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Re-zoning application for the Woodlands site made by British Columbia Buildings Corporation on behalf of the Provincial Government

New Westminster City Council Chambers
September 16, 2002

Deposition by Bob Smith (pseudonym)

“Good evening councillors. My name is Bob Smith. I am a former patient of Woodlands. This is going to be a little emotional for me... because... Woodlands was a very upsetting place when I was in there. I’ve talked to a councillor on the weekend, just over here. I’ve talked to a couple of other councillors, they know me, that recognize me. Umm... Mr. Donnelly knows me. I am a handicapped person, a mentally handicapped person, Your Worship. Umm... what I think about the re-zoning of Woodlands is I think there should be a lot of access, handicap access, to Woodlands... uh... like for wheelchairs and also for people. The people who I used to live with when I was in Woodlands are sleeping underneath a bridge. They’re sleeping on a sidewalk. Umm... I see some people who are in downtown Vancouver and New Westminster that I’ve known through Woodlands when I was living there. Umm... I’m upgrading my health, I’m very thin now. My wife has spina bifida, she’s in a wheelchair, and there’s hardly no wheelchair access places around. We’re trying to get a place together. If Woodlands could be... umm... a wheelchair access like you say, units, like 10, 15, 20 units for, like something for the handicapped, that would be greatly appreciated. ’Cause for the people who got closed out of Woodlands or who left Woodlands when it closed in 1986, I would really, really appreciate that there be wheelchair accessible units plus a lot of units for handicapped people. Because as I, myself, and my wife and other people that have been at Woodlands, when it closed in 1986 people got left. When they left Woodlands some of them had nowhere to go. They were out on the street. Like I said, there’s people underneath the bridge, sleeping there. Every single day that I go downtown I see half of the people that were at Woodlands (saying) “I can’t make it. I don’t have any place to live.” If I were a millionaire, right now I would take people in that you wouldn’t believe, because I have a heart and I got taught to love one another, to hold people up and I say, Your Worship, it’s very emotional to me ’cause I’m going through a rough time right now. Where... umm... I talked to you about it a couple a months back when I came in here, I talked to you about it. If you recall that I also talked to a couple of councillors about it and I was, when I was at Woodlands I was sexually abused. Uh... I was there from 9 until 13... umm... to put it to you straight out, Your Worship, I would like to see the developers of BCBC, the government of British Columbia, the Attorney General, the Solicitor General, the Minister of Health and people to back up on this, to get some affordable housing, a lot of affordable housing, for people that need it, like me and other people. If there is any questions from councillors I will answer those for you. Thank you very much.”

Victoria Hill (the redevelopment of the Woodlands site)


Copyright information © 2004 Michael de Courcy