Health Minister Michael de Jong was in Burns Lake recently to announce the approval of the new Lakes District Hospital.
Procurement for the project will begin this spring with construction expected to start in 2013 and be completed in 2015.
“We want to get on with this and we want to see this take shape,” he said.
The announcement was made during a Babine Forest Products sawmill employee breakfast.
Minister de Jong said, “Do not under estimate the degree to which your community’s response to the Babine Forest Products tragedy has inspired others across B.C. and across Canada. This tale will be told and retold for many years to come.”
The long awaited news was also welcomed by chiefs from the six local First Nations, Michael McMillan, chief operating officer from Northern Health, government officials, including Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and Mayor Luke Strimbold.
“The new hospital that is being announced for Burns Lake will allow health professionals to continue giving high levels of support for those in need,” Minister de Jong said.
“Burns Lake has been in need of a new hospital for some time. This has been my number one capital priority as well as Northern Health’s. The announcement that the province is moving forward with construction of a replacement care facility is great news,” said Rustad.
Funding for the Lakes District Hospital replacement project will be cost shared by the province and Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District.
Rustad said that 80 per cent of the approximate $55 million project will be paid for by the province while the taxpayers of the Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District will pay 20 per cent.