(Updated 3 pm) After some discussion, under extreme pressure from the Metro Vancouver Board and certain municipalities, Coquitlam City Council voted on July 18, 2011 to accept the implementation agreement resulting from the dispute resolution process for the Regional Growth Strategy. Two councillors voted against it (Doug MacDonnell and Lou Sekora). This result clears the way for the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors to do the final administrative steps at their meeting on July 29 at Metro headquarters. (See bottom for media coverage list.)
For the environment and citizens of this region of 22 municipalities and over 2 million people, this result signals a new phase. As the November 2011 civic election approaches, the public needs to let candidates know that the Metro Vancouver bureaucracy must change, become more accountable and transparent. The RGS is a powerful bylaw that further consolidates power into the hands of an unelected body and the most populous municipalities that wield the most votes on the board. Metro Vancouver has a large and growing budget of nearly a billion dollars, paid for by taxpayers in the region. As a start, all board and committee meetings should have live Web streaming and archiving. Meanwhile, TransLink also has an unelected board, is moving toward increased secrecy, is counted as an “affected local government” in the RGS equal to municipalities, and is moving toward acquiring profits from rezoning to fund transit development.
When the dust settles, the public may start to see how the total system (including their elected officials, public servants, and even mainstream media) let them down to permit the RGS get this far. Soon begins our society’s task of dealing with it.
Here we will post links to media coverage as it comes to our attention.
- “Coquitlam finally supports Metro growth plan,” COQUITLAM/CKNW(AM980), 19-Jul-2011. Excerpt: …Coquitlam City Council has decided to support Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy…Mayor Richard Stewart says major concerns still exist, “We weren’t, quite frankly, able to resolve any of the inconsistencies of the plan. There are major issues with the current map…” That being said, Stewart says he’s pleased the 30-year strategy will now be reviewed every five years.