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Letter: 'Population growth without infrastructure is a disaster'

Governments have failed to take the proactive measures necessary to make sure health care and infrastructure are keeping up with population growth, reader says.
Long waits for health care in Burnaby point to a lack of government foresight, a reader says.


My frustration has turned to anger.

In my opinion the crisis we’re in is due to all levels of governments past and present. Their lack of foresight and procrastination has created this mess.

I don’t think there is anything more deplorable than what we call health care. I have had to navigate through this system over the past years. Below are a few of my encounters with our health care.

Just recently my elderly father fell on an escalator at the Villa Casino, just five minutes from Burnaby Hospital. For an hour he lay bleeding, waiting for an ambulance that never came. The fireman carried him to our vehicle and was taken to the hospital. He stayed there for a week with cracked ribs, a hole in his face that needed to be closed as well as multiple cuts and bruises.

Shortly after this incident I called for ambulance for my daughter who had just been released from the hospital days earlier. After three hours and no ambulance I took her back to Royal Columbian Hospital where we waited another four hours to be readmitted. She remained in the emergency for 36 hours sitting in a chair hooked up to an IV waiting for a bed in a room or hallway.

My daughter-in-law travelled out of province to have a cancer bioscopy. Now we’re asking Canadians already suffering to receive radiation treatments in the U.S.

Adrian Dix’s addition to our medical staff is a drop in the bucket with a population of 5,400,000 in B.C. and I doubt many of us are interested in being compared to other provinces. It’s time to hire back those who were let go during the pandemic.

Population growth without infrastructure is a disaster.

We have bumper-to-bumper roads, a freeway that moves at a snail’s pace, underutilized bike lanes, overcrowded schools, not enough teachers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulances etc.
The population of Burnaby has increased 75 per cent since the late 1970s. While we will have a new city hall, Burnaby General Hospital after its redevelopment will have only 120 new beds. How can we support thousands of more people moving into this area?

The towers in Burnaby are sold before they’re in the sky. Investors both domestic and foreign are purchasing them. There are no affordable rents and the hope of affordable homeownership for many is lost with the price and interest rates. The only ones benefiting from these buildings are the developers and investors, the already wealthy.

We don’t need more towers or more people until we have recourse to support those who already live here.

Jacquelin Merandi