Addiction and mental health services, although not specifically presented in the options, made a clear appearance in early ideas for redevelopment of the Oak Bay Lodge lands.
The region’s hospitals and housing committee (which reports to the Capital Regional Hospital District) got a peek at the Kirk & Co. Consulting report during its June 2 meeting.
It outlined key themes of the input received regarding the future use of the property. Consultation ran Jan. 6 to Feb. 4, finishing with 759 public and stakeholder interactions. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, activities took place online using tools. Hard copies were also distributed in community centres and to those who requested them.
Based on early consultation with Island Health, three key health-care service areas were identified for the property – primary care, seniors hub and health unit.
Residents weighed in on those options, as well as offering their own suggestions, where addiction and mental health services appeared.
Primary care, described as health-care services including general practitioners, nurse practitioners, urgent care, acute care and hospital overflow, had a 43 per cent interest.
Seniors hub, described as health-care services specific to seniors including long-term care, extended care, assisted living, independent living, adult day programs and dementia care came in with 25 per cent.
Addictions and mental health, described as health-care services for addictions and mental health including outpatient and inpatient detox and rehabilitation support, had 24 per cent interest.
Public health unit, including a walk-in clinic, diagnostics and testing, immunization clinic, youth health services, maternity services and nutrition, came in at 13 per cent.
The committee received the report but not before discussing the appearance of the new category.
Jeremy Loveday, a Victoria councillor, noting that the addictions option appeared so strong, and unprompted, moved that the committee recommend to the CRHD that addictions recovery be included as an equal option in the next phase of consultation.
Kevin Murdoch, mayor of Oak Bay, suggested flagging something might be taken as prioritizing it. While both perspectives had support around the table, a motion to that effect failed, but staff reiterated that addictions and recovery would be part of future consultation.
The next round of consultation, expected to start this month, focuses on reporting back to the community on what was heard during the first round, showing how the CRHD has considered that input and introducing potential development concepts for feedback.