The Jubilee Medical Clinic will be booted from its current location so the building at 1902 Richmond Rd can be demolished (Google Maps)

Developers say a false Victoria Hospitals Foundation endorsement was a mistake

A new seniors care home set to replace a medical office building does not have VHF support

A Calgary-based architect made an apparent mistake when citing a large endorsement to a proposed seniors care home.

Craig Aberbrombie, with NORR Architects Planners Inc., put forward a letter to the City of Victoria as part of a rezoning application for the development of Maison Victoria Seniors, an assisted-living care facility for seniors with memory problems from disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The building is slated to take over the spot at 1900-1912 Richmond Rd., which currently houses the Jubilee Medical Clinic, a local pharmacy, the Victoria Heart Institute Foundation and a Lifelabs, as well as several offices.

READ MORE: Victoria medical building to be demolished for seniors care facility

Within the letter, dated Oct. 15, 2018, Abercrombie cited a discussion with the Victoria Hospitals Foundations president Melanie Mahlman about the pressing need for seniors care.

“[W]e have heard from the President of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation (of which the Royal Jubilee Hospital is a beneficiary) that the Foundation is very supportive of our proposal, in large part because there is so little memory care available in the community,” Abercrombie wrote.

“When the hospital needs to discharge a patient with cognitive impairment, and they are no longer safe at home, the hospital staff doesn’t have an acceptable seniors’ community to refer them to. The Foundation, and we, see the proposed seniors’ community as helping to alleviate that need. We see providing care for local seniors, who are often in crisis, as a significant benefit for North Jubilee.”

A screenshot from a rezoning application report put forward by Craig Abercrombie of NORR Architecture cites a conversation that did not, in fact, happen. (Screenshot/ City of Victoria)

However, this discussion never happened, and the VHF never endorsed the project.

After an earlier story by Black Press came out announcing this development, the project’s developer Milliken Developments sent a correction about the endorsement.

“The reference in the City of Victoria reports/documents to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation (VHF) supporting our proposed seniors care development is inaccurate. Our architect was mistaken in stating in his letter that VHF is in support, when in fact, we have never discussed an endorsement with VHF,” wrote Kate Milliken Binns, President and COO in an emailed statement. “We appreciate that you were quoting printed, public material, and so we wanted to let you know of our team’s mistake”

Milliken Development has since also sent the correction to the City.

The Victoria Hospitals Foundation was grateful for the correction.

“We appreciate Mr. Milliken correcting the misstatement of his architect. We have not expressed support or endorsement for this development and were surprised by the statements that we had,” said Mahlman.

ALSO READ: Downtown Victoria medical clinic faces closure because of doctor shortage

When contacted by Black Press for further clarification on how this could have happened, Milliken Developments Chairman Donald Milliken said Abercrobmie was a long-time employee who had made a simple mistake due to an overwhelming amount of data.

Milliken said false endorsements do not “typically happen” for his company.

“We don’t go asking for endorsements, and we’ve corrected our mistake,” Milliken said.

NORR was contacted for comment several times by Black Press, but did not respond in time for publication.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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