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Province speeds up process for new long-term care beds in Durham

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The province is fast tracking the development of a new long-term care home (LTCH) in Clarington.

The new home, located at 285 Boswell Drive in Bowmanville, will be called Glen Hill Strathaven.

It will replace an existing home of the same name located at 246 King Street East.

The new home will include 224 new long-term care beds, and will create close to 270 new jobs.

There will also be 150 construction jobs, and 120 new positions in the LTCH.

In all, Glen Hill Strahaven will employ 450 full-time and part-time staff

Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, was joined by Durham MPP Lindsey Park, Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton, and regional politicians for the announcement of the new facility.

“One of the most important things that seniors need is to find a place that they can live, and is a safe home near core services,” said Clark.

He points out projects of this size can sometimes take a while to come to fruition due to “red tape” which “stands in front of too many community projects.”

“One of the things that I heard earlier this summer was how this community has come together for Glen Hill Strathaven,” said Clark. “[I was told] this facility’s 224 long-term care beds would fill a critical need in your community.”

“When Durham Christian Homes underwent an extensive campaign to find the appropriate site to build a long-term care home, they received a very generous donation from the Rekker family,” Clark added.

Yet, despite the donation, Clark points out there was still obstacles delaying the project.

“Another few years was just simply too long for seniors in this community to wait for a new facility,” he said.

Clark ultimately signed a Minister’s zoning order to fast track the rezoning of the land.

A Minister’s zoning order controls the use of land and sets specific requirements for new development, such as minimum lot sizes, frontage, access and servicing requirements. A zoning order may also restrict certain types of development.

“This order will bring forward this project faster, it’s going to ensure this home is up and running in the next three to five years, which will save the region millions of dollars in social service costs,” said Clark.

Park expressed her excitement for the new home located in her riding.

“We’ve all acted quickly on this, and I think it’s really a testament to all the levels of government working together to deliver for our Durham community,” said Park.

She points out the current Glen Hill Strathaven is outdated.

“That’s why we need a new, modern facility in Clarington, that will allow seniors in this community to live with the dignity, and the comfort they deserve,” she said.

Regional chair John Henry thanked the ministers in attendance, noting in less than three months, Clark signed an order after the request for home went through Clarington’s municipal council and regional council.

“If that isn’t eliminating red tape, I don’t know what is,” said Henry.

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