On Campus

UBC hospice delayed over fear of 'ghosts'

Condo residents say project lacks 'cultural sensitivity'

Concerns over “cultural sensitivity” has led the University of British Columbia to postpone plans to build a hospice on campus.

“There are a variety of claims against the project and we want to systematically go through them,” campus and community planning director Joe Stott said. Janet Fan, who owns a condo in a building located on the campus says erecting a hospice next door lacks “cultural sensitivity” towards the Chinese community. “Eighty per cent of the residents in this building are Asian, and 100 per cent of them are very upset,” she said.

Fan told CTV news that the objection stems from a taboo about having living people mixing close to the dying. “Our parents would say things like that ghosts are associated with death and we were just very afraid of the whole death thing,” she said. The project came to the attention of the building’s residents this week at an open house. “We went to the open house and we found out it’s just in our backyard,” Fan said.

The hospice, originally scheduled to be approved in February, but now delayed, was to be run by the Order of St. John Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, with access for faculty at UBC. (Editor’s note: the hospice was proposed by the Order of St. John, apologies)

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