Timing, in comedy and in politics, is everything.
So consider the timeline that led up to Wednesday's announcement of $80 million as a precursor for a $400-million total investment in upgrades to Royal Inland Hospital.
On May 21, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger said an announcement concerning RIH's master site plan would be coming in the next couple of months. He also cautioned it wouldn't be the whole $400 million estimated to fulfill the entire plan, but that it would move in stages.
On June 27, Krueger announced he would not run for re-election.
On June 29, Premier Christy Clark was in town and stopped in for a lunchtime barbecue at the home of long-time Liberal Todd Stone.
On July 10, Stone announced his intentions to run in Kamloops-South Thompson.
On July 11, Clark is back, this time with an $80-million cheque to get the expansion started at RIH. What a coincidence.
There are still details to be worked out, so the business case is slated for approval in early 2013 and construction begins late next year.
Smack in the middle of all that is yet another date: May 14, 2013 — the provincial election.
And what happens if the current polls are accurate and the NDP gets elected? Does that construction, approved by the Liberals and allegedly included in the budget by the Liberals, still proceed?
The NDP are questioning whether there is $80 million in the budget to even get the RIH project started. They're making sounds like they might not want to follow through on big funding announcements being made by the Liberals in case the books don't reflect the public promises.
So where does this leave Kamloops and Royal Inland Hospital?
Well, the good news is that the process being followed seems to be similar to how things were done in Kelowna and Vernon, where hospitals each got $400-million upgrades that have just finished.
In fact, Kelowna General had a five-level, $7-million parkade built before the bigger parts of its expansion were done. Sound familiar?
The bad news is, no one is certain whether the RIH announcement is just political expediency or a bona fide budget item that will come to fruition regardless of who is in power.
Makes you wonder whether the timing is one of politics — or of comedy.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.