Premier John Horgan was in Maple Ridge with Dr.Victoria Lee, for a health care announcement on Thursday morning. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Q&A with Premier John Horgan in Maple Ridge

Talks health care, COVID-19 and Canucks

Premier John Horgan was in Surrey and Maple Ridge on Thursday morning for a pair of health care announcements.

In Surrey he spoke about a new regional cancer centre at the second Surrey hospital, and in Maple Ridge he announced a urgent and primary care centre will be located in Haney Place Mall on a permanent basis.

Then the premier offered time for an interview with the Maple Ridge News on a range of topics:

Q. With the announcement of the new cancer centre in Surrey, how does that benefit people in Maple Ridge?

A. “It brings cancer services closer to the community. One in every two British Columbians will be touched by cancer in their lifetime. I myself am a cancer survivor.”

“To have a facility, a state-of-the-art facility in a new acute care hospital that’s just down the road is good news for the region, and particularly good news for Fraser Health.”

Q. Reports say B.C. and Canada are behind in numbers of hospital beds per capita compared with other countries. Does government need to build more hospitals?

A. In addition to the second hospital in Surrey, he said “we are building a new hospital in Terrace, in Dawson Creek, in Fort St. James, I announced a new tower in Prince George, Burnaby, the New St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Ridge Meadows has been upgraded, Langley… so we have been focusing on putting the capital into the health care system so that we have the beds that a growing population and an aging population needs.”

“We’ve been taking a big bite out of the deficiencies, not just in the Lower Mainland, but right across the province.”

READ ALSO: Premier in Maple Ridge for health care announcement

Q. There were 351 COVID-19 cases in B.C. this week. The number was half that in June, are you concerned about the rise?

A. “We knew there would be a spike when we had more interactions. The more people came out of their homes and started interacting, and the economy started going again, we knew that transmission would increase.”

“What we are confident about is our contact tracing – our ability to connect the genesis of a transmission, and connect all the people who may be affected.”

“That’s been challenged… out of control houseboat parties in the Okanagan, mass drumming on the beaches of the Lower Mainland – that’s just not acceptable in a time of a global pandemic, and people should know better than to behave that way. We need to remind ourselves that we are far from out of the woods.”

Q. If cases continue to rise, would you reconsider opening schools in September?

A. “Part of getting to new normal is to have things that we are accustomed to, like school starting in September being part of our traditions again, part of our regular behaviour. But we are guided by the science on this. We are not driving a particular agenda. Minister Rob Fleming is talking to trustees, superintendents, parents, teachers, support staff in our schools, to make sure we are doing everything to keep people safe.”

He added the government will amend its plans daily if need be, and according to the needs of different school districts.

Q. What is the province doing to prepare for the day when we have a vaccination?

A. “What we’re doing is preparing for the flu season. And we’re bringing in about half a million more vaccines for garden-variety flu than we ever have before, because we believe, and we’re grateful, that more people are going to recognize that their personal health can be aided by taking certain steps. A flu vaccine will help with regular local influenzas that start in September and into the fall.

“With respect to vaccines or other therapies for COVID-19 our public health officials are preparing for that eventuality, but we’re a long way from that.”

Q. Are you watching the Canucks, and do you have any regrets that Vancouver could not be an NHL hub city?

A. “I love hockey. To be able to go on TSN talk radio and talk sports rather than politics was something that I really quite enjoyed. I’ve been a sports fan my entire life. Team sports saved me from a different trajectory in my younger days. So I’m a huge Canuck fan, and if they had been able to bring the hub city to Vancouver that would have been fantastic, but I’m just happy hockey is happening now.

“I look forward to the day when we can fill stands again and enjoy interactions with our friends and our families and cheer on our local teams.”

mailto:ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

John Horganmaple ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SHARE: Smoky skies cast Alouette Lake in a rather haunting light

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Province joins in bid to house Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows youth at risk

BC Housing comes to table in a collaboration with stakeholders striving to secure supportive housing

Director of the Maple Ridge Museum retiring after 27 years

Val Patenaude’s final day is Oct. 31

OUR VIEW: Fox fight continues

Thanks for keeping this courageous young man’s vision alive 40 years later

Evening stabbing second on Thursday in Maple Ridge

A man was treated for minor injuries after a stabbing at Royal Crescent and Lougheed Highway

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read