Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have a Return to Oral Question asked by the Member of Deh Cho on October 16, 2020, regarding long-term care facility.
The former health centre building in Fort Providence was deemed surplus by the department when the new health and social services centre was constructed. It was determined by Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Infrastructure that the building had reached the end of its useful life from both a technical and program perspective. It would have been cost prohibitive to upgrade the facility and meet current healthcare design and infection control standards to continue to be used a health facility.
The Department of Health and Social Services has determined that building long-term care facilities in communities outside of regional centers is not feasible because of the high cost of building and operating a long-term care facility and the need for adequate nursing and personal care staff to operate it safely.
The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving homecare services to enable elders with care needs to remain living in their community longer. As part of the mandate commitment to support seniors to age in place with dignity, we are working with our partners in other government departments to identify gaps and help improve other services and housing options that meet the growing needs of seniors.
With respect to the former health centre, the Department of Infrastructure is responsible for the disposal of the property in accordance with the GNWT Disposal of Improved Real Property Policy. I have been advised that, in early October, the Minister of Infrastructure provided the Member with an update on the disposal process for the former Fort Providence Health Centre, which is being done in accordance with this policy. I understand there is currently an assessment of the building under way and the Department of Infrastructure has already received interest from local groups. Thank you, Madam Speaker.