LETTERS: Name at new ER creates debate

The Leader edition of Nov. 16 carried a front page report that the new ER facility will have Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s name over the entrance.

Since this facility is to serve everyone, I do not see how putting a religious figure’s name on it serves to make it a place for everyone. Why not a generic term such as, “Surrey Memorial ER” or any other more all-inclusive name. Putting a Sikh name on something that will be funded by all taxpayers is not reasonable.

As far as being assured when going to the ER, the assurance I have that I will get the care I need is found in the competency of the staff and having the necessary equipment in place, not having someone’s name over the door.

R.D. McClelland, Surrey


South Asians recognized

Paula Carson‘s article is well-written and outstanding in recognition of South Asians in B.C.

It also underlines the importance of body, mind and spirit in the healing process. Congratulations are well-deserved by the courageous columnist.

Kirpal Singh, Surrey


Politically correct move

Re: Column on the ER.

Would anyone care to remember who slaved and operated those hospitals way back when? The Catholic nuns, of course, and thus bringing it to the surface of having the facilities named after precious saints. Why do we even need to open this can of worms of having “wings” and “expansions” named after people who apparently spent the most money?

We are all putting our time and money into these things but to no avail except to be able to put our health card on the counter when we are desperately failing from a myocardial infarction or a ruptured appendix.

Leave it alone Mr. Campbell. I am sure you will get enough votes on your own steam rather than sucking up and being “politically correct.”

Janice Campbell, Surrey


Facility will care for all

I would like to take the opportunity to add some information about the recent naming opportunity that was announced on Nov. 15.

It is a long-standing tradition in Canada to name public buildings for individuals living and dead who have contributed to society and humanity. Having learned a little about the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in recent months, I am confident his message of inclusivity and respect for others is appropriate for all.

It is important to note Surrey Memorial Hospital’s new Emergency Centre will care for all who arrive at its doors. Naming opportunities do not affect the day-to-day operations of the hospital. Instead, these recognitions pay tribute to those who have contributed to making improvements. For instance, Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Children’s Health Centre bears the names of numerous donors who contributed to the facility.

Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation is pleased to be working with many individuals, organizations, and businesses who have donated to the new Emergency Centre. These donors value the health services we have in our community.

When the doors finally open, the names of many of our partners will grace the new facility. They are thanked for making life better for us all.

Chris Midmore

Emergency Centre Campaign Chair

Surrey Memorial Hospital



A slap in the face

The results of a poll conducted by The Leader indicating that 70 per cent of respondents are in favour of naming our new Surrey Memorial ER facility after a Sikh guru means nothing to all those who know how Chuck Cadman was defeated by the same minority group in his riding during a Conservative Party nomination meeting.

It is called stacking the votes!

Naming our hospital after a religious person who contributed nothing to our health care system is just another slap in the face for those other than one particular minority group.

However, we should have expected such a desperate move from one of our vote-seeking politicians (Premier Gordon Campbell) as he will do anything to gain a few votes from our minority groups.

Pieter Spierenburg



Article misses the point

Re: Column, “Saints, Sikhism and SMH.”

I believe that Paula Carlson’s column entirely misses the mark.

Naming either part of or a whole public building after a religious leader is an insult and offensive to many different religious faiths and to those of us who are non-religious.

The naming of a building has been to traditionally honour those who have provided a service to the community, later to represent a donor who by extension was considered to be providing a service, later to be done for outright advertising (the latter strongly opposed for many locations).

Hospitals that have religious names are hospitals that have been created or directly supported by those religions and this is combined with a very long history. If a particular religion wishes to create a hospital they can name it anything they want.

The name does matter very much to a poor soul who at that very moment is clinging to their religion as the only item they have to get them through the suffering and to be their salvation.

You asked if not Guru Nanak, then what? Why not Buddha, Gaia or Great Mother? Do these not also promote peace, represent other cultures, or are you offended, disturbed or amused?

Gordon Wood, Surrey


Naming meant to recognize community contribution


Re.: “New ER to bear Sikh guru’s name.”

Unquestionably, the South Asian community is recognized for their positive and constructive efforts  by Premier Gordon Campbell’s announcement regarding adorning the Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s name on  the future ER entrance of the new emergency centre.

I would say it’s a historical announcement, a matter of pride for the South Asian community. Donations are anticipated to increase further from the South Asian community. All people living in Surrey, Langley and other cities of Lower Mainland should contribute towards this expansion  irrespective of social stigma, political agenda, and any other type of conflict which may  delay the progress of this project.

After all, this is going to be a place for everyone who needs the services. 

Naming is just a step forward to recognize the efforts of any community doing their  best. 


Jagdev Bains



Embarrassed for hospital

Re: “Saints, Sikhism and SMH.”

The local hospital should have no religious affiliation, especially if you would like to believe that everyone is welcome.

As an RN, I am embarrassed for our hospital and will not take my family there because of this act by Gordon Campbell.

I do not feel welcome now.

Original taxpayers in Surrey who paid in full for this hospital would be turning over in their graves to see a new wing named for “any” religious leader.

Hang your head in shame Gordon – SMH has so many problems and now you have added another.

Celia Graham, Surrey

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