Are you passionate about a cause or interest? Would you like to advise the City? Is there an advisory panel that interests you? The City of Vancouver is looking for volunteers to fill positions on 21 different citizen committees. Applications are due by 5pm on January 30, 2015. Several of the committees have additional eligibility requirements (full details are on the City’s website).
How are the advisory panel members selected? The full list of applicants for a committee is first evaluated by City Council’s Nomination Sub-committee. (Members: Vision Vancouver Councillors Andrea Reimer and Tim Stevenson, and NPA Councillor Elizabeth Ball. That’s two to one.). The applicants are then discussed and approved at an in-camera meeting of City Council. (Considering voting power on the subcommittee, and voting power on Council, and the fact that the ruling party is very partisan in its voting behaviour and selection of people, one could assume it likely that recommendations put forward by the nomination sub-committee are adopted).
An important question to consider is should you bother even applying if you are not a card carrying member of the ruling party (i.e., Vision Vancouver)? Do you stand a chance of being selected to a committee if you are not identified as friendly to that party? A short answer: perhaps. Several of the advisory panels do indeed have members who provide healthy criticism for the City. There are often insiders friendly to the ruling regime on the committees. We’ve noted that in the past there was a member of the Development Permit Board advisory panel who was a lobbyist for the development industry and yet was appointed to a position to advocate for the public interest. Selections by Council do vary, depending on the committee.
The length of term for a committee is generally a one or two year commitment. The City’s Code of Conduct applies to members on the City’s advisory panels.
The 21 Advisory Panels with openings include the following:
Active Transportation Policy Council
Arts and Culture Policy Council
Children, Youth, and Families Advisory Committee
Chinatown Historic Area Planning Committee
Civic Asset Naming Committee
Cultural Communities Advisory Committee (formerly Multicultural Advisory Committee)
Development Permit Board Advisory Panel
First Shaughnessy Advisory Design Panel
Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee
LGBTQ2+ Advisory Committee
Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee
Public Art Committee
Renters Advisory Committee
Seniors’ Advisory Committee
Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee
Urban Design Panel
Vancouver City Planning Commission
Vancouver Civic Theatres Board
Vancouver Food Policy Council
Vancouver Heritage Commission
Women’s Advisory Committee