Governance & Politics
June 7, 2019

Why We Need Mayors on the Metro Vancouver Board

What’s the big deal about District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little’s decision to step off the Metro Vancouver Board?

Perhaps nothing, except that the only other local governments not represented by their top elected officials are Lions Bay and Bowen Island, representing 5,000 of the region’s 2.5 million. (Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov, currently on a paid leave of absence related to a sexual assault charge and pending court date, is still listed as a Metro Vancouver Board member.)

One could say the opportunity to serve on the Metro Vancouver Board is not just an honour, but a responsibility of some significance, perhaps moreso than most municipal committees.

Metro Vancouver is a federation of 23 municipal bodies responsible for the planning and delivery of regional services like drinking water, wastewater treatment and solid waste management, and for regulating air quality, as well as plans for urban growth, including affordable housing. Its Board of Directors governs this mandate, and consists of elected officials from each local government, proportional to their size.

And thus the number of Directors appointed to the Board depends on the population of the municipality (or electoral area, or First Nation). Furthermore, directors are allowed one vote for every 20,000 people in their jurisdiction, up to a total of five votes.

That means, the more populous you are, the more directors and voting power you have on the Metro Vancouver Board.

Does it make sense that the District of North Vancouver, in the midst of broad public scrutiny into its actions (or inactions) to address development and housing pressures, has just one representative on the MV Board for its 88,000 people, and that this representative is NOT the municipality’s elected leader?

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At this breakfast you will hear highlights from a recent report on how cities in Holland are embracing the circular economy because of its potential to move toward zero waste and optimal use of resources and energy while catalyzing new business opportunities.

And closer to home, you will hear how circular economy is being incorporated into Vancouver’s economic development activities, and the benefits of a local circular economy business on the urban environment.

  • Freek van Eijk, Director, Holland Circular Hotspot; Author of ‘Circular Cities – Accelerating the transition towards Circular Cities’
  • Bryan Buggey, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Sector Development, Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Laura van der Veer, Director of Community & Impact, ChopValue

Register here.

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On average, we buy three times more clothes than we did in the 80’s, and it is estimated that one garbage truck full of clothing is landfilled globally every second. Cheaper clothing, fast fashion trends, and an overall increase in consumption is resulting in more and more clothing waste. In Metro Vancouver we threw away 44 million pounds of clothing last year!

Join us to learn about Metro Vancouver’s new textiles waste reduction campaign that supports the transition of fashion to the circular economy.

  • Larina Lopez, Division Manager, Corporate Communications, Metro Vancouver
  • Sybille Kissling, Sales, Western Canada, KenDor Textiles Ltd.
  • Joy Lapka Mauro, Founder and Owner, Turnabout
  • Jill Fullan, Store Manager, Turnabout Granville

 

March 14

7:30 – 9 am – Presentations start at 7:30 am.  Continental breakfast available at 7:00 am

BCIT downtown campus, 8th Floor Atrium, 555 Seymour Street

Register Now

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Join us to learn how local governments are working to achieve healthy, resilient urban forests, and hear highlights about Metro Vancouver’s Urban Forest Climate Adaptation program and New Westminster’s award-winning Urban Forest Management Strategy.

  • Edward Nichol, Senior Policy and Planning Analyst (Environment), Regional Planning, Metro Vancouver
  • Amelia Needoba, Principal & Senior Urban Forester, Diamond Head Consulting
  • Erika Mashig, Manager, Arboriculture, Horticulture, Parks & Open Space Planning, City of New Westminster

Wednesday, February 20

7:30 – 9:00 am – Presentations start at 7:30 am
Continental breakfast available at 7:00 am

BCIT Downtown – 555 Seymour

Register Now

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A fixture in Port Coquitlam politics for the past 16 years — two terms as councillor, three as mayor — Greg Moore has also been a figurehead and ardent champion for the entire region.

As chair of the Metro Vancouver board for seven years, and chair of the Mayors Ten Year Vision Committee in the midst of his decade-long tenure on the TransLink Mayors Council, Moore rolled up his sleeves and left indelible marks of leadership and organizational effectiveness on both organizations, while helping steer his community through a time of change.

In this episode, Gordon Price and the newly-retired-from-politics (***so he says***) ex-mayor talk about the new culture of incivility in civic affairs, the concentric circles of influence that ebb out of Vancouver to the suburbs, what makes for a mayoral mandate, and why planners could perhaps be considered ideal political leaders.

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TransLink has approved the routes for major new regional bike infrastructure — the Major Bike Network (MBN).

Funding is already approved, and is included in the $9.3B 10-Year Vision as $131M for “Regional Cycling”.  That’s 1.5% of total spending, showing that bike infrastructure is really cheap, and that you can do ambitious stuff, even spending less as a percentage than cycling’s regional mode share (~ 2%).

The plan calls for around 300 km of separated bike lanes, and 2,400 km of bike routes (usually in neighbourhoods with lower traffic).  The MBN will be cost-shared with the municipality.

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The Board of Metro Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Regional District) has committed to pursue a regional target of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, from 2007 levels, by 2050.
In alignment with this target, Metro Vancouver is developing a Climate 2050 Strategic Plan – learn more in person at next week’s public dialogue:
Wednesday, May 30
Noon – 2:00 pm
(lunch at 11:30)

BCIT Downtown Vancouver Campus
555 Seymour Street
REGISTER HERE

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FUTURE OF THE REGION SUSTAINABILITY DIALOGUES

Locally, Metro Vancouver and our member jurisdictions have been leaders in climate actions for almost 20 years.
The Metro Vancouver Board has committed to pursue a regional target of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 levels by 2050. In alignment with this target, Metro Vancouver is developing a Climate 2050 Strategic Plan with a vision to ensure our infrastructure, ecosystems, and communities are resilient to the impacts of climate change.
Join one of our public dialogues to learn about and share your views on Climate 2050. To get a jump-start on learning more about Climate 2050, visit our website.

DIALOGUE SCHEDULE

All Dates: Noon – 2:00 pm (lunch served 11:30a.m. – noon)

  • REGISTER Wed May 30 BCIT downtown campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver
  • REGISTER Thur June 7 Polygon Gallery, 101 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver
  • REGISTER Fri June 8 Port Moody Inlet Theatre, 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
  • REGISTER Wed June 13 John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse, 7277 River Road, Richmond
  • REGISTER Thur June 14 Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Ave, Surrey
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Public lecture and webcast

Looking back, Looking forward: Reflections on Housing Metro Vancouver


While Metro Vancouver has changed dramatically over the past four decades, many concerns of yesteryear are surprisingly similar to those of today—foreign buyers, rental crisis, dwindling land supply, locals-first policies, and disdain for developers.
Using his collection of newspaper clippings, in this presentation Michael Geller will offer a different perspective on Metro Vancouver’s housing affordability challenges and some timeless solutions.
Thursday, May 10
7-9 pm PDT
Room 1900, SFU Vancouver
Harbour Centre Campus
515 West Hastings Street
Free lecture by reservation; reserve seats on Eventbrite.
Free webcast by reservation; register on Eventbrite.
 

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What happens when Port facilities in Metro Vancouver and their associated auto processing centres are filled to capacity with automobiles? You ship European cars to Nanaimo and then barge them across to the Lower Mainland.
European cars are normally shipped to Halifax and then trucked or railed across the country. With the growing cost and scarcity of industrial land, Nanaimo is transforming into the European car depot for vehicles shipped by sea through the newly widened Panama Canal.
The president and chief executive of the Nanaimo Port Authority stated “The project has the potential to transform Canada’s import automobile supply chain.” There’s no thought of a shift to ride share autonomous vehicles in this supply model.
As Business in Vancouver reports from Carla Wilson instead of sending European cars across the Canadian continent ships will navigate directly through the  Panama canal to Nanaimo. This expanded facility in Nanaimo will cost eighteen million dollars to implement and will “tackle existing transportation bottlenecks and congestion”.
This includes the repurposing of a 60,000 square foot building on 16 acres of land to be run by Western Stevedoring. There is an “assembly wharf” a paved facility of 36 acres where the cars will be prepped for shipping.
At the Nanaimo Port, cars designed to European standards get bilingual stickers and are upgraded for the Canadian market. Starting in January 2019 large carrier ships will offload 400 to 500 vehicles per vessel at the Nanaimo port.
It should also be noted that Port Metro Vancouver is one of the few in North American to not run 24 hours a day, a potential solution for real and perceived congestion and bottlenecks.
By using the Panama Canal, ships will also be able to “short ship” by delivering European vehicles to Mexico, pick up mechanical parts, and then continue to Los Angeles and Nanaimo.
Twelve thousand vehicles are expected to land in Nanaimo in 2019,  with a target of 50,000 expected annually. At that point most of the vehicles will then be barged onto the mainland.
The logistics for that transshipment have not yet been announced.

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