This article by CBC reporter Jean Laroche is a must-read:
It is stunning beyond belief that successive governments haven’t seen the declining conditions of the VG as a priority. That building didn’t suddenly get into its crappy, toxic state since October 2013. Any minister, MLA or Premier who walked in could see the crowding, grubbiness and other problems.
In this 2011 Herald article former Health Minister Maureen MacDonald handed $1 million to Capital Health for a six-month design and planning study into the replacement for the Centennial Building:
If that study was conducted, everyone went mute on the results. The construction conversation in those days was in terms of hundreds of millions of dollars for a replacement facility, but according to the CBC interview, the then Minister already knew the cost would be over $1.3 billion and that the construction time-line was five years. So why authorize another costly study? Why was no report issued on the design and planning study findings? And why did her government not begin work on a replacement if it was so urgent? They were early enough in their mandate to act. Could it have been because spending that much money wasn’t politically expedient?