Site preparation for the 188-bed facility involves the installation of underground services, including water mains, storm and sanitary sewer systems. Site leveling procedures will also be carried out in preparation for foundation work, which will start during the spring.

�Over the past several months, government has put a great deal of effort into planning for this momentous day,� said Transportation and Works Minister Tom Rideout. �Much work is required in preparation for the construction of a facility of this magnitude. An appropriate site must be selected, and the structure needs to be efficiently designed. These procedures have been handled expeditiously, and we have today broken ground on a multi-million dollar commitment from government. I am pleased to have shared this day with my colleagues, as well as with residents on the west coast who will realize an improved quality of health care when this facility is complete.�

Tina Moores, Vice-Chair of the Western Region Integrated Health Authority said: �We are extremely pleased to have this new facility to meet the needs of our senior population. This state-of-the-art building will bring many comforts to the seniors and their families that we serve.�

The new facility is part of Government�s Blueprint plan for health care to provide long-term care for seniors in regions where there is an identified need, as well as to upgrade current facilities to ensure seniors receive the highest quality of care. Corner Brook was one region in particular where there was an identified need for community capacity.

�The seniors in the Humber region are in need of access to long-term care and supportive services and this need will only increase in the future,� said Minister Tom Marshall, MHA for Humber East. �Government made a commitment to see this facility established so that seniors in this region can receive high quality care and comfortable accommodations in close proximity to their families and communities. Today we see the fulfillment of this commitment.�

Kathy Goudie, MHA for Humber Valley said: �I am thrilled to see that government's plans for long-term care in the Humber region are underway. This facility will provide quality accommodations and health care services that will be greatly needed in this region in the coming years.�

Substantial completion of the site preparation work is anticipated by the end of November.

Budget 2005 included a $9.5 million investment to upgrade long-term care facilities, as well as personal and community care homes across the province.

Media contact:
   Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960, 690-5500
   Tansy Mundon, Health and Community Services (709) 729-1377, 685-1741
   Lori Lee Oates, ABC, Transportation and Works, (709) 729-3015, 690-8403

2005 10 26                        9:30 a.m.

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