Bungled politicking, anonymous insiders and money (at least the hypothetical future-funding kind). It's not quite Watergate, but the Burnaby Hospital saga of 2012 had all the makings
of a Hollywood political drama - if it weren't for the fact that the real issues at the aging building are deadly serious. First came news S that doctors at the facil-P ity were putting the health authority on notice in writing. In a lengthy letter, they
detailed concerns about ongoing C. dif-ficile infection outbreaks that were, in their opinion, putting people's lives at risk and could potentially be tied to deaths among patients there over the previous year.
Then came news that the provincial government was starting the (always lengthy) process of deciding what to do with the facility - a plan that would have gotten a thumbs up if it hadn't come with the announcement of a "community consultation" panel that appeared to be loaded with folks friendly to the B.C.
And, despite cries that the effort was "not political," lo and behold, emails revealed last month painted the entire project with the tint of politically motivated mismanagement.
The big mystery now (aside from who exactly passed on those naughty missives to the NDP) is when something will be done about the important problem: getting a facility for the city that is a boost, not a bust.
The city's other big headline-maker of the year had deadly consequences of a different
kind. In May, Angus Mitchell became a household name as the alleged shooter in a double-murder in a Burnaby sushi restaurant and the attempted murder of another man.
As the details were revealed, it became clear that this was no one-off gang shooting or robbery-gone-wrong. Mitchell had a "hit list" that included individuals and businesses across the region, including a Burnaby school. The list was planned and organized, and included maps of locations and escape routes.
It was a keen-eyed member of the public who spotted Mitchell's van in Maple Ridge and called in the tip. The 26-yearold was fatally shot by police, leaving only tragedy for the families of his victims and plenty of questions about what happened.