The recent land clearing and excavating to make way for the construction of the new regional Mill's Memorial Hospital in Terrace brings home the stark reality that Progressive Ventures' proposed Inland Port will be a mere stone's throw away. Ouch!
So while people throughout Northwest BC are eager to see a much needed new regional hospital, we now have the sobering and potentially highly dangerous prospect that an expanded rail yard, just across the street from our long awaited new regional hospital, will be handling all kinds of dangerous goods.
It is true the train tracks have been in that location since the rail line was built in the early 20th century. However, having a rail line running through town and sidings that handle primarily lumber and logs is worlds apart from continually expanding rail operations, especially if those rail expansions mean the handling of dangerous goods in the middle of the city right next to a new regional hospital.
The switching that will allow access to this inland port rail yard is directly due north of the proposed hospital. If switching goes wrong and we have a major incident it will be on the doorstep of our new regional hospital and it will be a direct threat to the infrastructure, the patients and the medical personnel. Ask the question: Is this a good development for key regional medical infrastructure designed to service the Northwest BC region of Northern Health?
Premier John Horgan, Adrian Dix and officials at Northern Health need to hear from citizens in the surrounding region that maximizing safety for patients, medical staff and key pieces of regional medical infrastructure is a regional and provincial health issue.
COVID-19 has taught us that key medical infrastructure is not to be taken lightly and it needs to be protected, valued and safeguarded as a public trust for we in Northern Health are all in this together.