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Vancouver alderman (and future mayor) Truman Baxter takes a firm stance against the Vancouver General Hospital, producing a signed affidavit in City Council alleging that “vermin” was found in their soup. Baxter, who has, in the past, been critical of the hospital’s performance, and who is against “giving any more civic money to the institution at the present time than is absolutely necessary,” brings forth a declaration from former patient Horace Williamson, which details a number of the building’s health violations.
“Mr. Williamson’s son was in the hospital from about November 15, 1910, to about January 1, 1911, at $1.75 per day, in a semi-public ward where there there were six patients in all. During Mr. Williamson’s visits, he said, he saw dead cockroaches in the food taken by his son and live ones on the tray where the food was placed; he himself, he declared, killed cockroaches on the hallway wall in the hospital.”
Other aldermen dismiss Baxter’s comments as “not manly, as cowardly.”
However, Baxter will become Vancouver’s new mayor the following year, perhaps only because he isn’t competing against any other candidates.
Image: Interior of Vancouver General Hospital, circa 1919. Image courtesy of the Vancouver Archives.