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The future of the Riverview Hospital land is uncertain

COQUITLAM (NEWS1130) – The future of Coquitlam’s Riverview Hospital is unclear, now that the 99-year-old facility has shut its doors.

It’s yet to be determined what will happen to the government-owned site, which is considered prime real estate.

NDP MLA Mike Farnworth says a lot is at stake if the Liberals don’t take action to keep the Crown land soon.

“Once those lands are gone–if they’re sold off for development–we’ll never get them back,” he says. “And Riverview is unique in that it’s a large piece of land whose history has been around mental health.”

He says losing the property would have a huge impact on the community.

“Not only will the opportunity to provide mental health services [be gone], but Western Canada’s oldest and largest arboretum will be gone and some really truly unique architectural buildings which recently Heritage Canada has said are among the ten most-endangered sites in the country,” he stresses.

Four years ago, Housing Minister Rich Coleman said the site would be developed into a complex of condos, including housing for the mentally ill. After significant opposition, he later withdrew this plan.

The Ministry of Labour has held public hearings to discuss what will happen to the prime real estate and has promised its report by fall.