BY JINNY SIMS
NDP MLA for Surrey-Panorama
BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has literally sold out Surrey when it comes to building a new hospital.
If given the opportunity, he would do it again.
In 2014, when he served as Minister of Citizens’ Services, Wilkinson went on a selling spree, dumping land at below-market prices to private developers.
One of the parcels of land sold by Wilkinson was a property that was acquired by the NDP government in the 1990s, and was designated to be the site for a new hospital in Surrey.
It was on that very site that Gordon Campbell held a news conference in 2005 where he promised to follow through on the NDP commitment to build a new hospital. After that election, the hospital became nothing more than an empty BC Liberal promise, despite the fact that Surrey was growing and the demand for health services was expanding.
Wilkinson’s land sale sealed the fate of that much needed hospital.
That all changed when John Horgan became Premier.
Last December, the Premier stood with all Surrey NDP MLAs to announce that our government is building a new hospital for people in Surrey. The announcement was held in Cloverdale, on land that was acquired near Kwantlen Polytechnic University after the concept plan for the hospital was approved by Treasury Board.
On that same day, Health Minister Adrian Dix outlined a clear plan for construction of the hospital, including the development of a business plan. Once that plan is complete, a dollar figure will be attached in the government’s capital plan, a process that is standard for capital projects, regardless of the political party in power.
The final cost of the hospital is expected to be between $1 billion and $2 billion.
Instead of righting the wrongs of the past and supporting the construction of a new hospital for Surrey, the BC Liberals have opted instead to spread misinformation about our government’s commitment.
Our premier, our health minister and every Surrey NDP MLA has been clear. We will build this hospital.
Andrew Wilkinson has not committed to getting this vital project done. Even now, he refuses to commit to this project, opting instead to take every opportunity to undermine it, spreading confusion and fear instead of working to meet the healthcare needs of people in Surrey.
He and his colleagues are already tallying up the excuses so they can fail the people of Surrey again if given the opportunity.
Unlike BC Liberals, our government is committed to delivering on our promises. In 2017 we promised to get rid of tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges, and we delivered on this immediately. We continue to deliver for the people of Surrey.
- We have opened the Surrey Urgent and Primary Care Centre to improve access to health services for people in Surrey.
- We have invested more than $81 million in child care in Surrey, putting more than $51 million of that funding back into the pockets of families and creating new child care spaces in Surrey.
- We’re adding nearly 7,500 new student seats in Surrey so our children can get a quality education. We’ve tripled the pace of approvals for new schools in Surrey, and we have 12 projects underway to bring new and upgraded schools for children in Surrey.
- We’ve eliminated MSP premiums, saving families $1,800 annually.
- We’re replacing the Pattullo Bridge and Massy Tunnel to ensure a safe and easy commute for Surrey drivers and ensuring they are toll free.
Our government under John Horgan is delivering real results for the people of Surrey. Let’s not let Andrew Wilkinson sell out our community again.