Promise broken as health authority closes Downtown Eastside long-term care facility

News release

Fired workers rally Monday at 4:00 p.m.—HEU calls on Health Services Minister Hansen to stop closure

A plan by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to close a 70-bed long-term care home on the Downtown Eastside is a broken commitment to that community to expand the facility and signals a new round of evictions and facility closures that have been on hold over the summer.

More than 50 front-line health workers received pink slips today as the health authority prepares to close the facility and convert the building to “supportive housing.”

Cooper Place had been slated for expansion by the former Vancouver-Richmond Health Board after the neighbouring Cordova House care facility was converted to housing in 1998.

But those plans were scrapped earlier this year by the provincial government. “Closing Cooper Place will be a real tragedy for the Downtown Eastside and put a lot of pressure on other nearby facilities like Central City Lodge,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “Minister Hansen should stop this move, consult with the community, and take a closer look at seniors’ care needs in the Downtown Eastside.”

Cooper Place workers will hold a rally today in front of the 20-year old facility located at E. Cordova.

What: Workers protest closure of Cooper Place Where: 306 E. Cordova When: 4:00 p.m , Monday, September 16, 2002 Who: Chris Allnutt, HEU secretary-business manager, a Cooper Place resident, concerned citizens

-30- Contact: Mike Old, communications officer, 604-828-6771 (cell)