B.C.’s former Health Minister is calling for a big change in the way hospital construction is funded.
Terry Lake thinks its time for an objective evaluation of property tax contributions to capital projects in both transportation and health.
Lake says taxpayers in the interior are on the hook for a big chunk of hospital project costs while taxpayers in the lower mainland get a pass.
“People in the Lower Mainland have forgotten that in 1998 they were relieved of their obligation to pay 40% of hospital construction in lieu of paying for transportation projects and we have seen time after time, that they have been relieved of that obligation meanwhile the people in the rest of B.C.have to pay for hospital construction.”
He says with tolls being removed on lower mainland bridges and the province paying the full ride on a new Pattullo bridge taxpayers outside the lower mainland are paying for lower mainland transportation projects.
Lake admits its a divisive issue.
“I think there is a growing divide between the Lower Mainland and the rest of B.C. in the way money is flowing from Victoria and I think that is a concern for people outside if the Lower Mainland”
Lake says there will continue to be a perception, if not realization, the Lower Mainland is being treated differently than the rest of the province.