On June 13, 2012, Premier Christy Clark stood on the roof of St. Paul’s Hospital.Amid some speculation of a snap election that year, the B.C. Liberal leader announced a $500-million redevelopment of the world-class but aging facility.
Almost three years later, there are fears that the province will not deliver on its promise.
According to the B.C. NDP MLA who represents Vancouver-West End, where the acute care, teaching, and research hospital is located, it’s looking like St. Paul’s will be torn down and moved to False Creek, with condos to be built at its prime downtown location.
“I’m getting it from business people, from real-estate people, from health-care people, from enough sources within and outside of government that I’m taking it seriously,” Spencer Chandra Herbert told the Straight today (April 2).
Chandra Herbert said he’d love to proven wrong here.
“I’ve heard rumours before and I’ve been able to discount them because, well, we’ve made the government stand and promise to deliver on site,” the New Democrat said. “The fact that they have not delivered on site and now won’t commit to a timeline to deliver a renewed St. Paul’s Hospital and now we’re hearing this—that’s what has me so concerned. It seems that they’ve been backing away from their promise.”
According to Chandra Herbert, he has gotten in touch with Minister of Health Terry Lake and Providence Health Care, which runs the hospital, about this matter.
“So far it’s all denial,” the Vancouver-West End MLA said. “But I hope that denial continues because what I’m told is detailed enough….And I’d rather that we kill it off now rather than being surprised about it a few weeks down the road.”
He noted that the current provincial budget under consideration by the legislative assembly provides no budget for the redevelopment of St. Paul’s.
“I felt I had to go public because they won’t give me any security that we’re going to renew on site,” Chandra Herbert said. “They refused to say what they’re going to do and when.”