Senior levels of government involved in approving healthcare for Kelowna bus stop attack victim

Dix addresses transit attack

At a press conference Wednesday in Rutland surrounding a new urgent care clinic, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix acknowledged the alleged hate crime that took place in Kelowna Friday night.

"The events that affected Gagandeep Singh and the hate crime that occurred, whether it is formally dealt with as such or not, that is a matter for the police, but we know what we know and we know that is not acceptable.

"We come together as a community to support him and his family, but also to acknowledge the support that the whole community has demonstrated," Dix said.

Singh, 21, suffered numerous injuries after he was attacked and beaten by a group of people after exiting a city bus. The BC Hate Crimes Team has been consulted.

“It is imperative that we conduct our investigations methodically and thoroughly to obtain all available evidence," said Insp. Rob Pikola, acting officer in charge of the Kelowna Regional RCMP.

“We condemn this incident and take all acts of violence in our community very seriously."

Singh, an international student who had been in Canada for just months, was viciously swarmed, had his turban torn off, was dragged by his hair, and beaten and kicked after getting off a Kelowna Regional Transit bus at the corner of Highway 97 and McCurdy Road.

Kelowna Lake-Country MLA Norm Letnick praised both Dix and Interior Health CEO Susan Brown for their efforts in making sure Singh received proper medical care after the incident.

"I just want to say thank you to you Minister Dix and Susan Brown. This past weekend when we found out that Mr. Singh did not have health coverage and the community asked if we could make sure he went back to the hospital without having to worry about that... these two people came right up front and made sure that happened," Letnick said.

Dix passed along his thanks to Letnick and Interior Health.

"Norm Letnick was involved as well, advocating as he was, but Interior Health responded very quickly... Susan Brown responded very quickly and it was no issue. Obviously, the circumstances of that crime are so serious that the whole community wanted to give support. They have shown that through the GoFundMe page and all the other ways that they have been able to do that," Dix said.

Health authorities in B.C. typically try to recoup healthcare expenses from those without permanent residency status who are uninsured, at times turning to the courts to do so.

The Kelowna RCMP said Thursday the investigation into the attack is ongoing.

"CCTV from BC Transit has been received and is being reviewed by investigators. No dashcam camera footage has been submitted to the police, we are still seeking the same. No arrests have been made," said Cpl. Michael Gauthier.

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