Burnaby First Coalition challenges 5 councillors to stop demovictions

Demovictions in the Metrotown area of Burnaby have been in the news a lot this year. The Burnaby First Coalition in an opinion printed in “Burnaby Now” challenges five councillors to stop the demovictions and suggests how they could do it.


OPINION: How council can fix housing
Janice Beecroft , David Field , G. Bruce Friesen , L. Jey , Charter Lau , Heather Leung , Earl Pollitt , K. Theiss , Helen Ward and Y.L. Wong. / Burnaby Now

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016
– See more at: http://www.burnabynow.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-how-council-can-fix-housing-1.2355855

Our NDP-based BCA councillors have caused mass demoviction and are now even in denial that they have any power over zoning for rental housing. But a complaint to the B.C. Ombudsperson supported by the Burnaby First Coaltion (BFC) – Burnaby’s other civic party – has apparently forced them to follow the law and amend the Metrotown Community Plan.

Their draft plan finally reveals their unstated goal of wholesale destruction of the entire Maywood community, which means evictions for thousands more people, primarily lower-income families. We members and supporters of BFC suggest some practical tools available to BCA councillors.

Each councillor has the same single vote on rezoning applications as the mayor. Property owners only tear down existing buildings with council’s permission to rebuild. So any five of the eight BCA councillors can stop demoviction cold simply by voting “no” to supersize rezoning. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What are your mayor and councillors doing at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention?

ubcm-logoInspired by a post by North Van City Voices, we offer a similar one to our readers.

Do you wonder what your mayor and councillors are doing in Victoria this week at the annual convention of the Union of BC Municipalities?

Download the program here: http://www.ubcm.ca/assets/Convention/2016/2016~Documents/UBCM%20Convention%20Pocket%20Program.pdf

Read resolutions to be voted on here: http://www.ubcm.ca/assets/Resolutions~and~Policy/Resolutions/2016_UBCM_Resolutions.pdf

Follow it on Twitter at #UBCM and #UBCM2016.

More about the 2016 convention:

The UBCM does a lot of good, but we see it as having one big black mark from the past. The shift from three-year to a four-year cycle was facilitated by the UBCM in 2014, through very murky chain of events, and against public wishes. The UBCM was a tool that made municipal politicians, particularly the incumbents, less accountable to voters.

More about the UBCM, from website:

UBCM Overview

The UBCM was formed to provide a common voice for local government and this role is as important today as it was 100 years ago. The UBCM reflects the truth in the old adages “strength in numbers” and “united we stand – divided we fall”. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

This gallery contains 2 photos.

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…

Gallery | Leave a comment

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

CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions

brampton-city-logo City logo

Canada’s ninth most populous city, Brampton, Ontario (www.brampton.ca), 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…

View original post 1,001 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“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 (http://icclr.law.ubc.ca/icclr, 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…

View original post 1,552 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“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

CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions

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…

View original post 296 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions

bob-udi-1180x663 credit Rennie.com 2016 Photo credit: Rennie.com

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…

View original post 11,032 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment