Photo: Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm and Minister Ida Chong take a break out of their schedule to sit down and check out local publication "Northern Groove" during their time together in Fort St. John – Brent Hodson / Energeticcity.ca
By Brent Hodson
The Provincial Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, Ida Chong was in town this week to view a few of the projects going on in Fort St. John that have received provincial funding.
Chong got first hand knowledge about the newly constructed Enerplex as she toured the building. "It’s a unique facility as it is only one of three facilities in North America that can offer long track speed skating" Chong said as she referenced how important it is to continue to build on the idea of sport and the legacy of hosting a major event with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. "The Enerplex is a great facility for training and competition and I was impressed with the ice plant and how it shows new innovations and concepts" she said.
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She felt that visiting the Enerplex was important and was needed so she could fully understand the building and can now speak about when talking to other athletes or sport federations.
After visiting the newly constructed Enerplex, Minister Chong toured the construction of the new hospital and residential care facility which she felt was very important for Fort St. John. Chong was impressed with how the Project Manager and the project itself have allowed for the incorporation of ideas from both clinicians and health care workers. One way to see that was when she visited the warehouse that is housing mock-ups of different rooms that will be built into the new hospital.
"I already saw writing in the rooms on how they can be changed to make things more user friendly by the health care workers which will provide better care to the patients" Chong said. "If you just saw the rendering of the drawings and not actually see the structure and where the windows are placed, where the bed and equipment will be then you might not have it in the best place and you would lose the opportunity to build a facility that would cater to the patient and the health care workers that will provide the care." She did mention that was she told that the hospital is on time and on budget which is always a good sign.
As Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, Ida Chong is also responsible for the regulations for meat inspection. Today she will tour the mobile abattoir to have a look at the facility and how it is benefitting the North Peace.
Minister Chong will leave Fort St. John knowing that this area has a lot of promise.
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Chong said that Fort St. John is doing fairly well considering what is happening provincially with the recession and feels that it will be a jurisdiction that can get out of it. She noted that as you have one city after another start to come around that the confidence in British Columbians will be there and they will open their wallets to spend and invest more in the community and in the province and that is what a strong economy is all about.