Earlier, we reported provincial New Democrat caucus chair Jenny Kwan was "alerted" to emergency room cutbacks at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital by a physician who has previously defended aspects of the American healthcare system. But further investigation reveals that's not the only colourful comment Maria Hugi has made. In 1999, The Province reported Dr. Hugi, who caught tuberculosis from an AIDS-infected Burmese man, was calling for tougher medical screening of refugees: "My dog has more protection at the border than I do...We quarantine birds, dogs, cats, horses, anything green that comes across the border.'' Two years earlier, she made headlines when she slammed the federal government's decision to contribute $211 million towards AIDS research. The breast cancer survivor told the tabloid, "I've got a rotten body, I do everything to maintain it and it continues to let me down...and these young people come in with their beautiful bodies and they are destroying them...It's really got my blood boiling - $211 million for AIDS, and AIDS is a preventable disease."
In the same story, she was also quoted as saying, "Rather than pouring money into AIDS, let's look at what we are doing wrong in treating IV drug users...I think the reason the transmission rate is so low in Seattle is those people can't afford to do cocaine and heroin. Their welfare doesn't come to them in cash but in the form of rent vouchers and food stamps. The result is they turn to crack cocaine that you smoke and there are no shared needles.''