New hospitals, ferries coming to mid-Island in 2017

Work on BC Hydro’s John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project will also continue through 2017.


The two new mid-Island hospitals in Courtenay and Campbell River remain on budget at $606 million and on schedule to open for patients in September.

 Island Health is due to take possession of both hospitals May 1st, followed by the commissioning of equipment and then training for staff and doctors before the buildings open.

Another on-going construction project is the $1.1-billion replacement of the John Hart Generating Station in Campbell River.

The project, which began in July 2014, has generally been a mining operation until now as a huge underground cavern was dug out to house three large turbines. 

“Now in 2017 we’re placing those three turbines in place and we’re still on schedule to have this new facility online by fall of 2018,” BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson told CHEK News. 

“We peaked at about 420 jobs in September. There’s about 350 right now and that’ll probably continue through 2017,” he added. 

2017 will also see new rules affecting how you book your provincial campsite.

Some of the changes include being able to book a campsite four months in advance, beginning January 2nd as opposed to the mid-march “opening day” for reservations BC campers have been have grown increasingly frustrated with.

And to prevent reselling of sites, reservations must be made under one or two names that cannot be changed.

Travellers between Comox and Powell River will also get a new ferry in 2017.

The Queen of Burnaby built in 1965 is being replaced by the brand new Salish Orca this spring.