In an election year, it’s always interesting to see what will end up capturing the imagination of the electorate on the campaign trail.
However, when voters actually step up to the ballot box, you can count on one of the deciding issues being healthcare.
Last week we saw a great example of this with the arrival of the CT scanner at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital.
Interior News website and social media analytics underscored just how important this to the people of Smithers.
On Thursday, when we published the story about workers rolling the machine into the hospital, it was not the top story on our website. Nor was it our most far-reaching Facebook post.
That honour went to the 10 women who won the women’s division of the Skeena River Relay. Congratulations to them.
The engagement on the CT scanner story, however, was far and away the best we’ve seen since the recycling depot fire in early May.
Getting this potentially life-saving technology in Smithers is a very big deal.
It didn’t just happen, though.
The momentous milestone of the machine arriving was the culmination of years of hard work and generosity by many people and organizations.
Most notable, of course, was the $1.6 million donation by the late Telkwa businessman Fritz Pfeiffer, but it would not have been possible without all the contributions, large and small, made by the Bulkley Valley Health Care and Hospital Foundation, Northern Health, Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament, Seabridge Gold, Bulkley Valley Kinsmen and the many other individuals and businesses who showed the community spirit and tenacity to make it happen.
Also, although it looked at one point like town council might scuttle the project, it should be acknowledged that they ended up doing the right thing. It’s not easy to admit to being wrong and reversing a decision made.
The Interior News salutes all who had a hand in making this a reality.
We must not rest on our laurels, however, and with the federal election looming, it’s the perfect time to ask the obvious question to the Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates:
How about a proper building to house the scanner now that we have it?