Alberta budget 2015: Calgary cancer centre delayed until 2024

Calgary is going to have to wait until 2024 for the opening of the new cancer treatment centre at Foothills Hospital, the NDP government announced in its first budget.

Completion of long-awaited facility pushed back 4 years

Foothills Hospital is to be the site of the new Calgary cancer centre, originally slated to open in 2020. Alberta's NDP government said in Tuesday's budget that the centre now won't be completed until 2024. (Google Street View)

Calgary is going to have to wait longer for its cancer treatment centre, the NDP government has announced in its first budget.

The previous Progressive Conservative government had planned to replace the ageing Tom Baker Cancer Centre with new facilities spread out across several different hospitals, but that plan drew fire from patients. 

In July, the new NDP government pledged to build a single new centre at the existing Foothills Hospital site.

It hoped to maintain the original timeline, which called for construction to begin in 2015 or 2016 and to be completed by 2020.

However, the government said Tuesday that the opening of the centre is now delayed until 2024.

The final cost of the project, which was initially budgeted at $830 million over five years, will be tallied when the project is tendered.

At least one Calgary physician found some good news in the announcement.

Dr. David Swann told CBC News he felt "tremendous relief and a real sense that this is actually, finally, going to take the huge pressure and the dissatisfaction and the morale loss that has pervaded a lot of the cancer care in Calgary."