KHAG told to stay on course

City councillor Bob Corless delivered a warning to the Kitimat Health Advocacy Group at its last meeting - don’t change course.

City councillor Bob Corless delivered a warning to the Kitimat Health Advocacy Group at its last meeting – don’t change course.

Corless was responding to comments from Leo de Sousa who feared the Conservatives getting a majority government was going to mean an increased push to privatize health care.

“This has been a very good group because, on a regional level, you’re not seen as a bunch of whiners,” said Kitimat’s representative on the Kitimat-Stikine regional district and regional hospital district.

Corless said KHAG had dealt with “proper issues” that concern the community “and everybody gives you full credit for that.”

He therefore cautioned the group about what issues it brought up. In other words, continue bringing up “critical problems” rather than philosophical issues.

Saying he was playing the devil’s advocate, Corless said, “There are seven hospitals across Northern BC for 192,000 people. Not even in Vancouver do they have that many,”

Pointing out each hospital cost millions of dollars to run, he pointed out spreading scarce (money) across those hospitals “becomes a very difficult task.”

And now there were plans to build a new hospital on Haida Gwaii because the existing one was in such poor condition.

“So you’re throwing another several million dollars into the pool.”

Corless pointed out every community had its problems and recalled that even before he got on council 20 years ago Houston was fighting for 24-hour service at their medical centre. And they still were today.

“So a lot of things we’ve got here we should be thankful for because they have been listening.”

Repeating KHAG had a “great name”, Corless emphasized, “don’t blow it by getting philosophical”.