Writer says ‘outrage’ better word for gov’t kibosh of new Mills Memorial Hospital plan

Letter writer says mayor Leclerc's reaction to government's refusal to move the hospital plan was pretty mild.

A brand new Mills Memorial Hospital

Dear Sir:

Perhaps it was that I have had the opportunity to visited both Kitimat General Hospital (KGH) and Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) the past year that the headline “Gov’t kiboshes hospital plan” caught my attention in the August 17th issue.

It may also have been a few strange comments that really got me wondering about the political games at play.

First it was “… Leclerc who didn’t add that she was disappointed by Lakes’ refusal.” Which I thought was a pretty mild reaction to expect from top representative and spokesperson for Terrace.

The word “outrage” might have been more in tune to what I have been hearing but then I don’t have any political affiliations either.

If there was a different B.C. government, would there be a problem with expressing “disappointment”?

I rather doubt it.

I suspect we would have a weekly medical horror story on the news and outrage by all but now, we must not offend the government?  What has changed?

Lake’s letter in response to the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District Hospital Committee which (please note) “helps finance health-care projects” and “offered to pay the complete costs of the detailed business plan” so there would be “no delay when funding becomes available”.

This gets an “adamant refusal” and we can’t say we are deeply disappointed?

This is pure partisan politics put before the health service needs of citizens in this area.

It is shocking!

Next year is an election and in cheap politics the rules are clear.

One: never make a promise unless it is prefaced by “If I am elected, I will…”;

two: never ruin a good promise by keeping it;

and three: never back yourself into a corner where you have nothing else to blame for a delay in keeping it.

If the planning gets done, what excuse will there be for Minister Lake not going to the next step?

What this demands is letters of protest from card-carrying liberals about this brand of cheap politics.

If you don’t see the need to castigate the minister’s position, take a stroll through MMH and then through KGH and see the difference, then demand he come up here and do the same.

I have stated it before that the B.C. provincial debt liability has gone up $130 billion (that’s a “B”) from $30 billion in 2001, so ask Minister Lake where the money has gone and why a proper hospital is now considered unaffordable.

I can’t help wondering whether the current government’s transfer of governance of our hospitals to Prince George in the early 2000’s might have been a serious mistake.

KGH was conceived and promoted by a local hospital board. They never let up.

The Northern Health Authority is an agent of the same government dragging its feet.

I am disappointed and not just at Minister Lake.

Helmut Giesbrecht

Terrace, B.C.