Conflicting visions already emerging over Pearson Centre redevelopment

The proposed redevelopment of the George Pearson Centre lands on Cambie, just now at the beginning of the consultation and design process, is already encountering criticism, both from the NDP Opposition and many advocates for people with disabilities.

Activists like the redoubtable Paul Caune, interim chair of the city’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, is one of those who believes Pearson should be closed, not replaced, in the course of redevelopment. Caune makes a forceful case that Pearson residents should be provided community-based care, not institutional care.

Now NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston is challenging the financial model proposed for the development. The sale of some or all of Pearson’s lands is counted in the asset sales required to balance the current budget. Wrong way, says Ralston, who may have more to say on the matter if he becomes finance minister.

Ralston is proposing development partnerships to ensure future revenues flow back to the province and to health care.

Neither health care delivery models or provincial budgetting are managed by the city’s land use processes, but both will clearly be at play in the ultimate outcome on this vital site along the Canada Line.