“It was a productive meeting and I’m happy to see that we’ve finally moved into Stage Two – though I believe this project can and should move quicker” said Gates. During the meeting both Smith and Johnston shared the early drawings of the new hospital with Gates.
Dr. Smith believes the project will have submitted the paperwork for Stage Two and move into the third stage by November of this year. Once the project reaches the third stage they begin selecting the vendors and issue the RFP to build the site.
“Our commitment is to involve our community in our healthcare planning for Niagara, and we look forward to continuing to work with MPP Gates as our planning progresses. This is a very exciting time for healthcare in Niagara. Our region will greatly benefit from this kind of innovation and investment,” stated Johnstone.
The site is projected to be 300 000 square feet larger than the hospital in St. Catharines and will be one of the first hospitals in the country where the vast majority of beds will be in private rooms. According to Gates, increased pressure on the Ministry of Health could see this project completed by 2021 instead of the projected 2023.
“I would still like to see construction on this project begin much sooner than is currently planned. I’ve said it for years that we have a plan in place, we have the land and we have a local workforce who can make this happen. There’s no need to wait, people need access to this care immediately – let’s get it done together.”
Gates went further by stating that once the project leaves Stage Two and enters Stage Three he plans to put pressure on the Government to use local workers for the build.
“This project is a chance to create jobs for young people. The project should utilize our local trades, local engineers and local small and medium sized businesses that put money right back into our community.”