OUR VIEW: Knowledge first; then open mouth

We hope basing policy on rumour will be abandoned

And so the process begins.

The cynical amongst us might call it indoctrination but it’s more likely a case of seeing the real picture once you’re on the inside.

Part of new Mayor Walter Jakeway’s inaugural speech during last week’s council swearing-in ceremony touched on the Campbell River and District General Hospital. Jakeway said the hospital is an issue near and dear to his heart. Ensuring Campbell River has competent  hospital services is a personal priority for the mayor. Which is good, we certainly want our mayor to be on top of the issue as was previous mayor Charlie Cornfield.

You’ll remember Cornfield and other members of the previous council had to emphatically assert that the plan to replace the Campbell River hospital with a new facility was in no danger of being scrapped, that it was still on course for completion as promised. Many during the election campaign were, for some unexpressed reason, skeptical – including our new mayor. A wild rumour was circulating that the hospital was going to be dropped in favour of the original plan of a single regional hospital, likely located in the Comox Valley. Nobody had any evidence of a plan to scrap the new Campbell River hospital. Our new mayor confessed to being “suspicious” of the deafening silence from Vancouver Island Health Authority during the election campaign. Now the mayor is merely frustrated with the speed – or more accurately, the lack of speed – with which improvement announcements have been coming. The answers, of course, are all on VIHA’s website. But it proved to be politically popular to be skeptical. And then there’s that deal to convert Elk Falls Mill into a garbage incinerator that we all know has been made.

Unless we’re all proven wrong at some point in the near future, we hope our mayor is showing signs of waiting to see the lay of the land first before voicing unfounded speculation.