Alternative surfaces for greenways, paths, trails – ideas for Vancouver from Elvira Lount

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Originally posted on CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions:
Vancouver citizen/activist Elvira Lount has shared with us (below, originally addressed to Jerry Dobrovolny – Director of Transportation) her compilation of information regarding input on surface materials for paths…

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For “complete change of culture” Canada’s ninth most populous city sacks 25 managers and key staff: Brampton

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Canada’s ninth most populous city, Brampton, Ontario (, recently sacked 25 employees, according to an article in The Star. Known as “the flower city” this suburban municipality of over 525,000 in the Greater Toronto Area had a number of problems to address. Here are a few excerpts from the article. See source for full text.

The City of Vancouver has been known to abruptly announce the firing of prominent senior staff in the past five years. The reasons for the high-profile firings are typically not made public, but cost-saving was never mentioned, leading to guesses that ideological factors and differences with the ruling political regime were at play. One of the problems in Vancouver has been that experienced staff have retired, been fired or have left of their own accord, with the result being that some of the precious experience and institutional memory of the municipal government has been…

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“Follow the Money: Corruption, Money Laundering & Organized Crime” (Oct 28) among topics of new Anti-Corruption Law Program

CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions

logo-of-icclr-at-ubcCityHallWatch has covered previous activities by the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy (, twitter @theicclr).  A new program is about to begin, and it will be of interest to many of our readers, including people who are following issues of development, real estate, elections, and campaign finance reform. Content below is compiled from recent e-mails from ICCLR.


Transparency International Canada has embarked on an initiative to co-sponsor an innovative new Anti-Corruption Law Program, in partnership with the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC and the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy (ICCLR).

A document (PDF: anti-corruption-law-program-brief-description-2016-17) summarizes the overall program, which will begin on September 22, 2016. Basic information on several upcoming events follows.

“Canada’s New Integrity Regime”: September 22, 2016 – TI Vancouver Discussion Group Meeting, 4 pm to 7 pm. Location – BC Hydro building…

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“The city picks where they want to throw highrises, and you just get … a lottery ticket… your profits basically double”: Perverse results of rezoning for higher density

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Metrotower III Metro Vancouver HQA quote by an industry expert, buried in a Business in Vancouver article today, reveals the perverse effect of upzoning to increase density.

“The city picks where they want to throw highrises, and you just get, you know, a lottery ticket,” Harding told BIV in a phone interview. “Your profits basically double. When you can put a big tower on a little piece of land, it’s obvious that the land values are going to skyrocket. And when you take away all that [rental] supply, obviously people are going to get upset.”
Real estate broker Brandon Harding, quoted in BIV 16-Aug-2016.

Quoted from “Duelling Supreme Court lawsuits over major Burnaby property deal expose Metrotown land-use bonanza: Businessman, realty firm in court fight after properties sell for almost triple assessed value” (Darryl Greer, Business in Vancouver, 16-Aug-2016). Click for article.

Rezoning actually creates windfall profits for property owners. Municipalities claim that…

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For the record: Bob Rennie’s 2016 address to development industry (UDI) 2-June-2016

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Link to video and transcript of Bob Rennie’s speech to Urban Development Institute, June 2, 2016.

Bob Rennie, known as “Condo King” in the Metro Vancouver region for his many years of success in marketing condos, gave his fourteenth and final annual address to the Urban Development Institute on June 2, 2016, with 1,000 people present, many who were key persons from the development industry as well as government policy makers present. The UDI is a powerful lobby group looking after the interests of the construction and developer industry. The theme of his talk this year was “We Have To Change the Narrative,” with his main point–unsurprisingly–being that to solve the housing unaffordability crisis in the BC Lower Mainland, the solution is totally supply-side oriented. Build more. We could paraphrase it as “Build, baby, build.”

Anyone trying to address the issues of housing unaffordability in the region would…

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Public input needed: Pacific Spirit Regional Park Service Yard Online Questionnaire — Deadline July 13

Pacific Spirit Park July 2016, service_yard, 3 sites, Metro Vancouver

Three sites being considered by Metro Vancouver for a new service yard inside Pacific Spirit Regional Park, near UBC

The public is encouraged to provide input to the GVRD (Metro Vancouver) regarding construction of a proposed service yard in the immensely popular Pacific Spirit Regional Park.


“Metro Vancouver’s busiest regional park needs a new service yard. The existing service yard no longer meets the needs of the park, and cannot be replaced at the current site.”

Three sites are proposed as options – “Little Australia,” “29th & Imperial,” and “Sedgewick Fill Site.”

An online survey is available.

Deadline: July 13, 2016.
(There will apparently be additional opportunities to provide input to the planning process in the fall/winter 2016, but early input will probably have more influence on the outcomes.)

Civic activist Marilyn Hogan has listed several concerns, which people may wish to consider. See her Facebook post, which we have excerpted in part further below:

Below are a few excerpts of the official survey, for the record.

Pacific Spirit Park July 2016, proposed_service_yard_final-web

Conceptual design, site to be determined.

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Response challenges Chambers of Commerce opinion (Vancouver Sun) on Massey Tunnel replacement bridge

Gov BC image of bridge replacing George Massey Tunnel, from YouTubeMetroVanWatch has received this response from Peter van der Velden to “Opinion: Need Massey Tunnel replacement now” in the Vancouver Sun on July 6, 2016. It, he challenges many statements made and positions taken by the Chambers of Commerce. New: related references added at the bottom.



On Wednesday July 6, the Vancouver Sun carried a sizeable article from the Chambers of Commerce for Vancouver, Richmond and Delta in support of the Massey tunnel replacement bridge.

The Chambers suggest there is a lot of community support for the bridge. As you may know, the farm communities of Richmond and Delta are dead set against the bridge as are a number of environmental groups, the Richmond council, the Richmond Community Coalition and the Board of Metro Vancouver. All are opposed to the bridge for compelling reasons.

Mayor Jackson of Delta is the only mayor on the Metro board that supports the bridge. She believes the other mayors would prefer to see benefit to their communities rather than benefits to the larger region.  The reason she is the only Mayor to support the bridge is that the bridge really only benefits the commuters from south of the Fraser. Communities like Delta. It does so at the cost of the Metro region by putting more traffic and commerce on the roads that lead to highway 99. The ensuing stress this traffic will place on the Oak and Knight Street corridors will wreak havoc on Metro traffic infrastructure.

The business community has been convinced by Port Metro that the bridge is in their best interest. What hasn’t been brought to their attention is that the bridge is not necessarily the best alternative for the region. Building this bridge in the same location as the tunnel will wreak havoc on the second busiest point of entry into Vancouver. This will cost business, tourism and the economy countless millions of dollars as traffic (and commercial goods) get tied up in traffic for a period of 3-5 years. Any proposal that could avoid this traffic nightmare would be an improvement for this reason alone.

Any business interest that relies on this corridor for their income will be affected. During the construction period the tunnel could be shut down to traffic. Traffic on the Alex Fraser Bridge and Marine Drive would come to a standstill. Continue reading

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