Premier an­nounces Hal­i­fax hos­pi­tal will get a subur­ban out­post

Truro Daily News - - ATLANTIC / LIFESTYLES -

A new outpatient cen­tre for Hal­i­fax’s down­town QEII hos­pi­tal is to be built amid the retail out­lets of Bay­ers Lake in the city’s west­ern sub­urbs.

Premier Stephen McNeil un­veiled the project Thurs­day at a 15-acre site he said the prov­ince pur­chased for $7.5 mil­lion as part of the rede­vel­op­ment of aging QEII sites, in­clud­ing the trou­ble-plagued Vic­to­ria Gen­eral (VG).

The fa­cil­ity will of­fer ser­vices in­clud­ing blood col­lec­tion, x-rays, ini­tial vis­its with spe­cial­ists, and other ser­vices.

“I was an emer­gency nurse at the VG 25 years ago and we’ve ac­knowl­edged that build­ing should have come down about 20 years ago,” Paula Bond, vi­cepres­i­dent of in­te­grated health ser­vices for the Nova Sco­tia Health Author­ity, told re­porters.

The an­nounce­ment was the lat­est in a se­ries of hos­pi­tal-re­lated spend­ing an­nounce­ments from the McNeil govern­ment, which could call an elec­tion as early as this month. Bond said her praise of the govern­ment’s de­ci­sion was non-par­ti­san.

“I’m go­ing to sing the praises of any­body who is go­ing to help me move out of there,” she said.

McNeil said ac­cess to high­ways

102 and 103, which run very close to the site, was a key fac­tor in choos­ing the spot, as well as pop­u­la­tion growth in the area.

Crit­ics noted the lack of pub­lic tran­sit ac­cess, which McNeil said he plans to dis­cuss with the Hal­i­fax Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. He also said roads will be ex­tended into the prop­erty.

“There’s three or four dif­fer­ent ways into this site,” he said to re­porters af­ter the an­nounce­ment, held be­tween Home Out­fit­ters and Mar­shalls.

Four­teen other sites were con­sid­ered, he said.

The land was pur­chased from a com­pany owned by the Halef fam­ily, who have do­nated to the Lib­eral party, but McNeil said that had no in­flu­ence on their de­ci­sion.

“It had noth­ing to do with that,” McNeil said. “I’m not even sure who we bought the land from, to be frank.”

NDP Leader Gary Bur­rill said the lo­ca­tion is in­con­ve­nient for peo­ple with­out a car, or who live across the har­bour.

CP PHOTO

Nova Sco­tia Premier Stephen McNeil (back) and sup­port­ers pose in Hal­i­fax yes­ter­day af­ter an­nounc­ing a new QEII outpatient clinic.

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