Skip to Content
thescene_blogheader_large.jpg

St. John's Hospice can't find its roots at UBC

Read More:

Character sketch of St. John's Hospice image provided by Rositch Hemphill and Associates Architects

Over 200 upset condo residents have signed a petition to stop construction of a two-level 15-bed hospice at UBC, The Province reports.

Construction for St. John's Hospice at the Northeast corner of West Mall and Stadium Rd is slated to start in July 2011 but may be delayed if residents persist with threats of protest.

The project is being developed in partnership with The Order of St. John, UBC's Faculty of Medicine, UBC Properties Trust, and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Janet Fan, a stay-at-home-mother, had much to say about the University's plan to build a hospice in her "backyard" to the CBC.

"In Chinese culture, we are against having dying people in your backyard," said Janet Fan, who has signed a petition against the hospice. "We cannot accept this. It's against our belief, against our culture. It's not culturally sensitive."

The proposed location of the hospice has been shuffled around eight potential sites around UBC over the past two years.

Two of the proposed locations near Place Vanier and St. John's College, both student residences, was met with opposition from students in 2009. Students believed that the construction of a hospice nearby would infringe on students' rights to a "proper student life," according to a Facebook page called "Building a Hospice Near Vanier hurts UBC Students".

According to the page, "proper student life" encompasses "socializing, meeting new people, and partying". Students believe that the location of the hospice near student residences would not be the ideal situation for students nor to those who require palliative care and their families.

The cultural ammo being used by angry residents is an attempt give leverage to their position that property values are threatened. Portraying children as victims is a manipulative way to place pressure on the university and Vancouver Coastal Health to stall construction.

Headlines like "Angry Asian UBC condo owners to protest 'bad luck' hospice" have ignited individuals to write heated comments that slam differing cultural values based from bigotry.

Focusing on cultural superstitions and the threat of monetary loss will continue to divide people on an issue that should be of shared concern.  The proposed hospice will continue to be tossed back and forth at UBC, unless a location away from late-night partiers and stubborn mortgage-holders replaces the current site.

(23) Comments

Andrew Chobaniuk January 13th 2011 | 11:23 PM

I've created a group on facebook supporting the hospice:www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_133048420091741

Li January 14th 2011 | 9:09 AM

"Headlines like "Angry Asian UBC condo owners to protest 'bad luck' hospice" have ignited individuals to write heated comments that slam differing cultural values based from bigotry."

'Bigotry' is a strong word, Ms. Lum, and from the comments I've read -- including the head of S.U.C.C.E.S.S -- not all Asians (myslef included) agree with the condo owners' argument, so that word is grossly inappropriate. I am against any group trying to dictate where much-needed health facilities are built based on religion and superstition (Yin and Yang, the basis of Ms. Fan's argument, is from Taoism). Are you telling me that just because I'm against their reason, that I am a bigot? Don't confuse me being a person whom does not want religion and superstition to be a factor in decisions pertaining to the public with me being a bigot, and from your bio on this page, I'm surpised you feel this way.

Canada is not a theocracy.

Fed Up January 14th 2011 | 10:10 AM

I am so incensed that these people invade our neighborhoods like locusts, and then try and dictate to our society that we must change to suit their cultural beliefs.  If you don't like Canada, go home!  I would welcome a hospice in my neighborhood!  Believe it or not, we will ALL die some day, so we are all walking dead!  I am completely fed up with all this nonsense.  I say, go ahead and build the much needed hospice.  If these "residents" had a family member who was afflicted with Cancer, they would welcome the opportunity to have them cared for in such a facility without having to travel a long distance.  Why are Asians all living around Ronald McDonald in Shaughnessy?  Do they not realize this is a hospice?  Enough already!

ziannlum January 14th 2011 | 10:10 AM

@Li I used "bigotry" in this context:

"Headlines like "Angry Asian UBC condo owners to protest 'bad luck' hospice" have ignited individuals to write heated comments that slam differing cultural values based from bigotry."

I agree with you and no, I am not telling you that you are a bigot. If you look in the comments section of The Province and in the CBC articles, you'll find a slew of individuals who have left inflammatory and negatively racialized comments. THOSE are the remarks that I am referring to. NOT you, me, or anyone else who also believes that this hopsice should be built regardless of superstitions. I apologize if the context in which I used the word wasn't clear.

Jim Black January 14th 2011 | 11:11 AM

I disagree entirely with Ms. Fan and her cohorts, but I am equally disgusted at the commenters who are using this incident to post racist and anti-immigrant sentiments.

There are plenty of very good, intelligent, rational arguments against Ms. Fan's unreasonable position. For the record, good, well thought out arguments do not end in, "if you don't like it go home." 

 

 

Jim Black January 14th 2011 | 11:11 AM

I disagree entirely with Ms. Fan and her cohorts, but I am equally disgusted at the commenters who are using this incident to post racist and anti-immigrant sentiments.

There are plenty of very good, intelligent, rational arguments against Ms. Fan's unreasonable position. For the record, good, well thought out arguments do not end in, "if you don't like it go home." 

 

 

GB January 14th 2011 | 12:12 PM

Its sad that the location of this hospice is getting shuffled around so much. I can't imagine why anyone would think a hospice would be a bad thing to live next too. Then again Vancouver is full of NIBMY attitudes, I'm guessing it's not just the cultural reasons that have people so upset. Probably just a convienient excuse to cover up the fact they don't want this place ruining their million dollar views, more traffic near their buildings etc. What a bunch of whiners!

I'm not saying if you don't like it move out of Canada, but you should be prepared to sell your condo. Maybe some non asain buyers would appreciate the discount as you all flee to move the curse of dying people.

Its a great location for the hospice, close to the hospital and a realxing enviroment for the patients. I really hope to see it gets built there.

rob January 14th 2011 | 1:13 PM

I think people should organize a rally out side Janet Fan condo and show how Canadians really feel about their disgusting remarks concerning the hospice plans. Her and her group have brought shame to the Chinese community with their outrageous behaviour and total ignorance towards Canadian culture.They don't belong in todays society and should be cast out like the lepers they are! I don't concider these people Chinese or Canadian they are just ignorant as#$%les

Dan Murray January 14th 2011 | 2:14 PM

Good to see that other Chinese are separating themselves from the comments that Janet Fan and the other condo owners have made.

Here are two important things to remember about UBC's behaviour for a number of years :

(1) UBC is supposed to be focused on education. However, it has been involved in disgraceful real estate deals with developers to market high end housing (the kind that Ms. Fan and others like Gordon Campbell occupy) on endowment land which was supposed to be used for higher ed. Like the whole of the Lower Mainland, UBC is well on the way to becoming an environmentsl disaster. The province should have investigated UBC's real estate activities long ago.

(2) UBC's primary purpose has been to provide university education for B.C. students. Yet, like many in Canada's politically correct herd of independent thinkers, its current President Stephen Toope have recently stated an alternative : "Diversity is a key to (students) future well-being." In November, Toope went on a trip to India with 14 other university presidents to recruit foreign students. Supposedly, one of the purposes of this visit was to bring additional revenue to UBC and other universities. However, the former President of the Council of Ontario Universities and former head of Trent University has stated that foreign student tuition fees "are not money-makers".

The result of Toope's (and predecessors' activities) is that UBC now has a student body that is well over 50% Asian and well on the way to becoming a mono-culture. How much "diversity" is in a mono-culture? No one objects to people of Asian background who were born here becoming students at UBC. But most would object to importing students from Asia for highly questionable economic reasons. Most would like to know what percentage of UBC's students are foreign students who have been brought here with the intent of profiting from their presence.

Most would also like to know what effects Toope's (and other university presidents') moves are having on Canadian students of both mainstream and Asian background. Toope and his colleagues should know that many students could not find summer jobs in 2010 to support themselves this year. Many have had to take on debt. When these students graduate, many will have to compete with foreign students for employment---thanks to an immigration policy of encouraging foreign students to stay in Canada.

Furthermore, many B.C. students are already competing with both foreign students and recently-arived immigrants for a limited number of places in UBC faculties. Toope and his colloeagues should know, but probably don't know, that most of this immigration of over 5 million people since 1990 was completely unnecessary. In fact, it was outright political fraud. But Toope and others have cheerled it. B.C. and the rest of Canada needs a thorough investigation of this entire topic. (See www.ImmigrationWatchCanada.org for details.) 

As for delaying the building of a hospice to accommodate Chinese sensitivities, UBC should be telling Janet Fan and her fellow condo owners that this is Canada. It is not a colony. If they don't want to adapt to the culture here, they have a place they can return to.

joyce January 14th 2011 | 4:16 PM

I am a chinese and a volunteer at hospital. The hospice helps the patient to ease suffering and to face dealth.  I am unpleasant after reading this essay. Her objection is her personal reason only, and should not say anything to label Chinese Culture.Anyone can use her/his own culture to do anything. I supposed that our home has a war easily. Canada is a multiculture place, and many people came from the different country.

michelle January 14th 2011 | 6:18 PM

GO HOME IF YOU DONT LIKE CANADIAN CULTURE.! ITS BECAUSE OF ASIANS THAT I NO LONGER VISIT VANCOUVER.

When we go to other countries we are FULLY expected to conform to their culture in fact in many cases we could be shot or thrown into jail for not conforming.People come here and wipe their feet on us .Enough already. No I'm not racist I'm just sick of being treated like crap in my own country.I am native so dont go whining and sniveling that I'm being racist.Theres a shortage of housing ,jobs and seats in universities because of them.Our resources are being used up because of immigrants.

Yung January 14th 2011 | 7:19 PM

Just because you live beside hospice, it doesn't mean that ghosts will come attack you at night. That lady who spoke on tv about being spooked obviously lives in a perfect world where nobody gets sick or dies. What an embarrassment for calling it a 'cultural' issue - don't pull the rest of us in!! She is obviously got her own culture and it's called IGNORANCE.

My culture teaches me to be compassionate, considerate, and to not be afraid of things like ghosts coming for you unless you've done something bad to deserve it.

Yung January 14th 2011 | 7:19 PM

A hospice is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places.  Would the residents rather have a prison built next to them? Now THAT's a lively place, yeah?

Kenneth January 14th 2011 | 10:22 PM

As an Asian, obviously a reprehensible display. It is as reprehensible as the petition and protest instigated by the 99% of European-descent condo owners who were decrying the “evils” of a semi-independent living seniors home, about to be built in the vicinity. Their best argument against?

The concern for the safety of the seniors.

Unfortunately, “NIMB” happens EVERYWHERE, across the board.

Liam White January 15th 2011 | 9:09 AM

Janet Fan and the group of Asian residents complaining about the proposed hospice at UBC are committing blatant social discrimination based solely on superstition and their viewpoints should be dismissed.

In this country, people are not legally segregated based on race, age, or gender. Segregating them based on whether or not they are “dying” is just as wrong. Fan states that she “cannot have so many dying people” living nearby, and that it’s a cultural taboo to be “close to so many dying people.” If she had replaced the word “dying” with “black” or “poor,” then maybe the obvious prejudice that her position is based upon would be exposed more clearly.

The decision regarding the hospice’s location cannot be made based on these residents’ objections. There may be valid reasons why the proposed location is not ideal, but if UBC planners grant influence to non-rational beliefs and superstitions on their decision-making process, they will have accepted social discrimination as a legitimate component of their community.

Liam White January 15th 2011 | 9:09 AM

Janet Fan and the group of Asian residents complaining about the proposed hospice at UBC are committing blatant social discrimination based solely on superstition and their viewpoints should be dismissed.

In this country, people are not legally segregated based on race, age, or gender. Segregating them based on whether or not they are “dying” is just as wrong. Fan states that she “cannot have so many dying people” living nearby, and that it’s a cultural taboo to be “close to so many dying people.” If she had replaced the word “dying” with “black” or “poor,” then maybe the obvious prejudice that her position is based upon would be exposed more clearly.

The decision regarding the hospice’s location cannot be made based on these residents’ objections. There may be valid reasons why the proposed location is not ideal, but if UBC planners grant influence to non-rational beliefs and superstitions on their decision-making process, they will have accepted social discrimination as a legitimate component of their community.

Morris January 16th 2011 | 8:20 PM

A classic case of "Not in my backyard" ... disguised as a cultural issue. This has less to do with spirits and ghosts and more to do with feared property value degradation.

Besides, we live in Canada and it behooves immigrants to adopt to our customs and not the other way around. I don't care about your imported superstitions so move somewhere else if you don't like your neighbors.

Angela123 January 19th 2011 | 9:21 PM

The proposed location of the hospice has been shuffled around eight potential sites around UBC over the past two years.

what does it mean? shuffled around eight potentials sites? 

Were the past seven oppositions all from Chinese people? Would you like the people from those past seven oppositions to leave their homes for the hospice too?

Why are you so focused on the people from this current opposition?

It's not that you're all more "high-classed" than Janet Fan, she just couldn't find a good excuse to oppose.

Emma January 20th 2011 | 10:22 PM

Angela123, Before you condemn us who cherish our Canadian values and our seniors, check out the Chinese forums where several big shot owners were bickering and throwing insults at netizens for refusing to join in their protest. One even went as far as despising the house poor, because her condo is only a tiny  fraction of her entire real estate portfolio in Metro Canada.

Who is playing "high class" now but the cold-hearted.

LINDA888 January 21st 2011 | 2:14 PM

As there will undoubtedly be Asians in the intake of patients at this hospice, I truly think this has nothing to do with race.

As well, as an Asian, I would be more than happy to sign the  petition, FOR the building of this projected future hospice.

FYI January 22nd 2011 | 6:18 PM

I thought you might be interested in the summary of yesterday's Chinese program

 

180节目
1,住户有权反对.
2,中国人习俗中有对死亡的忌讳,风水中也有避开阴气太重的地方的说法.
3,住户不希望自己房子边上建这个设施,因为这是他们忌讳的东西,所以如果建,当中的大部分住户会心理受到影响,可能会卖房子搬家,这样集中出售,会引发房价下跌.就算有资料证明在其他地区建类似设施没有印发房价下跌,也不能证明这栋楼的房价不会下跌,因为这里集中居住着大比例的亚裔人口.
4,敬老养老,关爱病患也是中华文化倡导的,但同时中华文化中也包含对死亡病患的禁忌.我们支持临终关怀医院的兴建,但考虑到中国人或者说亚洲人的习俗和忌讳,请考虑另谋它址.
5,住户的用词太过激动,也太伤害加拿大社会的感受,因为他们称这些临终病人为"DEAD PEOPLE","绝不接受"他们住在自己后院之类,没有体现对生命的尊重,和对病人的关爱.他们把这事上升到中华文化的高度,也太过了.
6,几位华人精英,还有风水师,也是操之过急,而且否认华人对死亡的忌讳,风水师的说法,都是虚伪的,我对他们不齿!
7,蔡姓港人(昨晚他很不幸)的说法有可取之处,就是要大胆真实讲出住户的想法就是怕房价跌,还有就是要讲出他们忌讳住家后面有一个死亡时常发生的设施.
8,如果没有其他合适选址,住户应该与建设方商讨,得到合理赔偿.

Lyle Craver January 26th 2011 | 2:14 PM

Strange - I was distinctly under the impression that honoring the aged and sick was a key Chinese value almost to a fault!

I think there's something at work besides "Chinese values" which is considerably more unpleasant than simply playing the race card and think Ms. Fan and supporters should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Sounds like the head of SUCCESS thinks so too!

observer January 27th 2011 | 4:16 PM

You better believe that this PRC elitists are xenophobics. The original title "... bigotry" was accurate.

 

http://www.realestatetalks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=58757&start=120

Thompson » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:36 pm
I see these "leaders" are well trained puppets, they never bite their masters. Last time I saw those jackass said the similar bs about "head tax" issure, they all wet their pants when some Chinese asking an apologise from Canadian government.

If it's not a culture issue, why did they worried about their property value going down? Personally I can sleep sound in the graveyard, but I'll just against the hospice build next door to me, because I can not stop other people being superstition, that will certainly bring my property value down.

Thompson » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:14 pm
Asking those "chinese leaders", why they didn't reject the asking or requirement from city of Port Moody to change the city's name from "poor graveyard" to "Gold on floor"? (I still lough my ass off.) Those jackass should tell the city, we, Chinese don't give a rat ass to those name change.