A new hospital is likely at least six years away said CVRD chair Jon Lefebure. (Citizen file)

Date for new hospital for Cowichan Valley pushed back

“Even if it moves along smoothly, it could be six years before the doors open,”

Jon Lefebure says hopes of replacing the aging Cowichan District Hospital with a new facility will take longer than recently announced.

Speaking to a gathering of business people at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting, the North Cowichan mayor, who is also chair of the CVRD and the Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District, appeared to backtrack on an earlier statement that the new hospital was only three years away.

“The province will decide when it will be built but even if it moves along smoothly, it could be six years before the doors open,” Lefebure said.

Despite the longer time frame, Lefebure was upbeat about progress on the project and says the process is moving along well with the concept plan close to completion. The development of a business plan is the next step, he said.

The cost of the estimated $400 million hospital will be shared with the province, committed to 60 per cent of the investment. Local governments will pick up the balance.

In October 2016, the hospital district purchased land totalling 22 acres on Bell McKinnon Road on which the new hospital will be built.

Lefebure told the business gathering that Cowichan Valley residents will also have to be patient when it comes to two other long-anticipated projects.

“We don’t have any firm commitment about replacing Cowichan High,” Lefebure acknowledged.

“The challenge is that across the province there are numerous schools that are as old or older and we’re competing with that.”

Lefebure says a new high school and a trades school would the last piece of the puzzle for Cowichan Place, the education and recreation hub that already includes Vancouver Island University, the Island Savings Centre and the aquatic centre.

As for a new RCMP detachment, Lefebure said “we’re in a bit of a no man’s land” after the previous provincial government put the brakes on any plans for a new facility until it determined what the regional policing model should look like.

“The new government is faced with that situation as well,” he said. “We’ve talked to the RCMP and they support us and we expect to hear more from the RCMP in a couple weeks but we’re on hold.”

North Cowichan has been talking about replacing the Canada Avenue detachment for more than a decade and purchased land on Drinkwater Road for a new building in 2014.

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Capitals open their 2019 training camp

The Caps are back. The Cowichan Valley Capitals opened their fall training… Continue reading

Indigenous voices to take centre stage at Cowichan Valley festival

From Sept. 7-8, you can listen to Indigenous voices at third annual Koksilah Music Festival

MacDowell rugby camp coming to Cowichan next week

Six Canadian senior rugby sevens players and six U20 players will be… Continue reading

Woman thought she’d die trapped in her backyard shed

Jessica McCauley kept her cool and worked her way out

Play revolves around teenagers in thought-provoking dialect

Chemainus Theatre’s I & You focuses on the development of an unlikely friendship

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

Most Read