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Delays stalling much-needed rebuild of aging N.B. nursing home

The board of directors for a nursing home and daycare facility in Saint Andrews, N.B., says delays by the province have stalled a much-needed rebuild.

They need approval from the provincial government to replace for the overcrowded and cramped Passamaquoddy Lodge.

Caroline Davies, who speaks on behalf of the board of directors, said two wheelchairs can’t go down a hallway at the same time and some washrooms don’t have doors.

“We need to provide these people, who have supported us and paid taxes all these years, the accomodation and the lifestyle they deserve,” she said.

The board says the project to replace the lodge has been stalled by the New Brunswick government.

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Saint Andrews Mayor Brad Henderson said he’s had a conversation with the local MLA, Kathy Bockus, and he’s been told the province is reviewing a few older nursing home facilities.

He expects an answer by the end of February.

“It reaches a certain point where we’re just talking, and a project like this takes a couple of years to actually build,” he said. “We need to get shovels in the ground if we’re going to see it.”

He said longer it takes to get an approval, more challenges will arise with the current facility.

Henderson added the current lodge could be transformed into housing for the local community college.

The province won’t say when a decision will be made, but it said in a statement that it is doing a facility condition assessment to better understand the state of older facilities and the cost of upgrades.

Henderson hopes to hear some news soon.

“I know the way a budget works. If it’s not in the budget for this year, it’s not going to happen this year,” he said.

“So I’d just like to have a straight-up conversation. Is this something the province of New Brunswick supports, or does it not?”

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