The B.C. Ministry of Health will spend at least $4.4 billion over the next three to five years on 13 major hospital construction projects, according to B.C. Finance Minister Carole James.
The COVID-19 pandemic has strangled B.C.’s once full-throttle private construction industry, but, with ironic timing, it is a multibillion-dollar hospital construction program that may salvage an industry that accounted for nearly a fifth of the provincial GDP in 2019.
B.C. housing starts have already dropped 30 per cenr from last year, and Metro Vancouver condo launches have plunged 75 per cent.
The COVID-19 crisis may also topple plans for up to five new Vancouver office towers that were to start construction this year and next.
Construction on some of the big hospital projects will start this year, including the $1.9 billion new St. Paul’s in Vancouver, and most will be underway within 24 months.
The new St. Paul’s Hospital, operated by Providence Health Care (PHC), will be built on an 18.4-acre site on False Creek Flats bought for $45.5 million through a public-private partnership.
St. Paul’s main building will be an 11-storey acute care hospital; other buildings will house primary care, outpatient and specialty clinics, research programs, health-care technology, biomedical and life sciences businesses.
Shortlisted contractors for the new St. Paul’s are EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare and the PCL Team. The winner will be named “later this year,” according to government statements.
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