COURTENAY, B.C- A residential home in the Comox Valley might be throwing in their hat for a new health project in the area.

Earlier in the week, Island Health announced an RFP for a facility that could house 120 long-term complex care beds within the Valley. The new announcement was replacing a 70-bed RFP, which had been rescinded in August of last year.

As part of the new RFP, six hospice beds would be included as part of any new facilities, as well as medical assistance in dying (MAiD). The previous RFP had been shut down in response to feedback from the Valley communities, which included The Views at St. Joseph’s refusing to offer MAiD.

With the release of the new RFP, the Views will be considering an application.

“We’re currently reviewing the details of the RFP, and clearly we need to make a decision soon to see if we proceed or not,” said Michael Aikins, Chief Administrative Officer of the Views.

“Clearly our board is aware that the RFP is out, and the quick turnaround timeline. We need to make a decision soon.”

Aikins expected a decision by early next week.

According to Tim Orr, the director of residential services with Island Health, the RFP could have more than one proponent. However, Island Health doesn’t know whether that will be the case until they start receiving proposals.

“There were concerns in the community about the hospice unit, and the location,” said Orr.

“We started to re-consider a few things, including the number of beds. So, the direction that we wanted to go changed enough that we felt we needed to cancel the RFP, re-evaluate where we were going, and issue a new one.”

He confirmed that concerns over the hospice beds at St. Joseph’s played a role.

However, he was happy to have the RFP out again.

“It’s been longer than I would have hoped, and it feels really good to have the RFP out,” said Orr.

“We’re looking forward to seeing some really innovative proposals for dementia care, and a really great custom built hospice unit in a facility, so I’m really excited.”

Proposals for the RFP are being accepted until May 11.

Island Health is aiming for the new beds to be ready for occupancy in 2020.