October 22nd Public Hearing – Representatives Of Vancouver’s Silent Majority Could Seal The Fate Of New St. Paul’s Hospital

October 22nd, 2019 Public Hearing
This will likely become one of the most important public hearings in the history of Vancouver. The actions taken by our city council will have implications for many decades to come, as they will decide the fate of this proposal for a world-leading medical hub in the False Creek Flats. With 1.9 billion dollars in public and private funding at stake, everyone deserves a voice in this decision about the future of St. Paul’s Hospital.

Ironically, it’s those claiming to speak for those without a voice who have been most active, even though animal research is beyond the control of our local government. This opinion has also been slightly inflated, as a flaw in the way public correspondence is tabulated has allowed one individual to have their opinion counted multiple times (pg 10 – 16, pg 26 -36, pg 80 – 86). Still, in the end, the biggest limitation might come from long established city policy.

Backlash Expectations

Item #3 – 1002 Station Street and 250-310 Prior Street (New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus) – Very High
A proposal of this magnitude will likely generate a large range of opinions

The Third Item – 1002 Station Street and 250-310 Prior Street (New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus)

What is it?:
The new St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus. A world class health centre, that will provide a list of medical services, offices, research facilities, childcare, public spaces, as well as a hotel for visiting medical professionals and families with critically-ill loved ones.

Where is it?:
Here, located on a large vacant lot nestled between Main, Prior and Via Rail‘s Vancouver rail yards. It’s a short walk from the Expo Line’s Main Street-Science World station.

What was the open house like?:
Given the importance of this development, it’s understandable that many of the 174 people (pg 120) who attended were extremely curious. In our experience, there was plenty conversation about traffic, bike routes, and the planned route of the recently approved False Creek Flats Arterial.

What are its strengths?:
Unlike the St. Paul’s Hospital of today, this state-of-the-art campus, will be designed to survive the long-expected “Big One.” It’s also well situated to handle the growth of our city’s eastern neighbourhoods, and is accessible by many forms of transportation. The West End won’t be forgotten either, as all Vancouver Coastal Health services will remain.

What are its weaknesses?:
As heights in this area are restricted to protect views from the intersection at East 6th Avenue and Main Street, opportunities for future expansions (pg 20) will be somewhat limited. The Urban Design Panel has criticized this restriction on two occasions (1, 2), as they believe it has negatively impacted the public realm.

What is the opposition like?:
So far almost all of the feedback has been from those opposed to medical testing on animals. Despite the resiliency strategies (pg 47), others remain concerned about climate change, and soil liquefaction. Of course, there are those worried about how the presence, and absence, of this facility will impact their neighbourhoods (pg 120 – 122).

Speak Up?:
Email your thoughts to City Council at publichearing@vancouver.ca. or register to speak in person here.

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