Dozens of angry Asian residents of a posh, University of B.C., highrise building aim to stage a placard-waving protest rally to protest a 15-bed hospice being planned next door.
“We cannot have dying people in our backyard,” said rally organizer Janet Fan, Wednesday “It’s a cultural taboo to us and we cannot be close to so many dying people. It’s like you open your door and step into a graveyard.”
Fan lives on the 17th floor at Promontory, at 2688 West Mall, near Thunderbird Stadium.
She said residents weren’t consulted and only found out when an open house on the proposed hospice was scheduled for Monday.
UBC planners are planning to build St. John Hospice next door.
In a primitive way I can see the common sense roots of the intuitions:
“We believe that people dying outside will bring us bad luck,” she added. “I’m very angry and upset. If I had known it was going to be a hospice, I wouldn’t buy it for half the price.”
Her neighbour Anglea Gao, 34, clutching her nine-month-old son Ryan, agreed.
“It’s very disturbing,” she said. “My kids and I are going to feel so frightened and angry just to think there are dying people so close to us.”
Death is a serious matter. The origins of these cultural taboos are totally explainable. But in the context of Western culture as it is now, they aren’t excusable.