MP optimistic Queen Charlotte, Skidegate can agree on hospital site

  • Aug. 27, 2007 2:00 p.m.

Skeena MP Nathan Cullen spoke to both sides of the south-end hospital squabble when he was here last month, and said he is optimistic that local people will come to an agreement about where the new hospital should be built. Northern Health has committed to building a new facility to replace the aging Queen Charlotte General, but both Skidegate and Queen Charlotte want the hospital in their community. Mr. Cullen said the new facility is one of the first priorities right now for the Northwest Regional Hospital District (which will be contributing part of the construction budget), and it would be a shame if the location argument bumped it from the top of the list. “I’m a middle ground kind of person,” the MP said, explaining that he got involved simply because people wanted to talk to him about the issue, and he’s happy to help mediate. “The best advice I have heard is that in a good negotiation, everybody gives up something.” Mr. Cullen said he urged the community representatives not to “overfocus on the where” of the new facility, but to concentrate on what kind of facility they want to have, with what kind of services. If the issue has not been resolved within the next few months, Mr. Cullen said he would be willing to come back and host a meeting between all interested parties. Other hot issues which islanders brought to his attention while he was here were skyrocketing real estate prices, the land use agreement, and the Steelworkers strike. Mr. Cullen said some islanders are worried that land prices are being pushed up by off-islanders, and that soon local people won’t be able to afford to buy here. “There’s been a huge surge of interest in people coming and buying land,” he said. “You can see the wave moving through British Columbia and the wave is now crashing on the Queen Charlottes.” Mr. Cullen will be back on the islands on Sept. 11 for the celebration marking the transfer of $24-million from the federal and provincial governments to the islands-controlled Gwaii Forest Fund Society.

Just Posted

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

UPDATE: Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Most Read