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Proposed Inuit hospital in Villeray

Posted by Braden / June 9, 2010

20100609-inuithospital.jpgIn case you haven't heard yet, there's been a lot of commotion in Villeray this past week over plans to turn the abandoned Chinese hospital on 7500 St-Denis into an Inuit health facility. The centre would be used for patients coming to Montreal to get medical care unavailable in northern Quebec.

A citizen's petition (online version: "danger-imminent.com") whipped up a panic about crime going up in the neighbourhood with Inuit passing through, and drew lots of negative press for its racist overtones.

Though the people behind the site say it was designed to create a sense of urgency before the June 1 town meeting - and though they took down its content early in the week after getting so much negative press - it's disturbing how much racist shit was said in the process, particularly by elected officials.

Part of the problem seems to have been the general lack of information made available to neighbourhood residents about the project. There's been a lot of he-said, she-said going on for the past few weeks, with little advance notice about plans for 7500 St-Denis coming from Health and Social Services. It doesn't help that Villeray's mayor, Anie Samson, has been fanning the xenophobic flames.

There might be links to Nunavik tourism sites up where danger-imminent site used to be, but now that the smoke's cleared, we still haven't heard a lot about why a new Inuit health centre is needed in the first place.

Linda Gyulai wrote a great article in the Gazette a couple months ago on the Inuit homeless population in Shaughnessy Village, and the factors that lead them from Nunavik to Montreal's streets. The article gives you an idea of why almost 200 people in Nunavik signed a petition to move one of the existing Inuit health facilities on St-Jacques to a new location. The idea is that adequate housing in a safe environment will decrease the risk that people who come down for care are exposed to drugs, alcohol, and violence.

Discussion

13 Comments

Jer / June 9, 2010 at 09:27 pm
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Stirring things up on your first post. I like it. Welcome to team poutine.
Jack / June 13, 2010 at 11:18 am
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The key problem is not the patients its the fact that they are accompanied by a friend or relative,for something as mundane as a blood test. Many friends who come from "dry" towns treat the trip as an all out bender,hence the opposition.Ask anyone who has lived in Nunavik about the staggering abuse situation it is truly frightening
Jack / June 13, 2010 at 11:19 am
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The key problem is not the patients its the fact that they are accompanied by a friend or relative,for something as mundane as a blood test. Many friends who come from "dry" towns treat the trip as an all out bender,hence the opposition.Ask anyone who has lived in Nunavik about the staggering abuse situation it is truly frightening.What to do?
3199735 / June 19, 2011 at 09:06 am
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What a lovely day for a 3199735! SCK was here
1735776 / June 19, 2011 at 09:06 am
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What a lovely day for a 1735776! SCK was here
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