"It's extremely disappointing," Quadra Island-based Strathcona Regional District director Jim Abram
"I think a lot of people there don't understand the dynamics of the north Island.
It was a very poorly thought-out move."
Abram is the elected local representative for the Discovery Islands - a sprawling collection of rugged islands and remote inlets stretching northeast from Campbell River onto the mainland.
constituents - and those in neighbouring communities like Gold River, Tahsis, Port Alice and Sointula - will be served by the new $274.5 million, 95-bed hospital opening in late 2017 in Campbell River.
said the difference between these people and the people in the south island is that in the north many people have to drive four or five hours on a dark logging road or aboard a ferry to get to their hospital.
Often, their incomes are lower and their options fewer.
"Then they have the stress of maybe not being able to go back home," he
said, adding the additional issue of feeding a parking meter is something they don't need.
B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake has informed the regional district that officials intend to proceed with the fees, but Abram said residents have yet to give up the fight.