BC Election 2013  

NDP accused of nixing new hospital

The BC NDP are being accused of scuttling plans to redevelop Penticton Regional Hospital.

Penticton Liberal candidate Dan Ashton made the assertion Thursday morning.

During a pre-campaign visit to Penticton in March, NDP leader Adrian Dix stated an NDP government would work to find money for the aging hospital.

Ashton says page 55 of the NDP platform states "An NDP government will continue with projects that are currently underway," but goes on to say that they "...will not be making capital committments beyond what is available in the current capital plan."

"The truth is out now," says Ashton.

"Mr. Dix says one thing when he visits Penticton, but when he announces his platform in Victoria his committment to redevelop our hospital evaporates. Because of out of control spending promises, the NDP will not have the money to rebuild our hospital."

A rebuttal from the NDP was sent to media: "The local Liberal candidate Dan Ashton is trying to dodge responsibility for the fact that Liberal Leader Christy Clark has done nothing but make vague promises about the future of the hospital. Meanwhile, New Democrat leader Adrian Dix has made it clear that an NDP government will proceed with upgrades at Penticton Hospital."

When Dix was in Penticton he said, "Let's be clear. There isn't any choice here. People have to do something about the hospital. We are going to do something about the hospital."

Richard Cannings, New Democrat candidate in Penticton, told Castanet, "This is a complete and utter fabrication by the Liberals. We will honour any commitment and I look forward to the hospital finally opening after Liberal delays. After 12 years Dan Ashton has not got it done. The BC NDP will get it done."

Last month Premier Christy Clark announced the province would begin working on a business case for a new patient care tower.

Clark said the business case would be complete later this year or early in 2014.

The announcement came after months of rally's, protests and letter writing by doctors, nurses and members of the public upset their hospital had, built in 1951 had been passed over in favour of similar projects in Kelowna and Vernon.

It is estimated a new tower could cost $300M.

More BC Election 2013 articles