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02/06: Northern Cancer Control Strategy Liaison Committee holds inaugural meeting

Prince George’s three area MLAs were joined today by municipal leaders and representatives from the Provincial Health Services Authority, BC Cancer Agency, Northern Health, and Partnerships BC for the inaugural meeting of a liaison committee to discuss the progress of the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North, as a major component of the Northern Cancer Control Strategy (NCCS).

"With a strategy as large and complex as the Northern Cancer Control Strategy, information sharing is vital," says Prince George-Mount Robson MLA Shirley Bond and Chair of the Liaison Committee. "The new committee is a venue for us to stay well informed, in turn allowing us to keep northern cancer patients and their loved ones up-to-date. In particular the timelines around the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North are aggressive and we want to ensure everything possible is being done to meet the target of a 2012 completion."

The NCCS Liaison Committee was formed to ensure elected officials have an opportunity to meet regularly to receive updates on the project status and milestones, as well to discuss challenges and opportunities. Members of the committee include:

  • Shirley Bond, MLA, PG/Mount Robson (Chair)
  • John Rustad, MLA PG/Omineca
  • Pat Bell, MLA Prince George North
  • Dan Rogers, Mayor, City of Prince George
  • Stephanie Killam, Fraser-Fort George Regional Hospital District
  • Dr. Charles Jago, Chair, NH Board

Leaders and support staff from the BC Cancer Agency, Provincial Health Services Authority, Northern Health and the Ministry of Health Services will provide administrative support to the committee, including Hal Collier, Chief Project Officer, Northern Cancer Control Strategy; Cathy Ulrich, Northern Health CEO, and; Brian Schmidt, interim President, BC Cancer Agency.

“I’m pleased to be at the table with my colleagues from the Legislature, the BC Cancer Agency and Health Authorities to hear what progress is being made on the Strategy and to report on the needs of my constituents,” said Prince George North MLA Pat Bell.

The construction of the new BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North is a joint initiative undertaken by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), BC Cancer Agency and Northern Health. It will provide residents of northern British Columbia with increased access to cancer control services.

“The BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North will allow patients in northern B.C. to receive world-class cancer care closer to home,” said Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad.  “As we move closer to this reality, I look forward to bringing updates from the Liaison Committee back to my community.”

The cancer centre will be located on the Prince George Regional Hospital site. The full-service BC Cancer Agency Centre will be a 5,500-square-metre facility and programs will include two linear accelerators used in the delivery of radiation therapy treatment. The centre will be designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

"I welcome the opportunity to meet with elected officials to guide the development of the Cancer Centre in Prince George as part of the broader strategy,” said Dr. Charles Jago, Northern Health Board chair. “It is an opportunity to ensure we are building a solid network of cancer control across the region, in order to improve access to cancer care, prevention and diagnostic services for northern BC residents."

“We’re very excited to be at this stage, where three proponent teams have been selected to participate in the request for proposals phase of the competition to build the Centre for the North,” said Brian Schmidt, interim President, BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the PHSA. “Once a proponent is chosen, things will move quickly so it’s important that we have the committee in place so all partners involved will receive timely updates.”

“The new BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North in an important step forward to ensuring patients and their loved ones living in the North have access to enhanced cancer services and supports closer to home,” said Wynne Powell, PHSA Board Chair. “We are committed to working closely with our partners to ensure the success of this important project.”

The Centre for the North was approved by the Province on July 18, 2008. Construction is targeted to start in late 2009, with a completion goal of 2012. The facility is a public-private partnership. ​

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For more information, please contact:

Nicole Adams
Director of Communications
BC Cancer Agency
604-675-8105

Steve Raper
Director of Communications
Northern Health
250-565-2694

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