Fa­cil­ity long over­due: MHA

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The MHA for Port de Grave has wel­comed the an­nounce­ment in last week’s bud­get that some money has been al­lo­cated to be­gin de­sign work on a new long-long term care fa­cil­ity for Con­cep­tion Bay North.

But Roland But­ler gives more credit for the long-awaited an­nounce­ment to the “per­sis­tence” of the peo­ple ofCBNthan to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

“ While gov­ern­ment was un­will­ing to lis­ten to the re­quest ini­tially, the per­sis­tence of the peo­ple and the nu­mer­ous pe­ti­tions made gov­ern­ment aware of the prob­lems,” But­ler said in a news release.

“It may have taken 19 pe­ti­tions in the House of As­sem­bly and strong lob­by­ing from the peo­ple of CBN, but gov­ern­ment has fi­nally rec­og­nized the ne­ces­sity of es­tab­lish­ing a long-term care fa­cil­ity in the re­gion,” the MHA noted.

He was re­fer­ring to the $ 500,000 Fi­nance Min­is­ter Jerome Kennedy an­nounced in last week’s bud­get for site se­lec­tion for anew­long-term care fa­cil­ity in Carbonear.

But­ler re­called an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment com­mit­tee des­ig­nated a long-term care fa­cil­ity for CBN to be a num­ber one pri­or­ity back in 2002. That was when the pre­vi­ous Lib­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion was in of­fice

But­ler says he be­gan pre­sent­ing pe­ti­tions in the House ofAssem­bly last spring on be­half of res­i­dents in the CBN re­gion.

“It has taken sev­eral years for this gov­ern­ment towake-up and re­al­ize the need for long-term care in our re­gion,” he main­tains.

“The hun­dreds of peo­ple who signed the pe­ti­tions formeto present in the House of As­sem­bly rec­og­nized this need and wanted action from gov­ern­ment. It may have taken 19 pe­ti­tions, but fi­nally gov­ern­ment has ad­mit­ted there is a prob­lem that needs to be ad­dressed.”

Now that the ini­tial fund­ing has been an­nounced, But­ler is en­cour­ag­ing gov­ern­ment to­move for­ward quickly with the de­sign and plan­ning work for this fa­cil­ity.

“It is not ac­cept­able to de­lay any longer and the al­lo­cated money must be spent.” Anx­ious to see if ac­tual fund­ing for construction work will be forth­com­ing in next year’s bud­get, But­ler promised, “gov­ern­ment can ex­pect many more pe­ti­tions to be pre­sented in the House of As­sem­bly if there are any fur­ther de­lays. This gov­ern­ment only lis­tens when peo­ple are strongly ad­vo­cat­ing for their cause, and I will en­sure they have a voice, he con­cluded.”

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