Priceless lifestyles lost
“Not one million dollars. Not two million. But five million dollars.”
The younger generation can be forgiven, if that old line does not ring a bell.
But for those who can remember Joey in his heyday, it should bring back some memories of another time.
Our first premier after Confederation trotted it out every time he was announcing a grand new mega-project that cost millions of taxpayers’ dollars. Of course, the fact the money was coming from taxpayers’ pockets was conveniently forgotten when the piper (premier) was calling the tune.
Imagine if Joey only had had the oil mega-bucks Kathy Dunderdale and company have today to spend on megaprojects.
The $108-million long-term care facility going up in Carbonear is a prime example.
It’s not hard to picture Joey shouting from the rooftop of the Carbonear General Hospital. This brand new longterm care facility will cost “not ten million, not twenty million, but 108 million dollars.”
At the risk of sounding like Joey, the new long-term care facility is costing 10 times the $11 million the hospital cost to build in the late 1970s, making it the largest single construction project of its kind ever seen in the area.
As site preparation work kicks up the dust and tenders are called for other phases of this massive project, the southside of Carbonear has become a beehive of activity.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, site preparation is nearing completion and tenders have been called for the main building, which will house a new elementary school. That project is expected to run at least $15 million, if not closer to $20 million by the time all the bills have been paid.
In Harbour Grace, meanwhile, work continues on a multi-million water/sewer, and long overdue road upgrading and paving of Harvey Street.
All of this must be a tough pill to swallow for those naysayers, who would like you to believe there is nothing going on in the district.
And with just over three months to go before we head to the polls in a provincial general election, it’s difficult not to have some sympathy for opposition parties in their quest for sacrificial lambs to run against Jerome Kennedy.
These projects are creating employment and boosting the local economy. And for the most part, after they are up and running, they will continue to do so.
It’s all positive and good stuff. Under the circumstances, one might be hard pressed to find any downside to any of it.
The new long-term care facility is government’s response to looking after our aging population.
According to Jerome Kennedy, “it will include space for recreation, therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and spirituality.” It all sounds wonderful grand. It’s just the sheer size of this massive institution — replacing three smaller ones — that is a little disconcerting.
For all the bells and whistles these state-of-the art, topof-the line, cutting edge institutions have to offer, there is one loss for which they cannot compensate. That is a person’s individuality and independence. And the bigger these institutions are the colder and more impersonal they become, no matter how warm and caring staff may be.
Loss of independence and individuality is perhaps the biggest price people pay when age takes its toll and they are no longer able to care for themselves, and families are unable to provide the care they need.
Independence and individuality are priceless lifestyles that cannot be duplicated in such institutions. They can’t be purchased, not even for $108 million.