Second B.C. community hospital gets CT scanner from LNG sector

“It’s going to help us a great deal to get the CT scanner. We’ve been wanting to have one for many years"

By Cody Ciona
Photo courtesy of the Squamish Hospital Foundation

The benefits of liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in British Columbia continue to grow, with a second community now set to acquire a long-needed diagnostic imaging tool from an industry donation.  

Thanks to a commitment of $900,000 from Woodfibre LNG, the Squamish Hospital Foundation will now be able to purchase a new computed tomography (CT) scanner.  

Not only will the new scanner allow Squamish residents to access this health service at home instead of driving an hour away to Whistler or North Vancouver, it will also free up ambulances and improve community emergency response times, the hospital foundation said.  

In a joint statement with Woodfibre LNG, president of the Squamish Hospital Foundation Karen Vandella noted that getting the CT Scanner in the region has been more than 20 years in the making. 

“This much needed medical service is finally a reality for Squamish,” Vanzella said. 

Squamish Nation elder and matriarch Gwen Harry also noted the significance of the donation from Woodfibre LNG. 

“On behalf of Squamish Nation members living in the Squamish Valley, I am delighted that a CT scanner will be available in our community,” Harry said. 

The commitment from Woodfibre echoes the recent donation of $900,000 from the LNG Canada project to help fund a CT scanner for the community of Kitimat.  

As in Squamish, the Kitimat CT scanner will allow community residents to access the critical medical services at home.  

“It’s going to help us a great deal to get the CT scanner. We’ve been wanting to have one for many years. It will for sure improve patient care,” said Dr. Li Huang, general practitioner at the Kitimat General Hospital. 

LNG Canada – set to start operating next year – has contributed more than $10 million to programs benefitting the Kitimat region, including the community of Terrace and local First Nations communities.  

Part of LNG Canada’s legacy is the new Coastal GasLink Community Fund, a $50,000 donation given by the pipeline project to the North Peace Region. 

Meanwhile Woodfibre LNG, which is in the early stages of construction, has been an active benefactor in the Squamish area. 

Last year, the company announced $281,000 in donations to various local non-profits including a revitalization of the local Royal Canadian Legion. 

Woodfibre’s community partnership program supports initiatives involved in sports and recreation, health and wellness, arts and culture, socioeconomic programming, local search and rescue and marine safety organizations 

“Woodfibre LNG will be part of the community of Squamish over the long term, and it is a priority for us to support the important work of local non-profit organizations in the community,” said Woodfibre LNG president Christine Kennedy. 

The donations underscore the importance of community/industry partnerships.  

“I have always said to my colleagues, if you want an industry that understands the importance of community, you look to the energy sector, in particular the oil and gas industry,” said Lori Ackerman, chair of the North Peace Community Foundation and former mayor of Fort St. John, B.C. 

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