On June 2, 2011, Metro Vancouver Board Chair Lois Jackson wrote Mayors to report on the “Regional Growth Strategy: Participation of Affected Local Governments in the Non-Binding Dispute Resolution Process between Metro Vancouver and Coquitlam”
Letter: Metro Van to Cities on RGS dispute 2-June-2011
Our detailed coverage of Coquitlam’s issues is here.
Below are essential details of the letter and agreement between the two parties.
- BC Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (Honourable Ida Chong) has directed Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy to a non-binding dispute resolution process to resolve Coquitlam’s objections to the proposed strategy. They have reached a written agreement (see details further below).
- All “affected local governments” (this includes all municipalities, and even TransLink) may participate in the process. Each one may identify one elected representative and/or staff person to participate.
- The meetings are open to the public.
- The parties will meet as frequently as possible between the date of the signing of this agreement and June 30, 2011.
- The meeting location will alternate between Coquitlam City Hall and Metro Vancouver Head Office.
- At the first meeting (June 14, 1-5 pm) Coquitlam will present its Proposals and Metro Vancouver will respond. At the remaining meetings the parties will attempt to reach agreement on the issues raised.
Essential parts of Non-Binding Dispute Resolution Process Agreement (27-May-2011) between Metro Vancouver and City of Coquitlam
In accordance with section 859(3) of the Local Government Act the Greater Vancouver Regional District (“Metro Vancouver”) and the City of Coquitlam (“Coquittam”) agree to the non-binding dispute resolution process set out below.
Appointment of Neutral Chair
1. Metro Vancouver and Coquitlam agree to appoint ADR Education to act as the neutral chair (the “Chair”) of the meetings to be held to resolve Coquitlam’s objections to Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth strategy.
2. The Chair’s responsibility as a facilitator is to ensure that meetings of the participating parties are effective, productive and orderly and focussed on resolving Coquitlam’s objections. The Chair is also responsible as a note taker to record the outcomes of the dispute resolution meetings.
3. The Chair must act as a neutral party and is not to favour the position of any participating party.
4. Metro Vancouver will be represented in this dispute resolution process by its Intergovernmental Committee supported by Metro Vancouver’s Chief Administrative Officer and his staff. Coquitlam will be represented in this dispute resolution process by Mayor Stewart, Councillor Reid and Councillor Robinson supported by Coquitlam staff.
5. In the interest of an efficient process no alternates will be permitted (except by mutual agreement) and all representatives will make their best efforts to attend all of the scheduled meetings.
6. For the provisions of the Regional Growth Strategy to which Coquitlam objected, Coquitlam will provide Metro Vancouver and the Chair its proposed amendments to the Regional Growth strategy that Coquitlam believes will resolve its objections (“Coquitlam’s Proposals”). Coquitlam will provide its Proposals to Metro Vancouver and the Chair two business days after the signing of this agreement, to enable Metro Vancouver representatives to be in a position to discuss Coquitlam’s Proposals at the first meeting.
Dispute Resolution Process
7. Metro Vancouver and Coquitlam wish to proceed with the dispute resolution process in an expedited manner and have therefore agreed to meet as frequently as possible between the date of the signing of this agreement and June 30, 2011, subject to the availability of the parties and the Chair.
8. The meeting location will alternate between Metro Vancouver Head Office and Coquitlam City Hall unless Metro Vancouver and Coquitlam agree otherwise.
9. At the first meeting Coquitlam will present its Proposals and Metro Vancouver will respond. At the remaining meetings the parties will attempt to reach agreement on the issues raised.
10. All affected local governments as defined by section 848 of the Local Government Act will be invited to attend and participate in the dispute resolution process and may be represented by one elected official (or Board member in the case of TransLink), and one staff resource person.
11. The Chair will ensure that the representatives, both elected officials and staff resource persons of Metro Vancouver, Coquitlam and the affected local governments have the opportunity to provide comments.
12. The dispute resolution meetings will be open to the public.
Conclusion of the Process
13. Following the meetings the Chair will provide Metro Vancouver, Coquitlam and affected local governments with the Chair’s record of the outcomes of the meetings, namely:
(a) the proposed resolution of issues, where agreement has been reached, and
(b) any issues remaining on the table where no agreement has been reached.
14. If there are issues remaining on the table and Metro Vancouver and Coquitlam believe that extending the process may resolve those issues, they will agree to extend the process beyond June 30, 2011. Otherwise, the chair will forward the record of outcomes to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development on June 30, 2011, as per the Minister’s request.
15. The costs of the proceedings (the Chair’s fees and expenses) shall be apportioned between Metro Vancouver and Coquitlam generally in accordance with the formula set out in section 859(5) of the Local Government Act.
Signed by Lois Jackson, Chair, Metro Vancouver Board
Richard Steward, Mayor, City of Coquitlam