A province-wide mental health group wants to ensure any money generated from the potential sale of the Riverview Hospital lands gets funnelled right back to those with mental-health issues or addictions.
The group behind the proposal, the British Columbia Alliance on Mental Health/Illness and Addiction, has suggested that all money - whether it comes through the sale or lease of the lands - be directed into a trust fund that would be given to individuals and organizations across B.C.
"First of all, it would go to help the people with the most severe challenges around mental illness and addiction," said Graham McRae, a spokesperson for the alliance. "It would also go towards any projects that help improve services and systems for these people."
According to McRae, the trust fund would be administered by a wide array of groups and individuals working in the fields of mental health and addiction services.
"It would be administered through a public trust including the major stakeholders involved in mental health and addictions services: family members, caregivers, consumers and professionals working in the field," he said. "It would be a wide representation of the stakeholders."
The Ministry of Citizens' Services and Open Government is concluding its final draft of the heritage conservation plan for the Riverview Hospital site.
The lengthy report, which was released in draft version in September, sums up community feedback around the places, features and events that have some sort of heritage-related significance. Once completed later this fall, the heritage conservation plan will then be used by BC Housing to shape a land use plan for the hospital grounds.
Local groups have expressed fears the province will allow development, specifically housing, on the site.