Canada’s Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute Wins Residential Building Approval After Opposition
The Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute (GWBI) in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) received official approval on 14 June to build a large dormitory building. Representatives from the town council of Three Rivers, which oversees the community of Brudenell where GWBI is located, voted unanimously to approve the building permit. The decision follows years of planning, sporadic opposition from the local community, and a denied application last fall.*
The new dorm will have 175 beds to permanently house a growing population of nuns at the institute. At last count, there were approximately 500 GWBI nuns living on PEI, but many have lived outside of the Brudenell community due to a lack of onsite living facilities. The Buddhists plan to eventually have some 1,400 nuns living on its 120-hectare monastery.
The newly approved construction permit allows for a two-story building with a basement, approximately 1,300 square meters in size at a cost of some C$8 million (US$6.5 million). The building will provide housing as well as classrooms, washrooms, laundry facilities, a kitchen, and dining areas.
Ven. Yvonne Tsai of GWBI said that the nuns were grateful for the news: “It was a great learning journey for all of us. It reminded us how important communication is and then how important it is to work with the local community hand in hand.” (CBC News)