A Coquitlam community group is up in arms over what they call a lack of consultation by B.C. Housing over the development of the Riverview Hospital lands.
The group, which calls itself Protect Riverview, says it wants to see the land held for mental health work, and is opposing market housing and commercial development on the property.
MLA Selina Robinson for Coquitlam-Maillardville says much of the friction came about when B.C. Housing posted a job posting for a real estate project co-ordinator in early January, before community consultations took place.
“So they’re moving so fast, and this community just doesn’t trust this government because the Minister just makes an announcement without any consultation.”
“Before they heard any feedback from the community, they were already planning to move ahead with the plans.”
In an emailed statement, Minister of Housing Rich Coleman said that the job position relates to ongoing projects such as an electrical upgrade and transpiration study, and is not linked to the larger scale redevelopment of the site.
The Riverview site has operated as a mental health facility since 1904, but was shut down three years ago after nearly a decade of downsizing.
Last month, the province unveiled a first look results of a two-year visioning process, with plans for the future of the Riverview grounds.
The new vision is five-pronged, including treating mental health and drug addiction, building a complete community, economic development, and housing.
The province also announced three existing mental health and substance abuse programs will be moved to new facilities on the grounds, for a net addition of 17 beds.
The province says the redevelopment will, at some point, include market housing.
The Kwikwitlem First Nation and private developers have both expressed an interest in the land.