Comox Mayor no longer interested in Mack Laing talks

Comox Mayor no longer interested in Mack Laing talks

Mack Laing, about a year before his death, July 1981, at home in Shakesides — archive photo

By George Le Masurier

At this week’s Comox Town Council meeting, a friend of the late Hamilton Mack Laing will present a business plan to restore the famous naturalist’s home, called Shakesides. He’s going to talk about how the town and the Mack Laing Heritage Society can work together to avoid big legal bills and obtain heritage status for the house as a pathway to grant funding.

He’s going to suggest that the town and the society, pitted as adversaries for several years, move forward one step at a time toward resolution.

And he believes the Shakesides restoration business plan provides a foundation from which to build a partnership.

The plan includes support from 18 individual Comox Valley construction companies willing to share expertise, labor and, in some cases, materials for the restoration of Shakesides. A real community service project, according to Olsen.

Olsen says the plan offers proof that “Shakesides can be converted at reasonable cost into a Nature House with a low environmental footprint and with modest operating budget.”

The business plan is part of a mountain of documents that the Mack Laing Heritage Society will enter into evidence, should the town continue to pursue its BC Supreme Court petition to demolish the house. The society hopes the town will abandon this costly legal action and negotiate directly with them to resolve the issue.

The previous Town Council voted to petition the court to alter the terms of the Mack Laing Trust to demolish Shakesides and replace it with a viewing platform. The MLHS believes that would constitute a breach of trust, one of several they say the town has committed since Laing died in 1982.

The society also distributed a 13-page summary of annotated documents to councillors that attempts to summarize the convoluted ways the town has mishandled its trust agreement with Mack Laing.

Mayor no longer onside

A negotiation to settle the case out of court seemed likely after last fall’s municipal elections when a majority of new councillors expressed interest in talking directly with the Mack Laing society. And that included, according to Kris Nielsen, president of the MLHS, a handshake deal with new Mayor Russ Arnott to not let the matter go back to court.

But Nielsen says Arnott has now reneged on that agreement.

At a coffee meeting on Friday, Jan. 11, Nielsen said the mayor told him that unless the MLHS would agree to Shakesides’ demolition and replacement with a viewing platform — in other words capitulating to the town’s position — he wasn’t interested in talking.

Arnott did not respond to Decafnation’s invitation to confirm or deny Nielsen’s version of events.

So unless a majority of Comox councillors vote to engage the MLHS in meaningful discussions toward a solution, it appears the town’s taxpayers will continue to fund an expensive legal process that is speculated to have topped $100,000 to date.

“The Supreme Court gave us the opportunity to speak for Mack Laing’s intent and to demonstrate how past Councils reneged on the terms of the trust from the start and continued doing so for decades,” Nielsen said in a press release from the society. “The charitable purpose of any trust has to be taken seriously. That Comox taxpayers are paying large legal fees … I find (that) particularly disturbing.”

What will council do

In one of its first meetings after the municipal elections, the new Town Council discussed three possible paths forward:

— Continue with the court action
— Negotiate with the Mack Laing Heritage Society
— Suspend the petition entirely

The council voted to delay any decision until February, although Nielsen says the mayor has already decided to press forward with its two-year old court case.

The town spent most of last year and three separate BC Supreme Court appearances trying to prevent the Mack Laing society from participating as an intervenor in the court case. But justices in all three hearings attempted to steer the town and the BC Attorney General’s office in that direction, and the town resisted.

“What evidence do you not want the court to hear,” Justice Thompson asked the town’s lawyer at one point.

Finally, Justice Thompson ordered the town to consent to intervenor status at an Oct. 16, 2018 hearing.

There is no court date scheduled to hear the case, as an out-of-court settlement was preferred.

Breaches of trust

In a package of documents distributed to councillors late last year, the Mack Laing Heritage Society pulled 13 documents from the more than 400 submitted as affidavits that they hope will clarify their case.

Here are some the highlights of the annotated documents.

The first document, from March 17, 1982, shows the Town Council chose to ignore the trust agreement by renting it as housing within 32 days of Laing’s death. And by August of that year had started spending Laing’s money inappropriately.

It wasn’t until Feb. 5, 2003 that the town’s relatively new finance director, Don Jacquest, discovered a possible breach of trust in failing to reinvestLaing’s trust fund earnings, or rental income.

Jacquest reported this discovery to Mayor Paul Ives, CAO Richard Kanigan and council. But the council of the day did nothing to correct the trust fund abuses prior to 2001.

In March of 2015, town staff recommended demolishing Shakesides and Laing’s former home, called Baybrook. Council had previously discussed removing Baybrook, but not Shakesides. In its court filings, the town has not offered any legal opinion at the time regarding their right to tear down Shakesides. The society says this is another breach of trust.

But In June 2015, the society sought a legal opinion from an independent and experienced jurist, William Pearce QC on whether the town had the authority to demolish Shakesides and Baybrook. Peace advised the town to seek court direction before any demolition occured.

“The face that the terms of the trust were breached (financially) does not detract from the fact that the home (Shakesdies) is still subject to the trust and to demolish the home those officials who approved of same could be held to account for damages caused to the home,” Pearce wrote.

He continued, “In addition I note that s122 of the Criminal code makes it an offence for an official … to commit a breach of trust. I offer no opinion whether such officials could be prosecuted for their actions but one would hope the councilors (sic) and the mayor would take legal advice before proceeding with the demolition.”

Peace also noted that if the town felt Shakesides was beyond repair, a legal doctrine known as “cy pres” — meaning a purpose which is as near as possible to the original purpose — would apply to use Laing’s first home, Baybrook, as a substitute.

But town staff did not share Pearce’s legal opinion with council — which should have known about their individual criminal accountability — until its Oct. 7, 2015 meeting — nearly three-and-a-half months later.

By then, the town had already torn down Baybrook on Aug. 6, 2015.






Hamilton Mack Laing was an important Canadian naturalist, photographer and writer. He moved to Comox in 1922, cleared his land and built his home from a “Stanhope” Aladdin Ready-Cut kit. In 1927, he married Ethel Hart of Portland and they established a successful and commercial orchard which included walnut, pecan, filbert, hazelnut, apple and plum trees. They also grew mushrooms and vegetables.

After his wife, Ethel, died in 1944, he sold his original home, Baybrook, and built a new home, Shakesides, on the adjoining lot. He bequeathed the waterfront property to the Town of Comox and it became Mack Laing Nature Park — excerpted from content on the Mack Laing Heritage Society‘s website.



Comox Town Council

Russ Arnott, Mayor:

Alex Bissinger:

Nicole Minions:

Patrick McKenna:

Ken Grant:

Maureen Swift:

Stephanie McGowan:



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The Week: No 29th Street bridge? Check. Only 60 ‘new’ beds? Check

The Week: No 29th Street bridge? Check. Only 60 ‘new’ beds? Check

A pair of ponies  /  George Le Masurier photo

By George Le Masurier

The City of Courtenay can cross another potential third-bridge location off its list. Golden Life Management company will build its 120-bed seniors residential home on a vacant lot at 29th Street and Cliffe Avenue, on the estuary side of the road.

During this summer’s 21st Street bridge proposal — which turned out to be a bogus plan by an ignorant consultant because it cut a swath through the Courtenay Airpark and a critical appendage off the Kus-kus-sum restoration — some people suggested 29th Street made a better bridge site. It could funnel Comox traffic straight off the Inland Highway connector.

Believe it: no bridge will cross the K’omoks Estuary in our lifetime. But now, with a seniors facility in the way, you can bet your life it won’t happen on 29th Street.

  Health Minister Adrian Dix might have expected his announcement this week of 151 long-term care beds to send the Comox Valley into a jubilant frenzy. We’ll welcome any amount of new beds, even though we’re sore that it took so long.

But some people aren’t dancing in the streets.

Core NDP supporters wanted the beds, or a majority of them, to be publicly operated, not put into the hands of a private operator. The family-owned Golden Life Management company promises a well-run, quality home for seniors — what else would they say? — and we should give them the benefit of the doubt.

But Comox Valley skeptics can be forgiven because we’ve had a bad experience with private operators. Retirement Concepts made similar promises before they sold to a Chinese company, which has since been taken over by the Chinese government. Workers have struck. Horror stories rumored. Quality has suffered.

But the big elephants in this room are whether we really got 151 “new” beds, and whether they solve the Comox Valley’s problem.

Let’s do the math: 21 of the 151 beds are already in use at the old acute care hospital — so these aren’t new. We’re down to 130 “new” beds.

There are also about 70 admitted patients parked in acute care beds at the Comox Valley Hospital who really need long-term care beds. So these beds are already spoken for. Does that mean the province is adding only 60 “new” beds?

There are at least that many people (60) receiving care at home from family members, while they wait for long-term beds to open up. By the time these new facilities open their doors in 2020 (we hope), the Valley’s population growth and aging baby boomers will have added scores of people to that wait list. And we predict this announcement will not completely solve our hospital’s overcapacity problem.

Still, it is something. And the BC Government has similar needs all over the province. They also have a budget to balance.

 The two best parts of the health minister’s announcement were: 1) four new respite beds at the new Providence facility. Caregivers deserve a break; and, 2) Island Health committed to a redevelopment of The Views at St. Joseph’s, including a dementia village concept.

Everything St. Joe’s has planned, since they learned several years ago that the acute care hospital would move, will go into the redevelopment of the Comox site. And there’s little doubt they could have pulled this off without Providence. In fact, we suspect the Health Ministry was waiting for the new Providence Residential Community Care Society to form and acquire St. Joe’s before awarding the long-term care bed contracts.

What the dickens is former CVRD director Rod Nichol up to?

Arzeena Hamir defeated Nichol for the Area B seat in the fall election. Now, Nichol, who chaired a select committee investigating potential waste-to-energy technologies, is working behind the scenes to push his pet project forward. That’s fair enough. He’s passionate about the cause and fully invested in it.

But his actions are raising more questions than providing answers.

For instance, in a letter to Decafnation (an exact copy of a comment he posted on our website), Nichol says our story “needs clarification.” But he doesn’t clarify anything. Nothing needed clarification. What he’s really doing is lobbying for a company called Sustane Technologies.

Hamir and other directors have questioned the work of Nichol’s advisory committee. They ask whether Sustane’s technology will actually reduce the north Island’s carbon footprint, as claimed, and want the committee’s terms of reference updated to examine that aspect more closely.

That seems reasonable, especially because Sustane doesn’t have a proven track record yet. It’s first Canadian operation is just coming online.

Now that’s he’s no longer an elected official, Nichol can promote whatever business he wants. But by doing so, is Nichol attempting to preserve the legacy of a committee he chaired? Or is he out-and-out lobbying for Sustane? This line seems blurred. Especially because Nichol is only a couple of months out of office. And, in Nichol’s letter to Decafnation, he copied in a Sustane corporate executive. Why would he do that?

And Hamir alleged at a recent solid waste management board meeting that a director met privately with Sustane. She did not name names, and we’re not suggesting it was Nichol. It could have been any of the committee’s directors. Charlie Cornfield, of Campbell River, for example. We don’t know. But if someone did, in fact, meet privately with Sustane, they are ethically bound to declare it.

¶  Finally, congrats to Comox Council for getting started on an off-leash dog park. It’s obviously needed. And Courtenay should have one, too. We hope these off-leash parks also come with enforcement of keeping dogs leashed in other parks.



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Providence, Golden Life get new Comox Valley long-term beds

Providence, Golden Life get new Comox Valley long-term beds

Golden Life’s Garden View Village in Kimberley  / Photo by the Kimberley Bulletin

By George Le Masurier

This article will be updated with additional location reactions to the news as it comes in

Golden Life Management Corporation and Providence Residential Care Community society will share the Comox Valley’s 151 long-awaited additional residential care beds.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix made the announcement at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay this morning. Local MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard also attended.

Golden Life, a Cranbrook-based company, will build 120 residential care beds and six hospice beds on property in Courtenay. The hospice beds include two new beds and the four existing beds that will move from The Views at St. Joseph.

Golden Life currently operates 13 seniors facilities; 10 in the British Columbia Kootenay region and three in Alberta. A fourth Alberta location will open soon.

Construction of the new Comox Valley facility will begin this summer and is expected to complete before the end of 2020.

The newly-created Providence Residential Care Community Society, which assumes ownership April 1 of The Views and the 17-acre St. Joseph’s property at the top of Comox Hill, will receive 31 beds, plus four respite beds.

They consist of the 21 temporary beds that Island Health opened at the former acute care hospital, which now become permanent, and an additional 10 new beds. The Views will convert the existing four hospice beds to respite beds.

“In addition to the RFP process, Providence Residential and Community Care Society … has an agreement to work with Island Health on a potential campus of care redevelopment plan,” according a Ministry of Health news release this morning.

The Views currently operates 116 residential care beds, which will be redeveloped to current standards as part of the agreement.

PRCC Vice-Chair Chris Kelsey, of Comox, could not say when redevelopment of the St. Joe’s property will begin.

Celeste Mullin, vice-president, Golden Life Management Corp. said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Minister of Health, Island Health and Comox Valley Hospice Society to bring exemplary housing, care and services to the Comox Valley. Our villages are more than bricks and mortar. They are vibrant and dynamic communities that support each person’s unique beliefs, values and wishes affording them the opportunity to direct and live their best quality of life.”

Chris Kelsey, chair of the St. Joseph’s board of directors, gave this statement to Decafnation.

“This announcement is a watershed moment for St. Joseph’s and our community. Over the past five or more years, we have been working hard planning a future role for the St. Joseph’s site that best serves the needs of our community. Our Board, management team, and staff are extremely grateful for this opportunity. This announcement allows PRCC and us, in partnership with Island Health, to take very concrete steps to implement our ambitious plans and to revolutionize the care that we provide to our most vulnerable citizens. We have always considered it to be an amazing privilege to serve our community, and we look forward to the hard work ahead and to the continuation of our mission.”


Who is Golden Life?

Golden Life’s founding history makes it an interesting choice to build the Comox Valley much-needed and twice-delayed long-term care beds.

In the 1990s, Cranbrook construction company owner, Endre Lillejord, tried to find housing for his mother that “supported independence and dignity,” but such facilities were not common then.

So Lillejord directed his Golden Life Construction company to build the facility he envisioned for his mother. He called it Joseph Creek Village, and his mother moved in with the first wave of residents in 1998.

The Comox Valley announcement is part of the Health Ministry’s $240 million three-year plan “to increase the direct care seniors receive in residential care homes in communities and across the province.”

Dix has set a target of 3.36 care hours per-resident-day, on average across health authorities, by 2021.


Good news for caregivers, nurses

Today’s announcement brings some good news for Comox Valley Hospital workers.

Island Health opened the temporary beds at St. Joe’s, called Mountain View, to ease serious overcapacity issues at the Comox Valley Hospital. Recently, there were more than 200 admitted patients in the hospital, which was designed for a maximum of 153 patients. That has stressed hospital staff.

Most of the extra patients no longer need acute care, but due to the current shortage of long-term care beds, they have nowhere to go.

The announcement is also good news for some family caregivers.

The shortage of long-term care and respite beds has caused problems for at-home caregivers, many of whom are exhausted and in crisis. The lack of available, publicly-funded beds has forced many family members to care for their loved ones beyond their capacity to do so.

Island Health issued a Request for Proposal for 70 new long-term care beds three years ago, but cancelled it a year later, and issued a new RFP last year.


Not everyone pleased

Today’s announcement hasn’t quelled the concerns of several caregiver groups in the Comox Valley, who fear the new beds won’t be enough.

“Very pleased to see the government finally take action on the crying need of two years ago,” caregiver Delores Broten told Decafnation.”But the need continues to grow and by the time these beds are ready, we will ned as many again.

Caregivers also fear a private operator will run a low-budget operation and eventually sell to an even larger private corporation with negative consequences for patients and their families.

They point to Retirement Concepts, a Canadian-owned company purchased by the Chinese insurance company Anbang in 2017, and later seized by the Chinese government over allegations of fraud.

Retirement Concepts ran 21 facilities from Quebec to BC, including the Comox Valley Seniors Village and Casa Loma, an independent living facility, where workers have been on strike.

Another source told Decafnation this morning that Comox Valley Seniors Village has been running without a Director of Care or a General Manager since September, and that there have been at least five complaints to the provincial licensing officer about the lack of supervision.

The source also said Seniors Village is literally rationing the jam for residents.

Golden Life employees gave the company mixed reviews on the Indeed Canada website. Most unfavorable reviews mentioned understaffing and wage issues. But the company got better reviews from five people who commented on another employee-review site called





— Residential care homes offer seniors 24-hour professional supervision and care in a safe and secure environment.
— Through the $240-million investment over three years, the average direct care hours in
Contact:B.C. will increase from 3.11 per-resident day in 2016, to 3.24 by 2019, reaching 3.36 by
— Progress has been made with almost 270,000 more care hours being provided throughout the province by converting part-time and casual staff to full time.
— New funding of $48.4 million in 2018 will add more than one million hours of direct care.

For more information on increasing staffing in residential care homes, visit here




Castle Wood Village
Castlegar, BC

Columbia Garden Village
Invermere, BC

Crest View Village
Creston, BC

Garden View Village
Kimberley, BC

Joseph Creek Village
Cranbrook, BC

Lake View Village
Nelson, BC

Mountain Side Village
Fruitvale, BC

Rocky Mountain Village
Fernie, BC

Rose Wood Village
Trail, BC

Whispering Winds Village
Pincher Creek, AB

Silver Kettle Village
Grand Forks, BC

Evanston Grand Village
Calgary, AB

Grande Avenue Village
Cochrane, AB

Coming Soon
Seton, AB


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Directors challenge legitimacy of advanced recycling technologies

Directors challenge legitimacy of advanced recycling technologies

Entrance to the Comox Valley landfill, where tipping fees are calculated  / George Le Masurier photo

By George Le Masurier

New directors of the Comox-Strathcona Solid Waste Management Board have called into question the legitimacy of a special committee exploring new waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies.

And new Area B Director Arzeena Hamir has suggested some at least one of the WTE committee members met privately and inappropriately with one of the technology proponents.

Director Hamir

The committee, which originally named itself the WTE select committee but later changed its name to the Solid Waste Advanced Technologies (SWAT) committee, had explored methods of extending the life of north Island landfills at the Pigeon Lake dump.

Landfills are expensive to construct, and just as expensive to close when they are full.

The provincial Ministry of the Environment has ordered the closure of all existing landfills on the north Island at an estimated cost to taxpayers of just over $38 million. This includes landfills in Campbell River, Gold River, Tahsis and Zeballos.

All residential and commercial garbage that cannot be recycled or reused will be dumped into new high-tech landfills, also at Pigeon Lake, that minimize methane gas emissions and the leaking of toxic liquids into the ground. But each of these new landfills cost $10 million to construct and almost as much to close.

So new technologies that claim to reduce the amount of garbage dumped into landfills by 90 percent was obvious. Landfills would last longer, and the expense to taxpayers would decline.

But nothing is ever that simple.

The former SWAT committee members had leaned toward Sustane Technologies, a company that says it can recycle all forms of plastic and transform it into biodiesel pellets. They sell these pellets to other companies who burn it for energy.

Sustane does not yet have any functioning facilities using their technology, although Nova Scotia will pilot a project.

But Hamir and new Comox Director Alex Bissinger question whether that process — proven or not — constitutes any environmental benefit.

“What is the carbon footprint of these new technologies,” she said at the most recent solid waste management board meeting. “And shouldn’t we incorporate this (the net carbon footprint) into our analysis of them.”

Hamir wants the technologies re-evaluated to include climate change, carbon footprints and any impact on the entire solid waste management system, which includes recycling and a new organics composting facility.

Area A director Daniel Arbour said he supported a staff recommendation that ultimately passed to update the SWAT committee’s terms of reference to include emissions from burning the end product of the new technologies.

“If it really reduces the carbon footprint, then it should help reduce costs and increase diversion,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect the committee to recommend anything counter to the board’s mission.”

Hamir said the committee’s name change hides the fact that burning the product of any technology “is still waste-to-energy.”

Bissinger agreed and wanted clarification of whether such a technology actually achieved diversion under the Ministry of Environment’s definition and regulations.

Ministry officials told the solid waste management board in October that it must divert a minimum of 350 kg per capita of solid waste before the province would approve the use of any new technologies. And further, that the use of new technologies would require an amendment to the CSWM Solid Waste Management Plan. And that could trigger expensive studies and new regulations before implementation.

The previous SWAT committee, chaired by former Area B Director Rod Nichol, had operated on the assumption that the ministry’s diversion requirement was just a guideline, not a rigid number. But the October presentation and follow-up letter made it clear that was not the case.

Hamir also suggested that at least one member of the SWAT had met privately with Sustane Technologies, and did not declare the meeting or the substance of the meeting to the whole committee. She did not name the director.

Also, a budget issue

Area C Director Edwin Grieve supported the recommendation to update the SWAT committee’s terms of reference, and added a concern that Comox Valley taxpayers will pay an unfair share of the $38 million to close historic north Island landfills.
He raised the issue because some north Island directors oppose the use of a tax requisition to pay for the closure of historic landfills. They propose paying for the closures solely out of tipping fees (the charge individuals and commercial enterprises pay to dump garbage at the landfill).

The cost will be spread evenly among the 66,537 Comox Valley taxpayers and 43,000 north Island taxpayers. But the cost to close historic Comox Valley landfills totals just shy of $15 million, while north Island lands will cost more than $23 million to close.

“In terms of fairness, it appears that residents of the Comox Valley are paying the majority of the closure costs with the majority of the benefits going north of the Oyster river,” Grieve said in a personal letter to the CSWM board.

Grieve favors a tax requisition to pay for the closure of the historic landfills.

“The big cost facing us is the closure of the landfills and for that we must use taxation,” he said.


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Bishop gifts St. Joe’s Comox site to Providence Health Care

Bishop gifts St. Joe’s Comox site to Providence Health Care

George Le Masurier photo

By George Le Masurier

The Views at St. Joe’s has been gifted to a new entity called the Providence Residential & Community Care Services Society (PRCC).

Chair of the St. Joe’s Board of Trustees Chris Kelsey told Decafnation last night the Bishop of Victoria has given St. Joe’s, including its 17 acres of property at the top of Comox Hill to the nonprofit company.

Providence Health Care is a British Columbia Catholic health care organization that operates St. Paul’s Hospital and seven community care facilities in the Lower Mainland. The Bishop of Victoria sits on the board of a society that owns Providence.

The Views at St. Joe’s is Providence’s first acquisition outside the Lower Mainland and is, at the moment, the sole operating facility of the newly-formed PRCC. It’s expected that Providence’s other community care facilities will eventually be moved in the new company.

The acquisition means that, at the closing date of April 1, the current St. Joe’s board will be dissolved. But Kelsey has been appointed Vice Chair of PRCC, and he said there will always be representation on its board.

“What this means is, we’re not going anywhere,” Kelsey said.

Kelsey said the St. Joe’s board starting working on its future role four years ago, when it became clear that Island Health was closing down its acute care hospital. And, he said, Providence shares their vision of a campus of care dedicated for seniors.

“With Providence, we’re building an organization focused solely on seniors care,” he said. “A dementia village concept is part of that plan.”

Running an acute care hospital requires “90 percent of your attention and your budget,” leaving less flexibility to make seniors care better.

“Now we can focus just on that,” he said.

The Views staff will become PRCC employees and medical staff will receive their privileges through the new company.

FURTHER READING: Providence Residential & Community Care

To get out from under the financial restrictions of the Hospital Act, it’s the intent to eventually make PRCC an independent entity, and distance itself from Providence hospitals. That would allow PRCC to borrow funds for capital project, which it cannot do under the Hospital Act.

That’s important for The Views, which needs to be modernized, as do several of Providence’s existing and aging seniors facilities the Lower Mainland.

Providence assisted St. Joe’s in preparing its proposal for the new Comox Valley long-term care beds.

But Kelsey said he does not believe St. Joe’s is the leading proponent for the news beds.

“If that were the case, we would be talking by now. And we’re not,” he said.

But that won’t delay PRCC from moving ahead with a new vision for the St. Joe’s site.

“Whether or not we receive any of the new long-term care beds from Island Health, we will move ahead with a redevelopment of The Views,” Kelsey said. “Either through a competitive process or direct negotiation.”

Kelsey said St. Joe’s and Providence have been working with Island Health and the Ministry of Health through the transfer of ownership process, and both have supported the change.

The Views Administrative Officer Michael Aikins said the change in ownership actually accelerates the redevelopment plans.

“With PPRC as owner, we’re going to build a community with various levels of housing and care options that support seniors, and their spouses and partners, to age in place on a single campus — ranging from independent living, long-term care and specialized dementia care and neighbourhoods,” he said in a news release.





Compassionate care for over a century
Providence Health Care’s commitment to serving those most in need began more than 120 years ago when the Sisters of Providence
came to Vancouver and opened St. Paul’s Hospital, a 25-bed “cottage” on the path to English Bay. Now operating 17 sites, Providence
Health Care is a health and wellness resource for families, patients and residents from all parts of British Columbia.

Providence Health Care was formed in 2000 through the consolidation of CHARA Health Care Society, Holy Family Hospital and St.
Paul’s Hospital, and is now one of the largest Catholic health care organizations in Canada. Providence sites include two acute care
hospitals, five residential care homes, an assisted living residence, a rehabilitation centre, seven community dialysis units, a hospice,
an addictions clinic and a youth health clinic.

Living our values
To this day, Providence continues the mission of the five founding congregations of sisters by meeting the physical, emotional, social
and spiritual needs of patients through compassionate care, teaching and research. Providence welcomes the challenge of caring for
some of society’s most vulnerable populations. 

Global leader in health care excellence and innovation
Providence is home to St. Paul’s Hospital. St. Paul’s serves 174,000 unique patients who account for over 500,000 visits annually.
As one of two adult academic health sciences centres in B.C. (affiliated with the University of British Columbia and other postsecondary institutions), St. Paul’s is a renowned acute care hospital recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for its
work, including its several centres of excellence and affiliated research programs. In coordination with its health partners – including
the Ministry of Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority – the Providence Health Care Research
Institute leads research in more than 30 clinical specialties. This research continues to advance the lives of British Columbians
every day.


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