Opening of 2 new N.L. care homes delayed by flooring, water problems

·2 min read
Though major exterior work appears finished, problems inside the new long-term care facility in Gander will keep residents from getting inside for another two to three weeks. (Garrett Barry/CBC - image credit)
Though major exterior work appears finished, problems inside the new long-term care facility in Gander will keep residents from getting inside for another two to three weeks. (Garrett Barry/CBC - image credit)
Garrett Barry/CBC
Garrett Barry/CBC

Residents looking for long-term care in Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor will need to wait at least two more weeks because of problems with water systems and uneven flooring in the new buildings.

In a statement to CBC News, Central Health says there are issues with the cold water systems in the Grand Falls-Windsor home and with flooring in the showers of the Gander facility.

The two 60-bed facilities were expected to open in 2021, before a document tabled in the House of Assembly in December showed 400 pages' worth of issues and building deficiencies in the two homes. Infrastructure Minister Elvis Loveless said at the time work was being done to fix about 100 outstanding problems.

Barry Petten, the transportation and infrastructure critic for the Progressive Conservatives, said the delay is putting more stress on an already strained system, with families whose loved ones need care wait for the facilities to open.

"We're backlogged again for another month.… They're waiting to get into these homes. It compounds the problems, no doubt about it," he said Wednesday.

Petten told reporters the project shows a lack of workmanship from builders and oversight from the provincial government, which held a ceremonial opening of the facilities with Premier Andrew Furey in March.

Petten said he doesn't know if the water and flooring issues were known to the government when they opened the building, but he believes issues and delays should be better communicated by officials.

"You ask a question and you're told, 'You're obsessed with this issue' or you're being downplayed.… It becomes this smoke and mirrors, this illusion. It's almost like an alternate universe," he said.

"If the building's not ready, why go out and have a ribbon-cutting?… I think the message on government is just that this don't pass the smell test."

CBC News has asked the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure for comment.

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