LUNENBURG, N.S. — The Nova Scotia government’s recent acquisition of the Wheelhouse Motel in Lunenburg for conversion into mixed-income housing for health-care workers has stirred both curiosity and concern. The development will feature up to 12 one-bedroom units and six townhouses designed for families. The project has been hailed by Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson as essential for attracting health-care professionals “from across Canada and around the world,” raising some questions. As for myself, the keywords are ‘around the world’. Specifically, why would housing be needed for health-care workers, most of whom already have residences? The initiative suggests that the government may be focusing on recruiting international professionals instead of employing qualified local talent, some of whom were let go during the pandemic. The blame for their termination lies solely with the government, yet they have not taken steps to correct this mistake. Instead, they double down and seek to hire from abroad.
The first phase of the project carries a $4.7 million price tag: $1.5 million for purchasing the property, $1.4 million for renovations, and $1.8 million for the construction of six modular townhouses. The Housing Trust of Nova Scotia is managing both the funding and logistics for the project. While the project is still in its design phase, contractors and suppliers have not yet been selected. As per the Saltwire: Nova Scotia buys Lunenburg motel to convert into housing for health-care workers https://www.saltwire.com/halifax/news/local/nova-scotia-buys-lunenburg-motel-to-convert-into-housing-for-health-care-workers-100890924/
Details about the housing units are currently limited and will be disclosed at a later date. Nonetheless, this move has raised questions, particularly from this author.
Why is the province of Nova Scotia using taxpayer money to facilitate housing for health-care workers from other countries when there are qualified professionals available right here at home?