Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé announced a $23-million nursing home would be built in Dalhousie. (CBC)

The provincial government will build a new $23-million nursing home in the northern town of Dalhousie after extensive damage was discovered in the existing facility.

Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé announced the new nursing home, which will have 90 beds, on Thursday.

The existing Dalhousie Nursing Home was undergoing renovations when workers discovered that faulty ventilation and water infiltration had caused extensive damage to the building.

"Upon further assessment of the damage it became evident that additional repair work would be needed, which is why our government made the necessary decision to replace the home," Dubé said in a statement.

Work will begin with staff of the nursing home to ensure the new $23-million nursing home is built efficiently.


Liberal MLA Donald Arseneault called Dubé's announcement "common sense." (CBC)

The provincial government still plans to spend $2.1 million to fix up the existing building so it can adequately serve the residents in the facility until the new nursing home is built.

Liberal MLA Donald Arseneault said the nursing home announcement was a significant victory for citizens in the northern community.

"I have many differences with the government but I do have a good working relationship with Madeleine Dubé. She is a strong minister, she is compassionate," Arseneault said.

Arseneault described the announcement as "common sense" based on the magnitude of the problems facing the existing building.

He said the former Liberal government had planned a $31.5-million, 105-bed nursing home in Dalhousie but that was changed by the current government to an upgrade of the existing building.

"There are some changes [to the projects]. The site that was purchased a few years ago, is on a piece of land where there are many opportunities to make adjustments if needed for extensions," he said.

The former Liberal government had planned to spend $439 million in nursing home upgrades around the province. The Alward government scaled back that plan to $329 million in 2012.