The project associate ministers knew
Confidence that the aging in place health facility in Bassano will be built is at an all time high.
“I’m pretty convinced they’ll do something,” said Brooks city councillor Barry Morishita who is also the Newell Foundation chair and project lead.
Elected officials from Brooks, Duchess, Bassano, Rosemary and the county met with ministers of health, seniors, housing and municipal affairs at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) meeting in Edmonton last week.
It was the first time a County of Newell politician attended an AUMA meeting.
“They were all impressed with our commitment of cooperating and working together and I think that showed in how they received us and how they received the project,” Morishita said.
The county’s deputy reeve Brian de Jong said although ministers may not have been familiar with the project associate ministers knew about it.
He added health minister Stephen Mandel was surprised that no one is asking the province to build the facility.
“They aren’t coming to the government and saying, ‘Will you build this for us?,’” de Jong said.
Newell Foundation is asking the government for the land to build the Life Lease units and to be able to lease the hospital to Alberta Health Services (AHS) for 30 years after construction.
“It seemed to resonate very well with every minister we met with,” de Jong said.
Morishita is confident the project will continue to move forward over the next few months.
“I’m really optimistic we’re going to hear something by (provincial) budget as far as getting started,” he said.
“We have to be patient. It’s a great project. It’s worth waiting for. I’m hoping some time next year we’re back on the road and going hard,” he added.
Strathmore-Brooks MLA Jason Hale wants to ensure the chair of the provincial rural health care review knows about the Bassano project.