FREDERICTON (GNB) – The process of selecting the proponents to build and operate four new nursing homes in the province is underway.

A request for qualifications has been posted for new 60-bed nursing homes in Saint John, Moncton and Florenceville-Bristol, along with a 190-bed facility to replace Villa Providence in Shediac.

“It is wonderful to see these projects moving forward,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris. “These nursing homes will help meet both current and future demand in their regions and will help to ensure that more New Brunswick seniors get the quality care they need and deserve.”

It was announced earlier this year that, as part of the 2018-2023 Nursing Home Plan, 10 new 60-bed nursing homes would be built around the province in three phases over the next five years. These three nursing homes and the replacement facility are all part of the projects included in the first phase of the plan.

At this time, interested parties are asked to declare their qualifications to build and operate these new homes. Those chosen to move forward to the request for proposal stage will be selected and invited to submit formal proposals in the coming months.

Construction could begin as early as next summer and the homes could be ready in 2021.

Fostering healthy aging and support for seniors is one of the seven priority areas outlined in the New Brunswick Family Plan framework, which also focuses government action on: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with addictions and mental health challenges; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty and providing support for people living with a disability.