COLUMN: Perfect timing for out-of-town editor

Nakusp hospital announcement made for big news day

The ‘off-Broadway’ production I viewed from the front row in Nakusp on Friday was a much-anticipated event with robust applause.

The Arrow Lakes Hospital, located a few blocks east of Nakusp’s Broadway Street, was the setting for the announcement of $2.1 million in funding to renovate the hospital’s emergency ward.

The enthusiastic ovations for Nakusp Mayor Karen Hamling and the other four speakers from those gathered for the press conference clearly indicated that the project was long overdue.

With apologies to Hamling and the other stakeholders, the timing couldn’t have been better for this scribe.

As the Nelson-based editor of this paper I scheduled weeks earlier that I would drive up on Friday, January 12, for my first visit to Nakusp. It was a flexible day for both News reporter John Boivin and myself. The plan was to meet with Boivin, talk about production and story planning and then see the sights of the town. It was going to be relatively low-key.

But that all changed two days earlier with word that local MLA Katrine Conroy had scheduled a press conference for 11:30 a.m. on January 12, to make an “important announcement.”

After more than 33 years, Mayor Hamling knew that the local hospital was finally getting an upgrade.

I drove with purpose along Highway 6 as casual Friday turned into a major news event.

Boivin covered the press conference in the Minto House Activity Room at the hospital while I took a seat and used a smartphone to record the presser for the Arrow Lakes News Facebook page.

After the announcement everyone was beaming, especially Hamling.

“This is one of the biggest days we’ve had in Nakusp in a long, long time. You couldn’t have picked a better day to come here,” the mayor told me after the press conference.

Interior Health Chair Pat Dooley, who also drove up from Nelson, was “ecstatic” about the project and said nothing was going to stop her from being at the announcement.

“I missed my grandson’s hockey tournament in Okotoks to be here, because I vowed to follow this project through until the end,’ said Dooley.

The disputes and differences that had plagued the project for four years had disappeared.

Arrow Lakes Hospital, which saw 3,700 visits last year, will have an upgraded emergency ward by late next year.

It was a remarkable 60 minutes in a small B.C. town.

Despite being an accidental observer, I was more than pleased to witness the momentous occasion.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

RCMP still investigating body found between Nelson, Castlegar

Halimi’s body was found between Nelson and Castlegar in May 2018

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

Prominent Slocan Valley environmental activist dies

Marilyn Burgoon was ‘tough and determined’

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Interior Health issues drug alert in Kamloops

Testing of two samples of drugs sold as crystal meth was positive for fentanyl

Most Read