Governance & Politics
March 26, 2019

Strike 3 for District of No Vancouver, and a Resident Responds

Much continues to be said and written about the District of No Vancouver’s compulsive nixing of social and non-market housing projects.

In particular, current Councillor Mathew Bond is a frequent critic of the actions of his counterparts on Council. His Twitter feed serves as running commentary of No after No after No…somehow, he manages to keep an even and rational tone. Maybe just a hint of strain. The sound of one head slapping. Do you hear it?

Bond can’t afford to flame out at his colleagues too hard, because, much like a certain Federal ex-cabinet minister, he still has to work with these people, no matter how ethically challenged.

The parallel ends there, however; he’s member of an elected council, not of a party. He can’t hand in his card, cross the floor, and still keep his power. It’s a District council, and there’s no aisle to cross. He’d have to climb over the Clerk, and then where’d he be?

But he’s not the only one speaking out. Steven Petersson is a former DNV planner, and not only did he write a Master’s thesis on affordable housing provision, he worked as a residential support worker for disabled people for seven years.

In a recent letter to Mayor Little and his NIMBY cohorts — Councillors Muri, Curren, Forbes and Hanson — Petersson lays it on the line:

There’s a desperate community need for social and affordable housing.

Why put the needs of elites who already have homes over the disadvantaged who need your help?

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Gord visited District of North Vancouver Municipal Hall this week, to chat with Councillor Mathew Bond about about the failed Delbrook motion to allow a parking lot at 600 W Queens Road to become the site of an 80-unit affordable residential building, with a seniors respite care and below-market rentals.  It was rejected 5-2 by the new council — following two years of planning and community consultation, the result of a complex partnership and collaboration.

What does the vote say about the next four years of housing debate and action in the District of North Vancouver? Some big questions, and pregnant pauses, in today’s episode.

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