An Armchair Mayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
ONE WEEK down, three to go.
So far, the B.C. provincial election has been a bit ho-hum, but the NDP grabbed momentum Monday (April 17, 2017) with an announcement on the walk-in clinic issue.
As leader John Horgan was in Burnaby unveiling a proposal to set up “urgent care centres,” Kamloops candidates Nancy Bepple and Barb Nederpel were simultaneously announcing it in Kamloops.
The NDP plan would establish what sounds very much like walk-in clinics on steroids — open longer hours and with teams of doctors, nurse practitioners and counsellors to provide a broader menu of care and resolve the biggest irritant with walk-ins, namely the lengthy wait times.
So far, the idea hasn’t been costed, and it doesn’t answer the extreme shortage of family doctors. However, it sounds more attractive than the “science centre” approach offered by the Liberals, which still requires doctorless patients to wait on a list until a nurse practitioner is available.
And it gives the NDP a talking point on a problem the Liberals haven’t been able to solve, try as they may.
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver made a move of his own Monday, attacking another Liberal weak point — public discomfort with the way the governing party has conducted itself.
Weaver said the Greens would prohibit ministers from engaging in partisan fundraising, ban corporate, union and out-of-province donations, limit individual contributions and hire a public watchdog to oversee government advertising and communications.
Christy Clark and the Liberals, meanwhile, are on a “steady as she goes” course very much like their message in the last election — jobs and the economy. But what resonated last time around just sounds recycled this time.
As we enter Week Two, the two challengers are gaining momentum.