A letter to residents and staff at Riverview Manor, following a visit to the facility by the premier and an MLA late last week, ratifies the province’s stand that breaking ground to build a new facility won’t happen until spring of 2017.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Montague-Kilmuir MLA Allen Roach visited the manor in Montague last Thursday.
The province’s stand is firm despite the fact that ceiling tiles in one of the common rooms in the 49-year-old health care facility recently fell to the floor from the weight of water leaking into the building during an October 22nd rain storm. Other signs of deterioration are clearly visible inside the facility.
The incident, the last straw for Trilby Jeeves, whose father the late Barry Jeeves spent his final years in the Riverview Manor, prompted the Vancouver resident to vent her frustration on social media.
She is disappointed the official visit didn’t speed up the construction process.
“I would love to see some sort of action that underlines the promise they keep promising,” Ms Jeeves said. “People don’t believe them anymore.”
The town and residents across the region share Ms Jeeves’ concerns.
Montague Mayor Richard Collins says he has been inundated with questions on the declining state of the manor and why new construction is delayed.
“Residents, workers and citizens ... I hear from people every day,” Mayor Collins said.
“What can you find out about why the manor’s not coming?” “We need a new manor.” “We won’t put members of our family in that particular manor because it’s not fit to be in,” are just a few of questions he says he’s fielding.
In April 2015 government announced the manor replacement planning, originally announced in 2009, would begin.
In spring 2016 the old high school property was selected as the site for the new facility and the town issued Brighton Construction a permit to begin preparation and foundations.
But before any dirt was moved, government put the project on hold citing a lack of federal funding.
The letter from the premier’s office states the time line for construction was adjusted to enable the province to explore cost sharing arrangements.
Ms Jeeves wonders what the original funding was used for.
She said if ground were broken now it would go a long way to bring back public trust.
Montague Town Council is equally frustrated.
Mayor Collins said it falls on the municipality to look into the concerns of citizens.
When the delay in construction was announced several months ago, Mayor Collins, at council’s request, wrote a letter to the premier requesting a meeting with the town here in Montague.
The request was denied, but the mayor was invited to meet one on one with the premier in Charlottetown.
Council declined and a second invitation was extended to the premier and ministers involved to come to Montague.
No one from council was invited to join the premier and Mr Roach in the visit to the manor.
However, the town did receive a copy of the letter from the premier’s office that was sent to Riverview Manor staff and residents.
Back in 2009 the then Liberal government announced the replacement of five long term care facilities in PEI. It was expected planning for a new manor in Montague would begin sometime in 2013-2014.
“We are anxious to have it,” Mayor Collins said. “It is long overdue.”