SURREY – Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims says that Andrew Wilkinson’s 2014 decision to sell a site designated for a second Surrey hospital shows that he can’t be trusted to finish the second hospital that John Horgan has started in Surrey.
“Andrew Wilkinson already sold the land for a second hospital once,” says Sims. “He’s shown that a new Surrey hospital isn’t a priority for him, and there is no reason to think he’s changed his view.”
In 2014, then-Minister of Citizens Services Andrew Wilkinson sold a government property near Highway 10 and 152nd Street in Surrey. The property had been acquired by the BC NDP in the 1990s and set aside for a second hospital in Surrey.
In 2005, Gordon Campbell held a campaign event at the site, promising to build a second hospital. The BC Liberals delayed that promise for years and then permanently abandoned it in 2014 when Wilkinson sold the site.
“If Andrew Wilkinson hadn’t sold this land, the second Surrey hospital would be further ahead today,” says Sims. “People in Surrey don’t have the health care they need because of Andrew Wilkinson’s decision. Now, the BC Liberals are trying to undermine this project because they have no intention of finishing what we’ve started if they’re elected.”
Sims notes that the hospital is full steam ahead, with the concept plan approved by treasury board and a business plan currently under development. Land has been acquired beside Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Cloverdale. Once the business plan is complete, a dollar figure can be attached in government’s capital plan. The final cost is expected to be between $1 and $2 billion.
“We’re working hard to get this done as soon as possible, despite the delay caused by Andrew Wilkinson’s decision to sell the land,” says Sims. “But we can’t let Andrew Wilkinson put this project at risk.”