Governance & Politics
September 18, 2018

Mayoral Exit Interview: North Van District (Part II)

Yesterday, Part I of our exit interview with District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton covered issues demonstrating the typical range of concerns acknowledged by mayors in other cities.

Such as the appearance of traffic backups from the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to Lower Lonsdale in 2012, within days of the opening of the Port Mann Bridge…25 kilometres away. The critical, cross-jurisdictional piece of North Shore infrastructure that he believes everyone has forgotten about. And the reasons why mistrust and resentment are brewing away in one District community, on the basis of new developments, lack of housing affordability, and traffic.

Check it out, and read Part II below — on North Van being caught in the missing middle, on engaging the community on change, and what that change may need to look like in the near future.

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In this 4th in our series of Mayoral Exit Interviews, Richard Walton of the District of West Vancouver, who has spent fully one-third of his life in public service — as school trustee (1986-’93), then as councillor (2002-’05), and finally as mayor (’05-’18).

Walton has also done what many of today’s mayoral candidates may not fully appreciate as an essential part of the job — serving on the Boards of a number of organizations representing the enormous operational complexity and cultural diversity of this region: B.C. Games for Athletes with Disability, Fraser Basin Council, Metro Vancouver, Municipal Finance Authority of BC, Mayors’ Council, North Vancouver Police Committee, and Metro Vancouver (GVRD) committees on Culture, Environment and Energy, Federal Gas Tax, Finance, Performance and Audit, Port Cities, to name a few.

In 2004, Walton also reinforced one of the more unfortunate stereotypes of chartered accountants everywhere, by co-founding the World Mountain Bike Conference and Festival.

The brain drain continues with his retirement this fall; here’s part I of our exit interview. 

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Thanks for all the good guesses.  And maybe an apology for the “only four restaurants” clue.  My reliable source may not have taken into account Deep Cove.

But maybe those of you who live in the District of North Vancouver can clarify.  For indeed, that is the municipality in question – not the City of North Van, note.

Most surprising to me is the fact that over half the population will be aged 65 and over within the decade, and the implications that will have for the District’s future – especially given their citizenry’s reluctance to change.  “‘They expect to go out of their single-family homes (which constitute over 60 per cent of the housing stock) in boxes,” said my source, and aren’t much interested in accommodating any significant growth in the meantime.  Hence the closing schools, the decline in jobs (only about half the population is working) and the lack of anything open much past 7 pm.

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