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Save Riverview from BC Liberals
In a letter to the editor I wrote to The Tri-City News in August 2007, I warned that we better be vigilant to protect Riverview Hospital lands from the BC Liberal government when Rich Coleman was proposing 7,000 market homes be built instead of providing the facilities we needed to treat the mentally ill roaming the streets or languishing in jails.
It seems nothing has changed as Coleman’s most recent response is a “vision” that “might” provide some facilities through land development.
I have worked in mental health, the provincial courts and with Vancouver police, so I’ve seen the plight of the mentally ill from many angles. It has not gotten better but worse for the ill, their families coping with the problem and the police spending much of their budget to try to contain it. The drug problems because of self-medicating and the increased violence put us all at risk besides costing us an unconscionable amount of extra money.
And what is the solution from Premier Christy Clark? She says “no way” will her government consider the proposals by the mayors of the surrounding regions to provide mental health facilities on the land. Instead, Riverview has been left to waste away while the government may be fostering plans to develop the land mainly for other purposes. Premier Clark says no to a reasonable and logical solution to the solving of an ongoing humanitarian issue and the site’s intrinsic value as an arboretum and green space would probably ultimately disappear.
Isn’t it time we along with our mayors fought back and demanded Riverview be reinstated as a world-renowned mental health facility?
Please wake up, citizens, before it is too late.
As I urged in 2007, please write your elected representatives and insist Riverview be developed as a modern facility for the needs it was intended to serve for the last hundred years.
Rita Pollock, Coquitlam