March 23, 2013 - 5:53 PM
By Shannon Quesnel
The NDP will work on getting Penticton its new patient care tower if the party is elected into office on May 14.
B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix said as much today during a visit to Penticton. He and NDP candidate Richard Cannings were at the latter's campaign office on Main Street. Dix's stop was part of an Okanagan tour where he met with supporters and other NDP candidates running in the May 14 election.
Dix said the NDP will work on the new tower if his party is swept into power. He agreed with hospital staff that it is badly needed. He has visited the 60-year-old hospital in the past when he was the health critic. He added hospital staff have done an amazing job finding solutions to problems.
“They made jury-rig a medical term,” Dix said.
The NDP leader is the second political leader to weigh in on the hospital this week. On Wednesday, Premier Christy Clark visited the site and said she would build the new hospital expansion. The estimated cost, which could change, put the patient care tower at $300 million, with $160 million coming from the province and $140 million coming from the region.
Dix also visited the hospital but did so without calling for media coverage. He and Cannings simply met with staff and patients. Dix said helping is about action and not photo-ops.
He said this election has also been one of the nastiest ones the province has seen. He said the Liberals have spent millions on attack advertising which target Dix specifically.
This might have been one reason the media was not informed about Dix's hospital visit. The NDP leader said his party's campaign will be respectful.
“I'm not going in there with cameras and say look at the state of Liberal health care.”
Dix said Cannings will be a great representative for the Penticton riding. He added he and Cannings plan to work with Mayor Dan Ashton after the election. Ashton is the Liberal candidate running for the same job as Cannings. If Ashton wins his seat he would step down as mayor.
Dix also countered a reporter's comment and said yes, the NDP are still the underdogs in this election, even though they might be leading in the polls. Dix said the NDP have only won three of the last 21 elections in B.C. and the Liberals have millions to spend on elections.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013