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Letter: Blame BC Liberals for Riverview’s issues

The Editor, Re. “Restore Riverview for hospital, research” (Letters, The Tri-City News, Jan. 26).

The Editor,

Re. “Restore Riverview for hospital, research” (Letters, The Tri-City News, Jan. 26).

I think letter writer Joerge Dyrkton needs to check his facts a bit more. In his letter, he blamed the NDP as well as the BC Liberals for the closure of Riverview. Riverview closed in July 2012. The BC Liberals were in power from June 5, 2001 until July 18, 2017, so they were in power for 16 years — from 11 years before the closure of Riverview, as well as during the closure, and for five years after. So please don’t blame the NDP for something that was a decision the BC Liberals made.

In addition, the BC Liberals decided to do away with two of the three crisis lines in this area. The sad thing is, there were only one or two paid staff and everyone else was a trained volunteer. And now, when people call the crisis line, they are often asked to leave their name and number and someone will call them back because there aren’t enough volunteers to handle the calls from all of the areas. People are not willing to travel to Surrey to volunteer when they live in the Tri-Cities or Maple Ridge.

Another thing the BC Liberals did was to discontinue funding for two thirds of the employment counsellors in the province the end of April 2012.

The reason I know these things is because I was a volunteer on the crisis line and I was one of the employment counsellors who was laid off. Because we worked for non-profit societies, many people didn’t hear about it.

These closures indicate to me how little the BC Liberals care about the average person and their welfare. So, it isn’t only people with mental issues who have been affected by the decisions made by the BC Liberals. It is also people in crisis and those who have been laid off or are facing challenges regarding finding employment.

So, if you want a government who cares about the welfare of the average person, you might want to think carefully about the choices that these governments have made.

L. Mackintosh, Coquitlam