BC NDP allege political interference

B.C.'s New Democrats are alleging political interference in the planning for possible upgrades at the Burnaby Hospital, pointing to leaked emails that show Liberal party insiders discussing how to use the issue to score votes.

The NDP have released documents that show several people with close ties to the Liberal party suggesting the issue of Burnaby Hospital upgrades could be a winner in a provincial election.

In a document created last December, Pamela Gardner, Brian Bonney and Mark Robertson call on local Liberal caucus members to create a committee to consult with the public, arguing such a committee would give the appearance the government is taking the issue seriously.

Gardner, Bonney and Robertson say promising upgrades at the hospital, even if the government isn't prepared to actually commit any money, could help the Liberals take a Burnaby riding from the New Democrats.

That committee was launched in April of this year by Liberals Harry Bloy and Richard Lee, though the current health minister, Margaret MacDiarmid, insists the committee doesn't have any connections to her ministry or the formal hospital planning that's already underway.

Kathy Corrigan, the New Democrat targeted in the document, says it's clear the government is driving the committee and placing politics above the future of Burnaby Hospital.

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