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An open letter to George Abbott

Note: On Nov. 25 George Abbott announced he was running for the leadership of the BC Liberal Party to replace Gordon Campbell when he steps down.

To the Editor,

Dear old Dear, Mr. Abbott.

I'm afraid we in Nelson can't believe poor old George.

He says he is well placed to understand the difficulties of rural British Columbians.

He says he is interested in: reaching out to British Columbians; to reach out to every region; to reconnect with the grass roots and to listen respectfully to their ideas and advice.
The reality is that Mr. Abbott sounds insincere, full of well worn rhetoric.
Mr. Abbott was part of a government that set up a third level of unelected government (such as the IHA). Just like the HST — without consultation or mandate — they managed to separate the Campbell government from the grass roots in Nelson.

The more the grassroots in this Kootenay community spoke out, the IHA hired even more bureaucrats to thwart public's concerns.
The BC Government ignored feedback from British Columbians in the “Conversations on Health,” dismissing a 2,500-signature petition from Nelson area residents.
In nine years, Nelson Kootenay Lake Hospital has lost much: a general surgical program; its ICU; five top rate ER specialists moves away; eight local general practitioner's said no to working in the ER; an invaluable internist left; and, recently, top nurses have been gone from KLH Emergency Room in Nelson. In terms of health care at the KLH, it’s a ghost of its former self.
Nelsonites travel 160 kilometres each time they want to see a surgeon or specialist for a consultation or to have surgery. For nine years, hundreds of hours are wasted, lost every day in travel time and hours of work, while people drive out from this community and area. The word “sustainability” is a bitter joke.
Mr. Abbott had been invited to discuss health care concerns with local citizens from Nelson during the last election. Mr. Abbott, Mr. Hanson and now Mr. Falcon have discarded all concerns Nelson people may have. Not one health minister has been within a stone's throw of Nelson.
So how can we believe politicians when they say they are interested in reaching out and reconnecting with British Columbians, when their sincere concerns have been ignored for nearly a decade?

Glyn Humphries, Nelson