One year on, Fort Good Hope seniors’ centre still hasn’t opened
More than a year after the territorial government held an opening ceremony at Fort Good Hope’s seniors’ centre, the building has not opened and nobody lives there.
The nine-unit complex was designed to help seniors in Fort Good Hope age in place, one of the current NWT government’s stated priorities.
Rylund Johnson, the MLA for Yellowknife North, said in the legislature on Tuesday he had asked ministers why the facility remains closed but received no clear answer.
In June last year, the CBC reported the complex had failed an inspection by the fire marshal as its design did not meet the national building code.
Housing minister Paulie Chinna said on Tuesday the NWT Housing Corporation is still improving the new building to meet those standards and she did not know when it would open.
She said her department is “pressing the contractor” to complete the work and provide a date on which people can move in.
Chinna said an electrical contractor and structural engineer travelled to Fort Good Hope in November. Engineers from an architectural firm are conducting a mechanical review of the building.
Asked how the building could have been built with so many problems that were not identified until an inspection, Chinna said that outcome was “unfortunate.”
“I’m hoping to have that complex open this year. We did have a commitment last year of March 2022,” she said.
Chinna could not provide a total cost for the project nor identify who was paying to fix the issues, but said the department is “working very strategically to minimize those costs.”
Johnson said he remained “not at all convinced this is a one-time problem the GNWT has solved, and I’m not convinced this is the last building we are going to open that is actually not opened.”