BC Liberal property ‘fire sale’ begins in Surrey

Residents in the Sullivan/Panorama area of Surrey were all abuzz about the new sign from Colliers International listing a government property once earmarked for an expansion of Surrey Memorial Hospital.

http://www.collierscanada.com/11954#.UsbXe9GA2M8

The property in question is being listed as a:

“15.0 acre large-scale development site in the rapidly growing city of Surrey

  • Excellent opportunity to construct a comprehensive, mixed-use development
  • Adjacent to Panorama Village located at intersection of Highway 10 (56 Avenue) and 152 Street
  • In close proximity to many retail and recreational amenities”

Early in 2013, Mike De Jong announced the BC government was going to sell off ‘excess properties’ to help balance the budget.  However, critics panned the idea immediately as both shortsighted and disingenuous, and left many accountants ” scratching their heads” as to how any profit from the property sales could be considered revenue to balance the budget:

“One could ask the core question of whether these asset sales should be considered revenues at all,” said Divestor Investment Corp. principal Sacha Peter.

“If I bought a property for $400,000 and deemed it surplus and sold it for $420,000 the next year, does that constitute $420,000 in revenue? No. It is a $20,000 gain because I held the property at $400,000 on my books when I bought the property.”  ~ http://www.biv.com/article/20130305/BIV0109/303059948/-1/BIV/bc-liberal-government-assailed-over-its-plans-to-use-real-estate

Many critics have also called the sale of this particular property, extremely shortsighted considering the massive growth in the area – future demands of the population in South Surrey/Cloverdale/Panorama will require more health care facilities, along with new schools.  The Panorama property is the last large tract of land in the area suitable for either educational or health care facilities. The sale of it will impact the area adversely in the future.

Currently, the property is vacant green space.

BC Liberals. ‘Balancing’ the budget, one property sale at a time…

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21 Responses to BC Liberal property ‘fire sale’ begins in Surrey

  1. bear1733 says:

    Actually I am surprised that they aren’t selling the Leg Building.

    Officially the province is $60 Billion in debt but the real number is probably $200 Billion.

    Once the debts that are hidden in the provincial crown corps are taken into consideration BC may be the most indebted province in Canada.

    The BC government is desperate to hide the fiscal incompetence of the last dozen years and are willing to sell anything and everything to cosmetically repair the numbers and continue to hide the truth.
    What do these numbers really mean?

    It means that each of the two million workers in BC carries a debt load of over $100,000.00 in addition to their personal debt and their share of federal debt. Just the provincial component alone burdens every working British Columbian with an addition $100,000.00 of debt.

    Having said that it does not justify the selling of this property.

    This is a strategic property for the people of the province and to turn it over and create more townhomes, as if there aren’t already enough on that hillside, which will accelerate the densification of the area that is already underserved in terms of policing, health care, schools and transportation is simply an act of desperation.

    The last thing this area needs is more densification with the crime and drugs that go along with it.

    This property should be a green space for all the underserved people that Surrey has already jammed in there.

    The BC government has sold everything they can in order to pilfer the piggy bank for their corporate owners/masters and now they are scrounging through the garage to see what else they can get some money for.

    It doesn’t matter who they sell it to or to what purpose because they are all about Profits over People.

    To sell this property knowing that it is going to continue the ruination and destruction of Surrey and only benefit the Surrey First Developers who are raking in windfall profits is yet another disgusting act. Doesn’t Surrey already have enough problems without yet another mega high density development jammed into a neighborhood that is already struggling for services?

    Personally I would like to apologize to my children. I have tried to stop the reckless, out of control spending by the BC government but have failed. Unfortunately this debt is your debt. With apologies…dad

    • Actually the BC Liberals do have an extensive array of properties For Sale adjacent TO the BC Legislature, and the surrounding area within Victoria. I wrote a Post on all of the property for sale (owned) and the property that is Leased (from Private sources not mentioned as to whom). It would be interesting to see just who the Landlords are.

      As it is, the property that is For Sale in Surrey, is one of many within the municipality that the BC Government owns. Surrey is but one city within the province that is seeing our land turned over to private concerns.

      The Fraser Institute in 2001 said: Returning British Columbia to Prosperity
      (5) Legislatively require all proceeds from asset sales to be used exclusively for debt reduction. Specific legislation needs to be enacted to ensure that one-time asset sales are not used to help balance the government’s accounts or undertake new spending initiatives. http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/pps/47/10_industrial.html

  2. Mosko says:

    The Liberal way – sell off assets cheap and then buy them back from developer friends in the future at a huge cost to taxpayers.

    This land is very important and will be needed in the very near future for public needs. Not as green space, but for another hospital or community facility. This is the same short-sighted approach used by Gordo in 2001 closing down social service agencies to balance the budget – then trying to deal with the damage over the past 12 years from increased homelessness, crime, mental health costs, policing, ambulance, courts, etc etc.

    • Laila says:

      And silence from city council in Surrey on this. They are the ones who have the neighbourhoods plans in place, the planning reports etc that show how dense that neighbourhood is. Bear1733 is right.The schools there are already overloaded and getting more portables every year,yet more and more townhomes are being built as we speak.

      We need to plan accurately to set aside land for future needs. When there is not one bit of land left in a community for vital infrastructure, what happens? City growth in Sullivan/Panorama has already exceeded the provinces ability to keep pace with provincial services.

      When the province is cutting back on services across the board, is it sustainable for the city to simply keep building and expect the money for new schools, health care facilities and social services to appear out of thin air?

      Or should the city look to provincial coffers ability to fund these items and plan accordingly? Many new community associations are fighting back now on this very issue and asking the city to curb building in their neighbourhoods until schools etc can keep pace.

      Where is city council on this issue?

  3. J. David Cox says:

    I agree with dad except an apology really isn’t good enough. We really should be doing something REAL and TANGIBLE like what a REAL political opposition does.

    The NDP are just impotent buffoons so it will eventually come down to us, anyway.

    I think we should start with lawsuits, frankly. And with volunteer lawyers. The ones with ethics. There has to be one! Failing the discovery of even one ethical, moral, community-minded lawyer, I say we file the damn suits ourselves as citizens (we can, ya know?) and struggle through the process as lay people.
    Laila is the hub. Send her money earmarked ‘lawsuits’. She can appoint lay-lawyers and choose the issues to fight (start with the proposed land sale in Surrey) and let’s cause these crooks some trouble! Of course, we could and would hand over the ‘good fight’ to the NDP or even the GREENS if they step up.

    You Dix-heads gonna stand up for once?

    • Scotty on Denman says:

      Don’t hold your breath, friend; the NDP needs a very thorough house cleaning that will preoccupy for years. If Carole James’ ouster and Dix’s astounding election loss isn’t enough to sweep away the wooly bears and dust balls, the NDP will have truly become the biggest obstacle to wiping out BC Liberal kleptocracy. So far it doesn’t look that good, like they’re using a light feather duster instead of good, stiff bristled broom.

      Your idea about pursuing legal prosecution of BC Liberal perfidy is absolutely right on but there’s a caution or two: first is that we’re surrounded by a well entrenched kleptocracy with huge resource to defend itself—our tax dollars and our stuff; good news is there’s a variety of cracks in the wall to pry apart—it remains to carefully choose which are best to bring the beast down cuz it’s impossible to attack every point—we’d get beat with our own money. Second, ‘Special Prosecutors’, police (RCM), the Attorneys General and, dare I say, the provincial judiciary has not earned our trust so, insofar as breaches of public trust are criminal matters, it’s necessary to bump any pursuit to the federal level to avail out-of-province expertise—it’s probably amazing how much complicity exists between provincial institutions of jurisprudence under the BC Liberals. Byzantine insidiousness, concealment and death-of-a-thosand-cuts were front page in Gordo’s playbook but Christy can’t follow through—BC Liberal capers will now be more ham handed and blatant than ever (one-armed bandits on fiscally sabotaged ferries and kids in pubs, for example)—so opportunities to take perfidy to task will present like never before. The beauty of your idea is that we don’t have to rely on the NDP.

      BC Liberals have so many tendrils entwined throughout public institutions it’d make Achilles shudder. It only takes one.

      • J. David Cox says:

        I agree but the point isn’t to win. That would be a bonus but I don’t expect ‘establishment’ to punish themselves. The point is more basic than that: shine a light! We want exposure!

        Right now the basic voter is an idiot. They know nothing. They learn nothing and they want to learn even less. They are literally stupified. But the media – pathetic as it is – would have to follow lawsuits. And lawsuits LOST by the government is BIG news. Such LAWSUITS would – basically – become lessons to the common man just as Duffy educated us about the senate. The point of the lawsuits is the same point that British Common Law was based on – to educate the populace.

        The problem is that one issue does not a headline make. Neither does ten. The government has to be deluged. We need a hundred. The news story is the flood of discontent and the story gets better as ‘discovery’ evidence comes to light.

  4. cherylb says:

    Yeah, they’ve got property for sale here in Maple Ridge too. But c’mon people…..they have to pay the bills and balance the budget until all that oil and gas starts paying off! Don’t be so cynical…..

    • Laila says:

      Here is the dilemma for residents in the area where the Panorama property is being sold.

      I asked for comment from the mayor and several cllrs.

      The only Cllr to respond was Marvin Hunt, who did not resign as Cllr when he won the riding of Surrey Panorama, which is where this property is located. He said it was bought for medical use… and the city built Jimmy Pattison instead, inferring it wasn’t needed.

      Now, I told him he was in conflict on this issue since he both represents the riding for the BC Liberals, who are selling this property…. and he remains representing all Surrey residents as a councillor.

      Whose interests is he representing? Is the sale of this property in the best interests of Surrey residents, in particular in a high growth, high density neighbourhood with already overcrowded facilities? Or is it in the best interests of the BC Liberals to sell the property?

      I asked him if he thought it should be kept for a future school or other, and he said that wasn’t a city decision but a school board decision. True, but the city must have an opinion on what is the best use of this land in the neighbourhood community plan.

      This is why holding two roles leads to conflict. There is absolutely no assurance that Marvin Hunt will take into consideration his constituents in the Sullivan/Panorama area when it is his Liberal government selling the land.

      Very disappointed to see no councillor take a stance on the sale of this property,other than the one that sits in conflict on this issue.

  5. Wylde Otse says:

    Didn’t Gordon Campbell give free office space in one of “our” government’s official buildings to the guy from ENRON who got convicted for something or other? “Our” government is OWNED, lock stock and barrel by the globalist looters.
    Federally, things are more blatant: MP’s are not permitted to vote according to their individual conscience; in the best interests of the people who elected them, but follow the directive of the corporatist foreign handlers of “our” prime minister. Democracy huh?

  6. e.a. foster says:

    The sell off of taxpayer owned land, at this time, is just another excuse for the lieberals to impart more of B.C. assets to their friends. We saw this when el gordo, decided, B.C. assets had to “pay their own way”. What that meant in the Comox valley was,, then MLA, Stan Hagen, went to Crown Isle and asked them if they wanted to purchase Lannan Woods for $350K. This land had been used by citizens as a park for years.

    When taxpayers discovered this, , the shit hit the fan and the lieberals were forced to sell to the highest bidder, by silent bid. The land trust, bid $400K less than Crown Isle. The land trust wanted to keep the land for park. Crown Isle paid $1M and change, clear cut half of it and has left it like that. The sale of the logs would have gone a long way to make up for the $million spent. People don’t have park and when the government went to settle its land claims with the Komoks, the best land had been “sold”.

    It maybe possible one of the lieberal friends wants this land or a First Nation group it as part of a land settlement. It is very short sighted to sell off an asset which can not be replaced. All government owned land ought to be held onto for future generations. it isn’t as if Surrey will stop growing. The land will be required within the next 50 years for public use. Now of course the interesting questions is, If the lieberals are to be making trillions and trillions in the not so distant future, why are they selling off land now. The land simply isn’t going to bring in enough to balance the budget. Of course they maybe selling off a whole lot more than we know and it won’t be to those who live here.

  7. erik says:

    It should be blindingly obvious that when assets are being sold it is the first factual indication of an over- margined person or possibly one that is bankrupt. The ENRON type accounting practices of the Government, with the statements of expenses and revenues, cannot disguise the huge and growing spread between the two.

    The 2012 & 2013 Budget Committees from the Legislature were determined to not see the predicament the Government is in and have only followed the cutting of expenses or increasing user pay model so much in favour in Europe and with the Tea Party.

    For the past 10 years the Government has directly intervened to make BC ever less affordable and for that reason population growth has shrunk to under 5% every five years in this decade after being at 8% every 5 years during the 70s,80s, and 90s.

    There is indeed $100 billion of contractual obligations that politicians prefer not to acknowledge. Irresponsible contracting and borrowing, not commensurate with provincial earnings (ability to pay), sits like a waiting time bomb and we are all to be victims.

    There is a revenue solution but no one seems to want to go there. Other places on the planet successfully use the flat % of gross revenue tax model . Pick a starting point, with no ceiling, and if the person or corporation fail to report reasonably then the government estimates for them. Since Carol Taylor gave the big banks a free ride in exchange for a Bank Director’s seat the Government has featured the model that some people are more equal than others. A flat % is progressive and does not leave anyone out of the loop while enjoying all the amenities other taxpayers support.

  8. k. heitzmann says:

    I think all these comments are great, however, I strongly agree with david j cox comment ‘right now the basic voter is an idiot. they know nothing, etc’ I believe this is why the ndp lost the last election. the majority of voters don’t have a clue whats going on and need to be educated. bear 1733, your letter would be excellent if you could have it published in newspapers as letter to the editor. all the comments above sound as if they are written by well educated people, which is fine except the facts need to be heard and understood by the ordinary working person also.

    • Thank you for your kind comments regarding my letter. I make it a practice to use my name but for some reason it didn’t happen this time. Yes, it would be great to get these sort of thoughts published in newspapers as you suggest. My experience has been that the Profit Seeking Media (PSM) is not willing to publish thoughts that question the credibility of their #1 Revenue Generators…governments. That is exactly why this blog has become the main source of legitimate thought sharing for so many British Columbians for whom the profit seeking media no longer serve a purpose. A big thank you to Laila for providing this opportunity for people to openly reveal how they feel about what is happening…..ross buchanan

  9. e.a. foster says:

    yes,must agree with the comments regarding the tax system. governments arrive at huge deficits not just by over spending but by not having enough revenue. that revenue decreases each time a government lowers taxes and/or gives industries tax breaks, royalty holidays, etc. It really is about time there was an equitable tax system in the province. don’t expect it with the lieberals in office though.

    selling off government assets, such as they are, will never make up the $60 Billion the government owes, in one form or another. The province doesn’t have enough assets, they can get away with selling. Face it, we are Detroit North.

    The government is doing their usual song and dance about core reviews and such, but the nickels and dimes they will save will result in increased costs in other areas.

    The leiberals fucked up the finances of the province and the voters have no one to blame but themselves. there are no jobs coming to save them. there won’t be any great revenue from resources. All we are going to see is the sell off of assets, cuts to social programs, reduced spending on health care, the amublance service, and no new schools being built. time to find another province to live in.

  10. Curt says:

    http://www.news1130.com/2014/01/04/surrey-task-force-making-progress-on-cutting-crime/

    You said it yourself Dianne. “…the prevention and education piece is really crucial,” she explains.”
    So, stop allowing new development until infrastructure is in place i.e., schools, healthcare, police (not enough now) etc., but before even beginning any new developments, it is time to go in and look after other parts of the city and return them to liveable, safe communities, not just move things down the road.
    Have a Chat with your fellow liberals, Dianne, that what they’re doing (article) is not the way. We the citizens need “our” public properties for the wellbeing of the citizens, not another strip mall on the side of a highway, or condo/townhouse development (Enough of those at this time.)
    Come on Dianne, speak up!

  11. Guy Gentner says:

    RE the sell of public assets, namely the sell of lands designated for medical services at 152nd St and Hwy 10 and the comments made of muted responses from the NDP, please see my response to the 2012 Budget. Unfortunately the fire-sale of your public assets, pocket book issues, fee-hikes, etc. did not become a major planks during the recent provincial election and consequently the NDP paid the price on election day. For the record, here is my address to the issue:

    DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
    (HANSARD)
    ________________________________________
    HOUSE BLUES
    MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2012
    Afternoon Sitting
    ________________________________________
    MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2012
    The House met at 1:34 p.m.
    [Mr. Speaker in the chair.]
    Routine Business
    G. Gentner: I rise in opposition to the 2012 budget, simply because this is the worst budget I’ve ever seen in the House during my seven-year tenure here.
    We understand this is indeed supposed to be the Premier’s first budget. But this is actually the anti-family budget. When you start breaking it down and looking at the hidden tax through fees, other means of taking from ICBC, which I’m going to discuss…. It’s not an easy place for families, these days…

    I’m going to be a little specific here and talk about what the minister had in mind. One of the examples the minister had was: “The province owns a 15-acre site in Surrey, just off Highway 10.” That’s right across the street, literally across the street, from the minister’s own constituency of Highway 10, where this new development is going to occur. It is also located in the Ministry of Social Development, her ministries, in her constituency of Surrey-Panorama.

    I think the minister should be concerned, because here is a jewel, an asset right in the centre of that constituency, set aside for future use for the people of British Columbia and her constituents. If it isn’t going to be used for health care, think of all the things it could be used for, in particular for the minister’s own Ministry of Social Development.

    You just have to now give a call to the financial assistance line for help. What the government has done is it shut down the welfare office a few years ago in North Delta, and they moved it over to somewhere in Surrey with very poor transit service. Now we have a One Call centre for not only Delta, Burnaby. The One Call service includes New Westminster. It includes Surrey, Burnaby, Coquitlam. You try, when you need financial assistance, to get through that line. It’s busy, or they put you on hold all day. This government has turned its back on the needy.
    [1645]
    Here’s a jewel located in the minister’s own constituency that can be used to help people. But that is not what this government is doing. The minister said in the budget that it’s a hatchet job, basically. The Minister of Finance says it’s about selling off a valuable piece of our future. “We were holding on to it in the event the new Surrey Memorial Hospital needed it.” Wrong, wrong, wrong, hon. Speaker. It was a reserve set aside, not an extension of Surrey Memorial Hospital but for the people of British Columbia, for the constituents of Surrey-Panorama, Surrey-Newton and, of course, North Delta and all those who lived in the hospital catchment area south of the Fraser. Talk about twisting it.
    We live in the South Fraser communities. We need those assets. We need to hang on to the eventual amenities in Canada’s fastest-growing community, and they’re throwing it away.

    So the minister stands up and goes on and says: “So, rather than letting it sit there….” It is sitting there because the government refuses to do anything with it. It’s not our fault. It’s not the people of North Delta’s fault or Surrey’s or Panorama’s fault. It’s the government’s fault that has created the worst health care outcomes anywhere in Canada, right in the Fraser Health Authority, right in the North Delta–Surrey area. It sits there because they’ve done nothing with it. It’s a bunch of malarkey.

    “So, rather than letting it sit there….” Now, tell that to the patient waiting months and months for treatments. “So, rather than letting it sit there….” Tell that to the people with eating disorders who are waiting for years for help. “So, rather than letting it sit there….” Tell that to the mentally ill.

    “So, rather than letting it sit there….” Tell that to the senior who is dubbed as the alien, the wrong person, who is now a bed-blocker taking up a hospital bed in Surrey Memorial Hospital — extensive health care, $1,200 a day. This property sits empty while the senior is waiting for placement in assisted-living facilities.

    “So, rather than letting it sit there….” Yes, it is there for a reason. It’s there for the needs of health care, for perhaps nursing, teaching for nurses. You know, we do have something called Kwantlen College just down the street, an expansive service that’s well needed for a growing health care capacity south of the Fraser River or for a medical clinic — a medical clinic that should be open 24-7 a day, taking the relief off our hospitals. That’s cost-effective. There’s a 13-acre site waiting, right now, and they’re going to throw it away.

    The needs for quasi-emergency relief for Surrey Memorial, relief for Peace Arch, for Delta Hospital. Perhaps wellness centres. There’s the future. So rather than letting it sit there, let’s talk about a wellness centre to deal with creating a strategy of a healthy society before people become too chronic, stuck in acute care beds. Let’s plan for the 21st century in order to address the huge costs of health care.

    But the B.C. Liberal government will have nothing to do with that. “Rather than letting it sit there costing taxpayers money….” That’s what came out of the minister’s mouth — “costing taxpayers money.” An asset that is already paid for, mind you, sitting there today for the future needs, which may exceed health care demands. It could be education, a training centre. But he goes on to say: “We intend to sell it.” We — the B.C. Liberals. And to who? We don’t know.

    That smacks of B.C. Rail. Here we go again. We’re going to sell our assets. To who? Interesting. I thought we were in a new beginning with this government. Obviously not. They intend to sell the farm to pay for today’s groceries. They run this economy into the ground. The government has no longer the foresight to save for the future. Sell low and buy high. That’s what’s going….

    This is the worst government in the history of British Columbia. No question. “We intend to sell it and let the private sector use it to generate…economic activity.” Let’s look at that one. What does that mean? I thought this former Health Minister, who’s now the Minister of Finance, had more in his cranium. Is he implying that St. Paul’s or Vancouver hospital or Surrey Memorial Hospital or Royal Columbian doesn’t generate economic activity?

    Health care centres have a 5-to-1 multiplier effect on our economies. They are vital instruments of our economies. This is the kind of activity the government wants to do — sell it off to a bunch of developers? Maybe the government believes car dealerships are far more important at 152nd and Highway 10 than the health care needs of the people of Surrey and Delta.

    It’s really a question of priorities. Yes, if the priorities have shifted, fine. If that’s the strategy, fine. But don’t sell the farm. The property is there for the people of British Columbia — for the people of British Columbia, not as dictated by needs of a vision created in that empty place of a government that it tries to call a brain. It’s lost its trust; it’s lost its vision.

    Now, I want to talk a little more about the one little paragraph in the budget. I heard the minister’s response during last week’s question period when two members of the opposition inquired as to what exactly the minister is doing regarding the parcel of land. His response was that the NDP did nothing with it.

    I have to say: nonsense. The NDP of the day, with the cooperation of the Surrey municipal council of the day — and it was not a New Democrat mayor; his name was Doug McCallum — bought the land in 1999. It took foresight and planning to purchase and acquire that land. The government of the day teed it up for the following government, and what did the Liberals do? Nothing. Now because it sits there, they want to sell it.

    Think about this. Think about the negotiation behind assembling that land and why at that particular location. It is centrally located. Extensive location studies were done to find the strategic spot for our future — I want to emphasize: our future, not a few friends of the government — a spot that was between Surrey Memorial Hospital in the north and Peace Arch Hospital in the south, Delta Hospital in the west and Langley in the east. It was plain in the centre. Now, with all the work done, this government is squandering our future and our children’s future away because it can’t manage the books. It’s really, quite frankly, an utter disgrace.

    No wonder one member opposite last week offered his disdain for selling assets. Any fool can sell away his assets, but takes a very smart person to build contingencies and save those assets for another day. But these aren’t any anybody’s particular assets. These are ours, yours, our children’s and our children’s futures. A small, little paragraph in the budget means so much — selling our assets.

    Now, a former government purchased the land, aided with support by various municipal governments, mayors in Surrey and Delta and even former Premiers Rita Johnston, Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark. The notion came about with community effort, which I was involved with — years of efforts by residents, doctors, health care workers. In the summer of 1989 a group of North Delta residents formed the North Delta Public Hospital Society and later changed the name to the North Delta–Newton Public Hospital Society under the Society Act.

    One year later it launched a campaign for support, and within one month it received over 5,000 letters of support to the government, led by the president, Gary Harding. Ironically, Gary died at Surrey Memorial Hospital. Dr. Michael Stibbs is now no longer with us.

    It took a whole lot of work, toil and pain of various communities to get together and push for this location. I think of the people who worked hard: Dave Hales, Kathy Peterson — all community leaders — Vince Trayers. They worked hard. It was done by normal, average people, not by stakeholders or medical service people or, perhaps, nurses or unions. It was normal, everyday citizens — residents who stood up and believed that it was time that those living south of the Fraser would finally get their fair share.

    I remember well the knocking on doors, the signatures, talking to the mayors, talking to the Premier, a rally for the push of the Fraser Health Authority of the day to work on behalf of the community, the number of letters. I remember the petitions, the door-to-door campaign.

    I remember small business and their unequivocal support for this essential need. Now it’s squandered away by this provincial Liberal government.

    Also in May of 1991 Mayor Beth Johnson and Delta council publicly endorsed the notion for a set-aside for the future health care needs. It was protected at a time when we had 1.3 acute care beds per thousand, the lowest in Canada. Now we’re hearing all these accolades, how we’re now boosting it. But even when we meet the new objectives of the government, we are still going to be substantially short of the acute care bed needs south of the Fraser.

    I remember when we went door to door. We polled thousands of people, and 94 percent identified themselves from North Delta–Newton. Among many findings the society found at that time was of those who were polled, 93 percent favoured the acquisition of lands immediately. Considering the fledgling society, it was amazing that 300 people within that same month joined it. It was probably one of the most amazing political activities I’d ever been involved in, in all my 25 years as an activist and a politician.

    Now, location. Location is built on its accessibility within the community. As I said earlier, it was strategically placed. The society believed that it was important that, yes, there was a need for a secondary…. We’re not talking about a tertiary hospital. We’re talking about a primary acute care hospital. It was to be seen as a satellite within. It made perfect sense, because not all could access downtown Surrey. We were also, of course, hopeful that it would help the needs of the elderly and infirm who really couldn’t make it to larger hospitals.

    The other things that could be involved in here were ambulatory stations at the same corner. It had perfect noise abatement. There was no air traffic up above, trains, industry. A lot of effort and planning, not only by the society but by all levels of government. Get this. For $5 million it was purchased, almost $5 million. It’s on the block now, I believe, for close to $24 million, and it’s not even zoned completely for commercial. We’re just talking institutional use. Boy, talk about a flip. Yoo-hoo. B.C. Rail all over again.

    This is what this government does. It’s not here for you or me or families. It is here for the insiders, and you can take that to the bank. You just have to go look at a former trial that was conducted, and still the Auditor General is trying to get that information, to look at how that all came about. You know, it’s quite amazing how this government seems to profit over and over again from the good deeds done by the previous government.

    It’s also interesting. When the Liberal government took control of the province, they conducted back then what was known as core reviews. But where is the core review on this one, and all the other fire sales?

    This is not a proper business case. This is blatant selling away your assets. We saw it before — St. Mary’s Hospital, Nelson hospital, Lytton hospital. “Let’s get rid of the hospitals. It’s costing us way too much money.” They pared it down. What else could be left? But they’ll continue to sell it away. It will be gone — no question there. I’m going to leave that for now. Time is going to run out pretty quick here.

    We know that the Surrey municipal government set aside in its official community plan, 6.6 on their institution…. “The Panorama village development, which is located in the minister’s own seat, includes a 6-hectare — 15-acre — site owned by the greater Vancouver regional hospital district and is intended for a future hospital.” That’s the position of the city of Surrey. It’s in their official community plan.

    Has the government gone out and solicited, negotiated and talked to the local government of Surrey? No. Nada. No. Wouldn’t do that. It’s just grab and take.

    Now, very quickly, I want to talk about another interesting part. Page 51 of the budget talks about surplus assets. I’d really like to know what “surplus” means. We’ll hopefully find that out.

    It says: “Properties under consideration include surplus acquired for the development of transportation corridors, vacant parcels of Crown land and a number of longstanding provincial holdings that are appropriately developed by the private sector.”….

    I’m opposed to this budget, and I will fight hard to defeat this government

  12. Laila says:

    And the community of Panorama pays the price of the provincial governments shortsightedness.

    The property has been sold to Fairbourne Homes and already the city is in talks with local residents who are outraged at having yet more development in an area with school badly overburdened.

    I will keep this post updated as to community developments for those interested in opposing this development.

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