Small update on Jericho Lands development issues (from MLA David Eby)

Jericho Lands(Below is from an e-mail circulated yesterday by BC MLA David Eby to his subscribers, and we share it here due to it’s broad public interest. If there wasn’t a “triple delete” affliction with government e-mails in Victoria, we are quite sure this small update would have been bigger.)

Dear Jericho neighbour:

You’re getting this e-mail because you’re on our special Jericho lands e-mail list. I have two small updates on our continuing work to figure out what’s happening in relation to the province’s potential sale of the Jericho lands.

The first is the news that Joyce Murray has been re-elected and that we have a change of federal government. It is my hope that, given Joyce’s long engagement on the Jericho file locally and her leadership role in the Liberal party federally, that she will play a leading role in relation to the development of the federal half of the Jericho lands to ensure affordability and community process are major parts of any future development.

The second piece of news is that in the last few months, somebody filed a Freedom of Information request to the Office of the Premier for, among other things, records discussing:

  • The disposal of the provincial Jericho lands;
  • Parties private or public interested in the acquisition or use of the provincial Jericho lands; and,
  • The disposal of, or the future use of the provincial Jericho lands between the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizen Services (MTICS) and the Ministry of Education.

In return, the requestor received 16 pages of records, which itself is interesting information even though most of these pages are redacted – we now know that at least the Jericho file is being monitored within the Premier’s office. Unsurprisingly, given recent revelations of government record keeping practices, there are no e-mails.

These records have just recently been posted to the government’s “open data” website. You can read what few pages of the 16 were actually released by clicking here: http://www.openinfo.gov.bc.ca/ibc/search/detail.page?config=ibc&P110=recorduid:OOP-2015-52392&title=FOI%20Request%20-%20OOP-2015-52392

The records are quite dated, most from 2013. Of significance, although there’s not a lot there, these records show that:

  • the government is getting regular market appraisals on the Jericho lands (these documents show they had a market appraisal in 2013, and separately we discovered in unrelated documents that they were repeating the appraisal and completing an environmental assessment of the lands this year);
  • the Francophone school board’s interest in the Jericho lands was slowing the provincial disposal of the lands in mid-2013 and may still be slowing that sale; and,
  • in 2013 a senior member of the public service was of the opinion that the Jericho lands “are now or will soon be available” through sale by the provincial government.

As I say, not a great deal of information here, but I thought you should know. I will continue to monitor this file and keep you up to date as best I can. Thanks for your interest in the responsible, forward-looking, community-focused, socially and environmentally sustainable development of our public Jericho lands.

Yours truly,
David Eby
MLA, Vancouver Point Grey

***********

SOME PREVIOUS COVERAGE BY CITYHALLWATCH

Jericho Lands Development: Preliminary report of April 29, 2015 meeting hosted by WPGRA
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/jericho-lands-devt-apr-29-mini-report/

Jericho Lands sale: Plans, vision, value, community input, constraints (video of Council – Councillors Carr, Reimer, City Manager) July 22, 2014
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/jericholands_council/

Jericho Lands Sale Imminent. Video and initial report from Town Hall Meeting (July 15, 2014)
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/jericho-lands-sale-imminent-town-hall-videos/

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