PEI

Keeping vacant Prince Edward Home running waste of money, says Fox

The P.E.I. government is still paying the bills on the old Prince Edward Home that has been vacant now for over a year, and Opposition leader Jamie Fox calls it a waste of taxpayer's money.

Opposition leader says province should have decided fate of Prince Edward Home long ago

The old Prince Edward Home in Charlottetown has been closed over a year, with the province paying the bills to keep it in shape. (CBC)

The P.E.I. government is still paying the bills on a building that has been vacant now for over a year.

The old Prince Edward Home is in a prime location, next to Victoria Park in Charlottetown.

The province has paid about $65,000 to heat the former nursing home and palliative care building since it closed in March of 2015.

"Why do we continue to allow this to happen in the province?" asked Opposition leader Jamie Fox, who said letting the large building just sit unused is a waste of money.

Opposition leader Jamie Fox calls keeping the building heated for over a year was a huge waste of taxpayer's money. (CBC)
"Put buildings in use, or take them completely out of service," he said. "Do not continue to waste taxpayer's money on a building or just shoving the problem to the side."

The government has not made a decision yet on what will happen to the property.

"It's a large building and it's an important piece of property, and government continues without any decision yet on what to do with the property," said Alan Maynard, director of public works and planning for Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. "So there has been no decision made on it, but it's certainly under consideration."

Jamie Fox said too many buildings are sitting idle while the province still pays heat and electricity costs.

One of a dozen

The province said it has about a dozen empty properties, with the two largest being the Prince Edward Home and the old Summerset Manor in Summerside, which is no longer being heated.

Government calls the Prince Edward Home a large, and important piece of real estate, and is still considering options. (CBC)
Provincial officials said many of its vacant buildings are not heated, but in the case of the Prince Edward Home it's seen as a valuable property, and heating it in colder months preserves the infrastructure.

Government still hasn't figured out if there's another use for the building or if it should be demolished, and if so, what that would cost.

Other provincial buildings which have been torn down have cost $80,000 or more.

"Why isn't this building torn down, why are we continuing to heat it?" said Fox. "There's no reason why a decision couldn't have been made on this building within 60 or 90 days."

There is no timeline on plans for the Prince Edward Home, and the province said with important centrally located properties, the process can often take longer as there are more options to explore.

For now the plan is to keep paying the bills associated with that building and others.

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