THERE ARE things John Horgan knows about Kamloops, and there are things he should know.
The NDP leader knows that in order to win election in this province, he needs to win both Kamloops North Thompson and Kamloops South Thompson, since the ridings’ two seats have long been a provincial political bellwether.
Which is presumably why Mr. Horgan showed up in Kamloops promising an NDP government would speed up the four laning of the Trans Canada Highway east of Kamloops to the Alberta border. An interesting promise, though it was alarmingly short on detail, such as a timetable, cost, and how it would all be paid for.
But what Horgan should also have known is just how important improved health care is for those in the two Kamloops ridings. So when he was offered a chance to hit one out of the park politically by professing his unqualified support for the phase two redevelopment of the Royal Inland Hospital… he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
What should have been a no brainer, turned into something along the lines of…. we’ll have to wait to see what the financial situation is. He didn’t say that when promising a $1.5 billion child care program, nor did the cost of four laning the Trans Canada include such hesitation.
By failing to come out with his unqualified support, Horgan risks dredging up the Mike Harcourt record in which he relucantanly promised to move forward with the Socred promise of siting the Interior Cancer Clinic in Kamloops, only to shaft the city once he and the NDP won election.
We won’t know for several months whether Horgan’s misstep is equal to the no pipeline declaration served up by Adrian Dix as he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but he certainly hasn’t done his party’s electoral chances in two key ridings any good.
Listen to Jim Harrison’s editorials weekdays on Radio NL, and to the Jim Harrison Show at 9:08 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.