Citizen releases FOI findings on Vancouver-Metro Van RGS dealings

A Vancouver citizen conducted a freedom of information (FOI) inquiry with Metro Vancouver for “communication between Metro Vancouver and City of Vancouver in the period 1 January 2010 to 24 January 2011,” pertaining to the Regional Growth Strategy. Vancouver Council is expected to vote on the RGS at 2 pm today. While this material requires further analysis, MetroVanWatch posts it here to share with the public. After the dust settles, dots may be connected. Says the citizen to Mayor and Council, “This material gives rise to a number of questions.”

Download PDF scan of selected pages: foimetrovan
Letter to Mayor and Council with initial analysis:
Dear (Vancouver) Mayor and Council:

I provide you this FOI of Metro Vancouver documents, together with the notes below, as background on the Regional Growth Strategy. This material gives rise to a number of questions. Please consider them with due care. Attached is a 106 page pdf to which the following items refer. I regret that time constraints preclude better digestion and presentation of the material.


  • This FOI of Metro Vancouver documentation was received by me on February 28. This allowed only one day for scanning, reading, and making the following rough notes.
  • Scope of FOI request: Communication between Metro Vancouver and City of Vancouver in the period 1 January 2010 to 24 January 2011.
  • The documents are not chronological and involve a lot of email redundancy. Multiple copies of the same information are cited only from a single instance.
  • Clarification: The pdf page order reflects the Metro Vancouver stapled document – a basic archival principle.

pdf 9:  12 Oct 2010 – Re comment H: “That … the public and all stakeholders fully understand the extent of the changes made.”This has not happened. How could it, when NO public hearing was held in the City of Vancouver?

pdf 25:  4 Nov 2010 – A consistent framework is still “needed for ‘sensitivity testing’ across all rapid transit corridors.” This result appears not to be included in the farce that has attempted to pass for a public hearing.

pdf 32:  12 Aug 2010 – Item 10. Interesting mentions of Creekside and East Fraserlands. “Perhaps should be reported back to Council.” Was it?

pdf 35:  19 Nov 2010 – Translink “scenarios will come into play after the upcoming public process is underway”! See comment at pdf 25 above.

pdf 44:  19 Feb 2010 – Green zone changes affect John Hendry Park. HOW?

pdf 51:  29 June 2010 – Question asked: “Why have Regional Development staff been instructed to review the ‘demand side factors’ (aka population and employment growth projections) along the UBC Line?” NO ANSWER apparent.

pdf 73:  14 Sept 2010 – “Mapping of water.” This will “hopefully establish a seamless connection between RGS designations and the future CoV RCS.” Has it done this?

pdf 75:  20 Oct 2010 – “The Indian Reserves are not identified in the RGS, and have been included in a RGS land use designation based on the specific land use context (e.g., ALR, existing land use, surrounding area, LRSP).” This approach to native land seems unacceptable.

pdf 76:  19 Oct 2010 – See pdf 75. Specific mention of “Squamish IR6 land near the south end of the Burrard Bridge.”

pdf 86:  4 Oct 2010 – “Staff support the draft, with a few refinements, and a request to keep working on the transit priority approach.” Was staff “support” appropriate at this stage?

pdf 87:  10 Aug 2010 – Detail on “transit priority question.” [Note provided here as index to the material.]

pdf 95:  20/21 Oct 2010 – Evident unseemly rush for what claims to be long-range planning. “Rapid transit priorities” still uncertain. 22 Oct 2010 deadline for “final draft for RGS bylaw introduction.” Subsequent “fine tuning of the designations through the RCS process” seems dubious.

pdf 96:  20 Oct 2010 – “We are not comfortable (or indeed legally entitled) showing these designations without consulting with the respective bands.” Do current “land use designations … match the wishes of the bands”? “Indian Reserves should be shown as a RGS land use designation appropriate to the land use or context.” Did appropriate consultation ever take place? Considering the lack of treaty in British Columbia, should such consultation be restricted to “reserve” land?

pdf 100:  4 Aug 2010 – Possibility of informal pre-approval of “larger, controversial projects” by Metro Board! This has serious implications for the conduct of honest, open public process.

pdf 104:  5 Aug 2010 – Three-page RGS Comments from Vancouver. THIS is the point after which Vancouver residents should have had opportunity for timely review in an open process [pdf 102-103 also relevant]. Salient issue on pdf 105: “Could we designate the majority of the city as an FTDA?” [presumably, “frequent transit development area”]. The implications of this point alone calls for REFERENDUM in Vancouver.


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Citizens concerned about public benefits arising from decisions at Vancouver's City Hall.
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