Editorial: Mills move was political

Premier Christy Clark’s approval of a case study for the Terrace, B.C. hospital doesn't guarantee anything.

Let’s be clear about one thing with Premier Christy Clark’s announcement that a business case study will now go ahead for a new Mills Memorial Hospital.

It’s not a guarantee of a replacement for the aging structure. Far from it. What a business case study will do is define the costs of construction and the costs of the services a new Mills should provide.

Only when that is done will the process begin of deciding whether such a project should go ahead and how that project fits in with other demands for public sector dollars.

What Ms. Clark did was relieve some of the political pressure that’s been growing among locals that Mills needs replacing, something not insignificant considering there’s an election next year.

Ms. Clark looks good inasmuch as she overrode the refusal for the past two years of her government to entertain the idea of a business case study in the first place.

Her candidate in the Skeena riding, Ellis Ross, at least now has something to tell the voters he’s courting.

And note that the business case study will be financed by the North West Regional Hospital District through northwest property taxes and not by the province. Only when a project is actually approved will the hospital district be compensated.

So what we have is an announcement that’s not a guarantee of construction for a study not being paid for by the province. That’s politics.