When the community consultation committee for Burnaby Hospital was formed, there was some skepticism that the committee was merely a Liberal tool. The group was clearly made up of Liberal insiders and politicians.
But, Dr. David Jones, the spokesperson for the committee, tried to quell those concerns by assuring the public that the committee was apolitical.
"As far as the politics of the committee - we're a mix. . Concentrating on politics is distracting - this is too important for that, the task we've been given is too big for that. What we want is a better Burnaby Hospital," he told us in an interview in May.
Sadly, it now appears with the expoure of a multitude of emails between the major players on the committee that critics were spot on.
NOW Not only do the emails reveal that Pamela Gardner, the committee's citizen chair (who served as a B.C. Liberal Party riding president in Burnaby-Edmonds) was already trying to deflect responsibility off of the Liberal government by blaming the Fraser Health chair, but she was also considering having someone write a letter countering a submission from MLA Kathy Corrigan's sister regarding moving the hospital.
While some of the emails refer to managing the MyBbyHospital Facebook page, others refer to essentially rigging the committee's report.
What is not surprising, perhaps, is that there was political fixing behind the committee - but what is surprising is that the Liberals were so blatant about it, and that they were so stupid as to put the plans in emails.
The tragedy in all of this is that there were many groups and individuals who put a lot of time and effort into providing input - because they genuinely care about health care in Burnaby.
In one email in September, Gardner, when talking about the timeline of doing the report, writes: "I have chosen this date because I need it to be completed by the time I see Christy at the conference. I have experienced that wrath a time or two in the last 40 years!!!"
We'd like to see that wrath now.