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

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

Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. is now planned to be open in the fall. (File photo)
Wellness and Recovery Centre now to open in the fall

Three community dialogues scheduled for May

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Editorial: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Over 60 Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the Step Up Work Placement Program. (Submitted photo)
New Mid-Island Indigenous youth work placement program seeks employer partners

So far, more than 60 youth from Qualicum Beach to the Malahat are participating in the program

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Most Read