BC Liberals say NDP leaves Richmond Hospital redevelopment out of budget

RICHMOND North Centre MLA Teresa Wat is asking John Horgan and the NDP to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to Richmond Hospital.

Wat says the NDP promised the people of Richmond that the hospital redevelopment would be prioritized, yet funding for the new acute care tower isn’t in the 2021 budget.

“This has been a key part of the NDP’s election platform in both the 2017 and 2020 elections,” said Wat. “Both times, the NDP has claimed that a hospital is on the way, and yet they have left it out of every budget since. They are not just failing on their commitments to the people of Richmond, they are blatantly misleading them.”

She said that during the 2020 provincial election in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, NDP candidates campaigned heavily in Richmond on a promise to move quickly on the new acute care tower. NDP MLA Kelly Greene even stated she expects there would be shovels in the ground by 2021. Last week, the Richmond Hospital ICU was at 95 per cent bed capacity, while the entire hospital was at 97 per cent capacity.

“This pandemic has shed light on the need for government to invest in health care and hospital capacity,” said Wat. “At this time, we need to focus on providing greater care to Richmond residents and British Columbians. Instead, we have more broken promises by this government in the middle of a pandemic.”