THE B.C. Liberals said on Thursday that recent comments from Premier John Horgan confirm that, for years, he has overpromised on the expansion of Richmond Hospital and the development of its acute care tower, with the estimated completion date now thought to be 2027 at the earliest.
“Despite promising the Richmond Hospital acute care tower expansion for two elections, John Horgan and NDP HealthMinister Adrian Dix were unable to answer simple questions like why the expansion was not included in the most recent budget, or whether they were going to keep their promise to have shovels in the ground by 2021 and the hospital completed by 2024,” said MLA for Richmond North Centre Teresa Wat. “The people of Richmond need these healthcare services and spaces, not just mixed messages and empty promises from John Horgan and the NDP.”
A timeline of the Richmond Hospital acute care tower expansion project shows how badly John Horgan and the NDP have broken their promises and misled the public:
- 2016 – BC Liberals launch concept plan for a new acute care tower at the Richmond Hospital.
- 2017 – NDP form government on a platform that promises to quickly develop a business plan for the new acute care tower.
- 2018 – Horgan instead introduces a new concept plan, promises business plan to shortly follow.
- Summer 2020 – Business plan is still not approved, new revised concept plan is approved instead in April; John Horgan visits Richmond in July and promises an approved business plan by September with expected completion date of the tower by 2024.
- Fall 2020 – Business plan is still not approved. Instead, Horgan calls a snap election. The Premier and NDP MLAs campaign heavily in Richmond on the promise that shovels will be in the ground by 2021.
- Spring 2021 –The Richmond Hospital expansion is left out of the 2021 fiscal budget. Richmond Hospital reaches 97 per cent capacity, ICU unit reaches 95 per cent capacity.
- June 2021 – During Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Health, Health Minister Adrian Dix refuses to commit to the 2024 completion date or that shovels will be in the ground in 2021; claims the concept plan is approved but not the business plan.
- June 2021 – During Budget Estimates for the Office of the Premier, Horgan states the estimated completion date is now 2027 at the earliest. Claims the business plan is approved despite Dix stating it isn’t on the same day.