Wrong site for new Cowichan hospital

I have a huge problem with the idea of situating a hospital way out of town.

Wrong site for new Cowichan hospital

I am seeing no objections to the new proposed hospital. Well, I object. I have a huge problem with the idea of situating a hospital way out of town.

Keeping in mind the threat of climate change largely exacerbated by the use of vehicles/fossil fuels, moving to this location is not in harmony with attempts to decrease our footprint on the earth. The current location could be accessed in environmentally benign ways (walking, biking) by maybe 15,000 people. The new location would be a reasonable distance for probably less than 1,000 people.

Saving the planet necessitates changing how we live our lives and build our communities. Being aware of coming environmental disasters, building vital infrastructure needing a vehicle to get there is going in the wrong direction.

Property has been purchased? (Granted, probably at inflated prices by the government.) It can be resold.

A new hospital cannot be constructed on the current hospital site? (The Kinsol Trestle could not be refurbished, we were told.) I’m no engineer, but there is a substantially sized parking lot at the current hospital where a new building could go. Parking (for those not biking or walking!) could be transferred off site with a shuttle. (Perhaps the St. Andrews Church parking lot and the 49th Parallel back lot, that are seldom used, could be made available.) A new parking lot could eventually go where the current building is. CVRD’s Kerry Davis has said that the current location is a pile of gravel(?!) Apparently the current hospital is doing fine.

I am most disappointed that our Green Party MLA is not looking at this issue with a green lens. We finally get a Green Party person in power and they have no different perspective than your average politician? Disappointing indeed.

Warren Chapman


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