Whitehorse:  Klondike MLA Sandy Silver is urging the Government of Yukon to rethink a plan to name the new health care facility in Dawson City, the Dawson City Community Hospital.  Community consultations last fall produced Father Judge Memorial Hospital as the preferred name.

"There was a name chosen, produced by the people who live here, and I’m calling on the government to listen to that advice. Many residents I have spoken with are disappointed with the new name, particularly with the way the decision was arrived at,” he said.  “Last fall people were asked for their opinions and now they have been told those opinions don’t mean anything.  It appears the entire process was a waste of time.”

Silver says people are probably more upset about the process than the actual name. 

“A decision had already been made and then with no discussion at all people found out that their choice had been turfed and another name chosen,” he said.  “It’s not too hard to fix this and I’m urging the Minster of Health to listen to the wishes of the community.”

The name change is just the latest snafu for a project that has been mishandled since it was first announced in March, 2004.  Originally budgeted at $5.2 million the final price tag in Dawson will likely be over $30 million dollars.  There have been issues over the location of the facility, the level of care that will be provided and the employment opportunities for existing staff.

“This is just the latest in what has been a train wreck from the get-go.  There is a disconnect, a lack of communication and a lack of presence in the community that has been voiced for months and has still not been addressed.  Unfortunately, naming the hospital has added to this on-going concern,” he said.  “There’s a chance to get this part right and I hope the Minister responds positively.”       

Silver also said he is interested in reviewing the Auditor General of Canada’s report on the construction of the Dawson City and Watson Lake hospitals, which is to be released later this month.


For additional information contact: 

Jason Cunning 667-8942