Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux. (Contributed photos)

Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux. (Contributed photos)

BC NDP ‘chose to create a system of chaos’ by holding back COVID-19 data: Cadieux

South Surrey MLAs criticize provincial government after BCCDC documents leak

Following the leaking of documents from the BC Centre for Disease Control that indicate the provincial NDP government has withheld COVID-19 data from the public, two South Surrey MLAs have added their voices to a chorus of criticism from the BC Liberals.

The documents, which were obtained this week by the Vancouver Sun, contained a detailed breakdown of case counts and vaccinations by neighbourhoods, rather than just by city or health region.

“Why have the NDP’s Surrey MLAs been silent on this issue?” asked Trevor Halford, MLA for Surrey-White Rock, in a news release issued Friday afternoon.

“Government has a responsibility to be honest with people, and now we find they have intentionally left our community here in the dark.”

The leaked reports, the BC Liberals note, show that the COVID-19 positivity rates in parts of Surrey were more than 20 per cent last week.

“Knowing the dire situation here in Surrey, with some neighbourhoods showing the highest positivity rate in the province, the NDP chose to create a system of chaos with vaccine pop-up clinics that were not planned nor able to get vaccines to those who needed them most,” added Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey South.

In the same release, BC Liberal health critic Renee Merrifield called the holding back of information “a failure of government.”

On Friday afternoon, the provincial government held a press conference by phone with Drs. Bonnie Henry and Réka Gustafson.

Gustafson, of the BC CDC, said the data wasn’t disclosed because it wasn’t “at the standard” the BC CDC considers viable for release to the public.

Workers dedicate their time to collect and distribute data based on what is of interest at the time, Gustafson said.

Henry, meanwhile, said B.C. “doesn’t have systems to support the consistent collection of the same data over time.”

“We have huge gaps still,” she said, noting a lack of collected data on workplace outbreaks and minority and cultural groups in communities of the province.

“Every single day we are looking to making this better,” Gustafson said.

As it stands, health regions are more often able to provide up-to-date data on COVID-19 cases and immunizations than provincial-level officials.

Currently, officials release weekly case counts segmented by Local Health Service areas, which can include groupings of populations of cities the size of Surrey (over 500,000). The internal report doesn’t show data broken down by rural region.

News agencies across the province, including Black Press Media, have asked in the past for more detailed breakdowns of COVID cases, with officials stating concerns of privacy.

There have been 134,000 confirmed cases of the contagious respiratory illness in B.C. since January 2020.

Other regions in the country, such as Toronto and central Alberta, are seeing steady daily case counts reported in neighbourhood data.

– Files from Ashley Wadhwani, Black Press Media

BC LiberalsBC NDPCoronavirus

Just Posted

Ian MacDonald, spokesman for Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service launches public consultation campaign

This is to help the SPS form its first strategic plan

Outdoor vendors at the Cloverdale Flea Market are seen in this bird’s eye view image from the flea market’s Facebook page.
Cloverdale Flea Market to reopen

Market to open June 20 after being closed since Nov. 2020

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 13

Steven Vail was last seen at 8 a.m. after arriving at Frank Hurt Secondary but did not show up for his 8:30 a.m. class.

teaser photo only.
Surrey ‘POP!’ series promises ‘Performances Outdoors in Parks’ this summer

Ticketed concerts, theatre shows and other events start July 9

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council endorses ‘public engagement’ strategy

Council approves ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A 34-year-old man was arrested Monday after Transit Police found him riding a SkyTrain with a shotgun in the front of his sweatpants. (Transit Police)
SkyTrain passenger arrested, charged for concealing shotgun in his sweatpants

Codty-James Gray, 34, was found with ammunition, brass knuckles and knives

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

Most Read