NDP: BC Liberal candidate Gulzar Cheema admits it was “wrong” for Wilkinson to sell Surrey hospital land

THE BC NDP said on Thursday that Surrey-Panorama BC Liberal candidate Gulzar Cheema said it was “wrong” for B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson to have sold the land in Surrey-Panorama that was set aside for a second hospital, and that Surrey “didn’t get full respect” on its healthcare needs under the BC Liberals.

Cheema was speaking to Radio Sher-E-Punjab: 

Shinder Purewal: “After that, the BC Liberals formed government and yet no hospital. And they kept saying they would build it. Then you really screwed up – your party and your government sold the land. If the land is sold, can the hospital be built?”

Gulzar Cheema: “Look, one thing I definitely agree on is that Surrey has never received the respect it deserves in regards to its healthcare needs, it didn’t get full respect. Because every party thinks they get the votes from there but then after that they don’t expect anything. I fully agree with you that what happened was wrong.” (Audio, in Punjabi)

The BC NDP said: “Now that Wilkinson’s own candidate has admitted it was a mistake, will Andrew Wilkinson apologize to the people of Surrey for selling the land and delaying the second hospital?”

5750 Panorama Drive in 2014, around the time of sale.

Background on Wilkinson’s land sale:
* The land was acquired by the BC NDP government in the 1990s as a location for a new hospital. (Surrey Now Leader)

* The BC Liberals never built a second hospital. In 2014, Citizens’ Services Minister Andrew Wilkinson sold the lot to developer Fairborne Lands at a $3 million discount. (FOI)

* The lot sold for $20.5 million despite it being recently appraised at $23.5 million. (Vancouver Sun: June 24, 2019)

* Christopher Philips, the company’s owner, later donated $25,000 to the BC Liberals. (Elections BC)