The last piece of the puzzle is complete as the Niagara Health System announced today that the financing for the new state-of-the-art hospital for St. Catharines, Thorold and Niagara-on-the-Lake, along with a host of new regional health care services, has been secured.

At a press conference this morning, Minister of Transportation and St. Catharines MPP, Jim Bradley announced that the $1.42 billion dollar facility will begin construction immediately. According to Minister Bradley, the building of the health care complex will generate 1,000 direct construction and trade jobs on the site, and an additional 5,400 jobs related to the four-year building process. Upon completion, the complex will add more than 200 health care jobs to the current workforce operating at the General and Ontario Street sites.

“The economic impact of the new state of the art hospital and regional health care services cannot be underestimated,” states Walter Sendzik, executive vice president and general manager of the St. Catharines – Thorold Chamber of Commerce. “This project will generate jobs – both short and long term, and just as importantly, it positions our community as place for businesses to grow and invest.”

The Niagara Health System project will be delivered using an alternative financing and procurement model. Plenary Health Niagara will receive annual payments from Niagara Health System over a 30-year period. The payments cover construction, building maintenance, lifecycle repair and renewal and project financing.

“This announcement is a key part of our communities future prosperity, ” continued Sendzik. “The recently released Paths to Prosperity by the St. Catharines – Thorold Prosperity Council identified health and wellness as an important part of growing prosperity – and this health care complex plays a vital role. Not only will this project generate jobs, but it will also attract new businesses based on an enhanced quality of life that comes with a state-of-the-art hospital.”

Although the cost of the complex has increased since it was first announced in 2003, the community share of $120 million has actually been lowered to $116 million. This means that the funding secured from the municipalities of St. Catharines, Thorold and Niagara-on-the-Lake will not be increased. As well, the It’s Our Time Campaign is 63 per cent complete with more than $25 million raised.

“This project represents the future of Niagara,” concludes Sendzik. “With a modern health system, we will be able to retain more businesses and people – and we’ll be able to attract those looking for a quality of life that only Niagara will be able to offer. It’s a great day for Niagara.”

You can read the full story here.

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