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Friends of St Paul’s

A new voice has entered the debate over the future of St Paul’s Hospital.

Friends of St Paul’s Hospital, an initiative of the West End Citizens’ Action Network, is taking the approach that engaging in conversation will provide people with information that will allow them to form their own opinions about the future of St Paul’s, says coordinator Gail Brown.

For the past five years, Providence Health Care has been working on plans to renew St Paul’s. These plans include the possibility of building new facilities at the hospital’s current site or relocating St Paul’s to east False Creek, while retaining some specialized services at the hospital’s current location.

“Friends of St Paul’s left the Save St Paul’s Coalition because they were too political,” Brown told Xtra West Apr 18. “It’s okay to be political, but there’s a group of us who feel that an alternate approach is okay, too.”

However, Aaron Jasper, chair of Save St Paul’s, says the future of the hospital is political in nature.

“This [whether St Paul’s stays or goes] is a government decision, therefore it is a political issue,” Jasper says.

Jasper says he is disappointed that Friends broke away from the coalition and that the rift between the two organizations distracts from the greater issue of the hospital’s future.