The new manager of the Riverview Lands development is expected to be hired next month.
But the MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville said the job description is raising some eyebrows.
In a provincial budget estimates committee last month with Housing Minister Rich Coleman, NDP MLA Selina Robinson questioned why the role would require someone to manage Riverview properties "including multi-unit residential social housing, supportive housing, affordable rental housing, complex health care facilities and specialized group homes."
With the visioning process still underway, Robinson fears the government may have market housing plans for the 244 acres and "this reads as though it's a fait accompli," she said.
However, Coleman and Shayne Ramsay, CEO of BC Housing, have rejected the allegation.
"There's nothing pre-planned," Ramsay told The Tri-City News. "[The description] is just a range of possibilities that might occur. We want to ensure we're hiring the right person."
Ramsay said BC Housing — which took over the Riverview reins in February from Shared Services BC — is hiring several managers for the Coquitlam grounds including a director of operations to look after the day-to-day maintenance. As well, a film co-ordinator will be recruited to handle the number of movie crews as Riverview Hospital is the top on-site film location in Canada; requests are increasing due to the low Canadian dollar as well, he said.
As for the visioning process, the public can hear and ask questions of a panel of housing and mental health experts on June 10 at the Executive Plaza Hotel (405 North Rd., Coquitlam). That night meeting will be taped and available online via renewingriverview.com.
BC Housing will take the feedback to work on its draft Riverview visioning statement over the summer. And, once complete, the public will have its say on the future plan this fall.