BC NDP Leader John Horgan visited the Cowichan Valley last weekend. 
(Submitted photo)

BC NDP Leader John Horgan visited the Cowichan Valley last weekend. (Submitted photo)

Horgan promises new Cowichan Hospital at stop in battleground riding

NDP leader visits Valley with just days left to go before election

NDP leader John Horgan promises to build a new hospital in the Cowichan Valley if he’s elected premier on May 9.

Horgan was in Duncan last weekend campaigning with Lori Iannidinardo, the NDP’s candidate for Cowichan Valley.

He said Premier Christy Clark is quietly moving forward with a plan to create private hospitals that only the rich can afford.

“(Clark’s) plan for private care means longer waits for patients and even fewer resources for public health care,” said Horgan.

“Patients can’t afford another four years of Christy Clark’s cuts and neglect. We must reject the BC Liberal plan for two-tiered private health care and invest in public health care for people.”

Horgan said the NDP has a $10 billion capital plan to invest in the services people count on, including the construction of the long-anticipated new hospital in the Valley, and create 96,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, in a debate at Lake Cowichan last week, Liberal candidate Steve Housser also promised that if he is elected, Cowichan will get a new hospital.

Sonia Furstenau, the Green candidate for the Valley, said that it seems that both the Liberals and NDP are promising that Cowichan will get a new hospital, but neither party acknowledges that the leadership for the project has been from the local government and the local community.

She said that in 2010, the Cowichan Valley Regional District Hospital Board began setting aside funds for a new hospital. “Since that time, a 22-acre site on Bell McKinnon Road has been acquired and the province has given the go-ahead to the CVRHD to create a site plan,” Furstenau said.

“There is also currently $22.6 million in the hospital replacement fund, a fund that increases every year. When politicians roll into town making promises without recognizing the hard work and commitment of the community and local government, it seems dismissive of those efforts and creates more cynicism.”