Community meeting on Jericho Lands & subway extension to UBC (11-Apr-2019, Thurs), by WPGRA

Villegas4 millennium-line-subway

Event notice (updated with speakers)

Community Meeting on the Jericho Lands & Subway extension to UBC
April 11, 2019 (Thursday) 7 pm
Jericho Hill Gym (4180 West 4th Ave)
Organizer: West Point Grey Residents’ Association

A community organized meeting to inform on the issues. Guest speakers to be announced.

Meeting Topics:

  • The city initiated planning process for Jericho Lands is underway.
  • An update on the results of WPGRA survey on Jericho Lands.
  • An update on a proposed subway extension from Arbutus to UBC.
  • A motion to define Kitsilano and West Point Grey as a “transit corridor” planning area goes back to Vancouver City Council before April 30. Find out how this could result in BC Government and TransLink becoming involved in land use planning in these two neighbourhoods.

Speakers:

  • Deana Grinnell, Vice President Real Estate, Canada Lands Co.
  • Zak Bennett, Planner, City of Vancouver
  • Elizabeth Murphy, presenting on Jericho Lands & UBC Subway
  • UBC Professor Patrick Condon, James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments
  • Larry Benge, Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

 

Can False Creek South remain a model community in a changing world? Talk by Dr. David Ley, 4-Apr-2019 (Thurs)

False Creek South Neighbourhood Association logo

Event notice:

Can False Creek South remain a model community in a changing world?
A talk by Dr. David Ley (Emeritus Professor of urban and social geography, UBC)
April 4, 2019 (Thursday), 7 to 9 pm
Sitka Square Meeting Room (Ground Level), 1092 Sitka Square, Vancouver

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City Council created False Creek South in the spirit of 1970s liberal ideology as an innovative built environment, for a mix of incomes and households. This talk will highlight the distinctive features of the False Creek South community. Its distinctiveness is emphasized in contrast to the very different post-Expo development on the north shore, characteristic of the current era of globalisation.

To what extent can False Creek South’s innovative characteristics be retained and extended in the context of the global capital/eco-density world of the present?

Dr. David Ley, Emeritus Professor of urban and social geography at UBC, has studied housing and neighbourhood issues in Vancouver and other Canadian cities in a national and global context. Following earlier publications on gentrification, a more recent book, Millionaire Migrants, examined the experience and impacts of wealthy families moving between East Asia and Vancouver. His current research project is entitled “Housing Bubbles in Gateway Cities.”

As the world changes at an ever increasing pace, False Creek South is looking to be a leader in diverse methods of affordable housing and strategic community innovation.

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/can-false-creek-south-remain-a-model-community-in-a-changing-world-tickets-58662877245

Motion to SNC-Lavalin relationship with City of Vancouver (proposed by Clr Hardwick)

[Update – April 2: This item has been postponed to April 23.]

Councillor Colleen Hardwick has submitted a motion to Vancouver City Council asking the city to review the relationship with SNC-Lavalin in the context of a proposed multi-billion dollar subway project.

Council is expected to hear speakers to motions on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities.

If you support the motion, you are encouraged to write the Councillors directly (see addresses here) and all you need to say is “I support Councillor Hardwick’s Motion 5. Review of SNC-Lavalin Relationship with the City of Vancouver.” People are also encouraged to sign up to speak by writing speaker.request@vancouver.ca or calling  the clerk at 604-829-4272.

This is a huge project with major implications, and it behooves our municipal government to move forward with eyes wide open.

Here is the text of motion (PDF), as proposed, with bolding by CityHallWatch.

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MOTION ON NOTICE

5. Review of SNC-Lavalin relationship with the City of Vancouver
Submitted by: Councillor Hardwick

WHEREAS

1. On January 30, 2019, Vancouver City Council endorsed a SkyTrain Millennium Line extension from Arbutus Street to the University of British Columbia (UBC);

2. SkyTrain is TransLink’s name for the Vancouver region’s rail system which has two main types of technology, the Canada Line that is conventional and the Expo and Millennium Lines that are unconventional. The unconventional Millennium Line technology would apply to the proposed extension to UBC, of which SNC Lavalin (track and electrics) and Bombardier (cars) partnered to build the SkyTrain Millennium Line;

3. On February 11, 2019, it was announced that Federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion will investigate allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution;

4. Ongoing media reports since February 6, 2019, have exposed the current status of corruption charges related to the SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., involving alleged bribery and fraud. In the wake of a failed bid for judicial review, the appearance is that Public Prosecution Service of Canada is likely to proceed with a trial rather than a negotiated settlement agreement;

5. Bombardier is also reported as being investigated for allegations of corruption through a World Bank audit and has been struggling to produce trains for existing orders for rail equipment or to fix equipment problems. The New York City Transit Authority announced as reported on January 24, 2019, that they are halting delivery of any new train cars from Bombardier until more of the existing ones are fixed;

6. City Council endorsement of Broadway rapid transit extension to UBC as SkyTrain Millennium Line technology was rushed in consideration of potential funding in the Federal budget announced March 19, 2019, that did not materialize;

7. City of Vancouver statements of financial information show a total of $2,916,452 in payments to SNC-Lavalin between 2010 and 2017;

8. Part of the project approval process for the subway SkyTrain Millennium Line extension is the consideration by the TransLink Mayors’ Council, which endorsed SkyTrain at their meeting on February 15, 2019, subject to confirmation from staff regarding the proprietary rights of SNC-Lavalin and the ability to get competitive bids;

9. The recent 2019 McElhanney draft report, that both the City of Vancouver and the TransLink Mayors’ Council based the decision to endorse SkyTrain technology for a Millennium Line extension of the subway Arbutus to UBC, was an update of the former 2012 report by SNC-Lavalin / Steer Davies Gleave report that recommended the SkyTrain Millennium Line extension to Broadway;
[CHW emphasizes that this was a DRAFT report, which comes with only limited accountability]

10. A criminal conviction against SNC-Lavalin could result in them not being allowed to bid on either the phase 1 Millennium Line extension Broadway subway from VCC to Arbutus or the phase 2 extension from Arbutus to UBC;

11. Council requires all related information to make informed decisions.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

A. THAT Council instruct staff to report back to Council with a thorough review of the existing relationship between the City of Vancouver, SNC Lavalin, and Bombardier, including the procurement relationship.

B. THAT Council instruct staff to report back to Council with information on how SkyTrain use as a Millennium Line extension could be affected by further outcomes of the criminal prosecution for corruption charges of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and the World Bank’s audit of Bombardier for allegations of corruption.

C. THAT Council instruct staff to consult with TransLink staff and report back to Council on the results as soon as available from the TransLink staff report to the Mayors’ Council on any proprietary rights or bidding advantage of SNC-Lavalin and Bombardier for the SkyTrain Millennium Line extension and the ability for other firms to bid competitively.

D. THAT the above information be provided to Council, and before any further Council decisions are made on a Broadway subway phase 1 or phase 2 for a SkyTrain Millennium Line extension, Council should consider whether any information required by this motion has not been presented to Council, and whether any decision should be delayed until that information is fully reviewed and confirmed to Council’s satisfaction.
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Development applications snapshot 1-Apr-2019

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/
As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested.
A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications): https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/Download the full list of development applications we created in PDF format:
CoV development applications snapshot 1-Apr-2019For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/devapps/.

Below is the list as of April 1, 2019.

Continue reading

Rezoning applications snapshot 1-Apr-2019

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested. There are about 70 proposed, over 70 approved, and several open houses coming up.

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications): https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

Download the full list of development applications we created in PDF format:
CoV rezoning applications snapshot 1-Apr-2019

For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/devapps/.

Below is the list as of April 1, 2019. Continue reading

Port of Vancouver, please extend area of waterfront Crab Park lease and pay for improvements: Park Board motion by Commissioner John Irwin 1-April-2019

Update –

COPE Commissioner John Irwin has submitted a motion to the Vancouver Park Board meeting for April 1, 2019 seeking a significant expansion of Crab Park, the downtown waterfront park east of Canada Place and north of Gastown. This would increase the size of the park’s size by about 50%, from 8.2 to over 12 acres. He is also calling for funds to  improve Crab Park, including enhancements to green space, construction of an arts and cultural centre, and construction of a new pedestrian overpass over the railyard between Columbia Street and Crab Park.

The park is a precious piece of Vancouver waterfront, but relatively inaccessible, as it can only be accessed from a Main Street overpass from the east or Waterfront Road from the west.

Further below is the text of his motion, plus some key facts and links to related coverage. Anyone supportive of this motion is encouraged to write or speak to the Park Board. (See contact info below.) But first, here are some photos and video kindly created by Vancouver photographer Susan Lu (www.susanluphoto.com).

 

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[New version of video]

 

MOTION ON NOTICE [for April 1, 2019] (PDF)
Submitted at the Regular Board meeting held on 2019-03-11
Request that Port of Vancouver Extend the Area of the Crab Park Lease
MOVER: Commissioner Irwin

WHEREAS:
1. On April 18, 2018, a project permit was approved for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s project to build a series of improvements at the Centerm container terminal;
2. The project will extend the Centerm container terminal considerably to the west, which will greatly impair the view of the ocean and north shore mountains from Crab Park;
3. Crab Park would benefit from the addition of greenspace and a possible site for a proposed arts and cultural centre (which would include First Nations and Urban Indigenous programming); and
4. Access to Crab Park for area residents could be greatly improved by the addition of a walkway from Columbia Street to the park.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
A. THAT the Vancouver Park Board immediately write a letter to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority requesting that the current leased area for the park be extended by adding the four acre parking area directly to the west of the park to the leased area of Crab Park;
B. THAT the Park Board also request that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority dedicate offsetting funds from the project to be directed to improving Crab Park by funding greenspace enhancements and construction of an arts and cultural centre;
C. THAT the Vancouver Park Board request offsetting funds for funding a new accessible pedestrian overpass from Columbia Street to Crab Park.

************** Continue reading

Quote of the Day: Though everyone wants to be right, as soon as people start to air incompatible views it becomes clear that not everyone can be right about everything…

black and white blackboard business chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

QUOTE OF THE DAY

This is relevant for us all these days, not the least in Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, dealing with such complex and fast-paced issues. A shout-out to urban thinker and former city planner, Ray Spaxman, for pointing out the quote in his e-mail newsletter.

Though everyone wants to be right, as soon as people start to air incompatible views it becomes clear that not everyone can be right about everything. Also, the desire to be right can collide with a second desire, to know the truth, which is uppermost in the minds of bystanders to an argument who are not invested in which side wins. Communities can thereby come up with rules that allow true beliefs to emerge from the rough and tumble of argument, such as that you have to provide reasons for your beliefs, you’re allowed to point out flaws in the beliefs of others, and you’re not allowed to forcibly shut people up who disagree with you. Add in the rule that you should allow the world to show you whether your beliefs are true or false, and we can call the rules science. With the right rules, a community of less than fully rational thinkers can cultivate rational thoughts.”

From “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” (2018) by Canadian-American cognitive scientist Steven Pinker.

More reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_Now