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Health Care is the Key to Community Success

Port Alberni is changing. A community that was once know as a mill town is now diversifying and shifting.

According to the Real Estate Council of BC, people look at a lot of different factors when they are considering moving to a community. Port Alberni is starting to get a reputation for having many of those desirable qualities. In addition to affordable housing, Port Alberni also has many of the amenities people are looking for in a new community. These include tax rates, services and facilities available, transportation, demographics of the community, recreation, the school system, and health care.

The good news is Port Alberni is climbing the ranks when it comes to desirable places to live. Although MoneySense’s rankings in 2014 named Port Alberni the worst place to live out of 201 cities in Canada it is clear that is not a true reflection of the community’s worth. In fact, since it was a ranking of Canada’s top cities, Port Alberni was the worst of the best.

Port Alberni has been climbing in the MoneySense ranks ever since, and that of other publications. This year McLean’s Magazine listed Canada’s top 415 cities, and Port Alberni was number 87.

When asked to rate Port Alberni’s top qualities, the first was access to Wi-Fi, as with almost of the other cities ranked during a year when so many people were working from home. Number two on people’s list was health care.

It does not come as any surprise to Port Alberni’s mayor, Sharie Minions, that people appreciate the health care available in the Alberni Valley. She points out that West Coast General Hospital is outstanding and serves as the main hub for health care for the region. Minions says the expansion of the Emergency Department will only serve as another reason for people in the region to have faith in their hospital.

“The changes West Coast General Hospital has planned for the Emergency Department are going to make a big difference in our community,” she says. “We already have an amazing facility with top-notch doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. The changes they have planned will offer more privacy to patients and a more efficient space for staff and paramedics that will equate to better overall care for their patients.”

The $6.25 million Emergency Department redevelopment will include a 244 square meter expansion and improvements to the existing space. It will add three new separate patient rooms, extra space for testing, a separate private room for patients who need mental health care, improvements to the triage and admitting area, and two separate entrances for ambulance and the public.

“I’m really excited to see this project when it is completed,” Minions explains. “I hope people see what a big difference it will make and support the Hospital Foundation’s fundraising efforts.”

The WCGH Foundation has pledged to raise $2 million with its Emergency Challenge. No challenge is too small or too big. Every dollar raised gets the Foundation one step closer to its goal. Who are you going to challenge?

For more information, to suggest a challenge idea, or to make a donation, contact the Foundation at 250-731-1370 ext. 48148 or email Donate online at or follow us on Facebook.

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