The civic election brought back some old faces and brought in some new faces to municipal councils on November 19, 2011. The next most important event for civil society in our entire region is on December 16, when the board of directors of Metro Vancouver select their new chair and vice-chair.
The Vancouver Sun today carried a story by Kelly Sinoski about who is considering seeking to replace outgoing chair Mayor Lois Jackson of Delta and vice-chair Mayor Richard Walton of North Vancouver District.
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and Port Coquitlam’s Greg Moore are eyeing the role of chair. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (Vision Vancouver) apparently is “not interested,” but Vision Vancouver’s Raymond Louie is considering the role of vice-chair. The decision will be made at the meeting of the board of directors starting 9 am on December 16 at the Metro Board offices in Burnaby. Read article: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Mayors+consider+board+position/5829429/story.html
ACTION: Citizens in each municipality should take note of note some potential concerns, and talk to your elected officials about who you would like to see elected as chair and vice-chair:
- Metro Vancouver has a major influence on many aspects of life and finances for 24 local governments and our regional population of 2 million people.
- It is structured in a way that is unaccountable to the public, because its board of directors is not directly elected.
- Thus, for our civil society, it is of utmost importance that the new chair and vice chair hold up high the principle of meaningful consultation with the public.
- Vision Vancouver dominates all six spots representing Vancouver on the Metro board and was heavily funded in this election by developers, unions, and foreign interests. (See #Vanelxn: The Things That Money Will Buy, by Chris Shaw). Vancouver is the most powerful of all municipalities in the region by the Metro Vancouver’s weighted voting system.
- Vision Vancouver rejected requests to hold any public hearings or meetings for citizens on Vancouver soil regarding the critical final text of the Regional Growth Strategy in late 2010. The public was essentially kept in the dark. This past behaviour is not a good sign for public consultation with Metro Vancouver going forward. Actions speak louder than words.
- In the 2008 civic election, CUPE and its locals donated nearly $700,000 to parties and candidates across Metro Vancouver, according to The Vancouver Sun donations database (see here for links). The biggest recipient was Vision Vancouver, which got $260,000. Note that most collective agreements across Metro Vancouver will expire on December 31.
- Burnaby’s Mayor Corrigan chaired the Regional Planning Committee in the last term, and we believe, copied the example of outgoing chief administrative officer Johnny Carline by wrongly using provincial legislation in order to prevent citizens from addressing his committee to articulate serious concerns about the RGS. This is documented elsewhere on MetroVanWatch and captured on YouTube.