Monthly Archives: October 2018

SULLIVAN: Don’t like density? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet

Quoting from Paul Sullivan’s article in the NS News today “Meanwhile, it looks like development as usual in the city, where they appear to be testing the boundaries of the word “density.”

Quotes from the new ‘slate’ – ranging from Mayor-elect Buchanan referring to growth ‘I’m comfortable with where we are and the density we’ve put in’ to two of the new Councillors ‘our City has the lowest population growth in the Province and no growth 2017/2018’ and ‘the City has followed the plans for growth … in the Metro Vancouver Regional Plan’ are concerning.  Who have these people been listening to?  Certainly not the average resident who is very aware that the City of North Van has already exceeded the 2041 Regional Growth Targets.  

Quoting from the article ‘And it was a near thing in the city – Heywood lost to Buchanan by a mere 400 votes, and altogether, the slow growth faction received twice as many votes as Buchanan in the race for mayor. This leaves Don Bell as the foremost advocate for slowing things down in the city: “Too much density, too fast” he told the North Shore News. I have a feeling he ain’t seen nothin’ yet.’

We wish Councillor Bell all the best as the people’s advocate.

Source: SULLIVAN: Don’t like density? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet

EDITORIAL: Change of office

from the North Shore News:

The District of North Vancouver has seen the biggest shift in the balance of power where candidates with more conservative platforms essentially ran the table.

In the City of North Vancouver, mayor-elect Linda Buchanan certainly benefited from vote splitting with three high-profile opponents all running on a similar message. But when you look at the rest of council, there is no question that urbanism has a mandate in the city.

We have been pleased to see this peaceful transfer of power oiled, for the most part, by clean and positive campaigns.

And we commend as well the roughly 35 per cent of North Shore residents who found their way to a ballot box. In reality, it is a pitifully low number but it’s a huge increase from the last election.

Surely there are a handful of West Vancouver folks who couldn’t shut off Netflix for an hour now wishing they had. The mayoral race there was decided by just 21 votes, as if we needed any more reminders that every vote counts.

With the well of democracy refreshed, we are eager to see all our new councils sworn in on Nov. 5.

Whether you campaigned on bringing about change or making things more like they used to be, there is a lot of work to be done and those bylaws aren’t going to pass themselves.

Source: EDITORIAL: Change of office

Candidate honesty vs lies and ethics

Candidate honesty vs lies and ethics
Would you vote for Mayoral candidates who have shown themselves to be less than honest, trustworthy and ethical?  Two incidents in the past day showing that two candidates – Kerry Morris and Linda Buchanan fail that test.
Kerry Morris has posted a list of campaign donors on his website with the following comment on facebook: ‘ Released all my donations publicly so you can see I’m beholden to no one but our cities community (as far as I can tell currently no one else has released there’s):’
Problem?  He has listed Pam Bookham with a ‘donation’ of $250, the truth is that this was not a donation. Earlier this year, Bob Heywood, Pam Bookham and Rod Clark asked Kerry Morris to remove their 2014 endorsements from his website. He refused, unless they paid to have them removed.  Pam Bookham paid for all three, he then refused to remove their pictures after the endorsements were removed.  This leaves people with the impression that he had received their endorsements.  She is not supporting him and for him to now refer the charge as a ‘donation’ is a lie.  Would you now trust this person to be a Mayor?  He says he is running on an ‘open and honest’ platform – not true.
Linda Buchanan during the Mayoral debate last night took a shot at candidate Rod Clark for ‘turning down a proposal for 10 suites at 10% below CMHC. The actual proposal at the public hearing April 23rd ‘ for 4 units – was defeated by Coun. Bell, Back, Bookham and Clark because it was throught to be an insignificant contribution for the massive development. Brought back for reconsideration  as a last minute agenda addition on May 14th by the Mayor because the developer continued negotiating after the public hearing was closed (not allowed).  This is the project she used to try to show Rod Clark as being ‘against affordable housing”.
This is a comment by a resident who attended ‘What this shows is that Linda Buchanan has no sense of what legal proceedings are.  This is an example of why the community that cares about how things are done at City Hall, is so angry and frustrated about how all the development projects are handled at City Hall.  Backroom deals are done that favour the developers and the community comes forward at Public Hearings and their input is totally ignored – the deals are already done.’
‘This shows that she supports developers above and beyond even standard legal procedures.’

Back to the Past – Get out and vote

Andrea Lebowitz, a valuable community member no longer with us (2011) and missed by many, wrote a series of articles for City of North Van community associations ten years ago in the days prior to the 2008 election.  Here’s a reminder still very relevant.

‘An eligible municipal voter is entitled to vote for Mayor and up to six councillors. Now the question is how to choose. Mayors and councillors will have a direct and immediate impact on your quality of life and it’s important to put care into local politics.


Some candidates have no party affiliations while others are part of a party or group. A voter must decide which is more important. Should we be looking for independent candidates who will respond to each issue without predetermined outcomes? Or do we want candidates who vote together and in a predictable pattern. Municipal politics have tended toward the independent model.  However, particularly in the City of North Vancouver, party politics have prevailed. Look at the records of incumbents to see how they have voted in the past and how often they voted with the same people. Have they always been in favour of increasing density? Do they underweigh the problems of gridlock on our streets and inadequare infrastructure? Or the reverse.

Once you’re done your homework, attended meetings and read the pamphlets, blogs and local papers, it’s up to you to decide if you want to go for the independent candidates. Is it time to try some new approaches to problems?

For candidates who are seeking a seat for the first time, look to their record of volunteer action in the community. Have they served on volunteer committees and organizations. Have they contributed to municipal events and groups? What is their work background? Have they volunteered for sports, arts groups, service providers. Councillors will decide matters for these groups and it is important to know how they will vote on issues of community funding as well as land use, infrastructure and transportation issues.

The challenge is to pick candidates who have demonstrated their position on community concerns and who will treat the citizens they serve with respect and dignity.


It’s important for voters to be confident about their choices when they mark their ballot. Do I have to vote for a full slate?  No, a voter can vote for fewer than the maximum – it’s wise to vote for only those candidates whose background, position on major issues, voting record and volunteer efforts coincide with your own point of view. Don’t just vote for a name, check into it. It is better to cast fewer votes than to vote because a name is vaguely familiar to you.

Exercise your right and duty as citizen. Look for those who have the commitment, volunteer record and independence to serve in this next challenging period of our civic life. We all live with the results on a daily basis.

City of North Van council hopefuls talk housing options, traffic and Harry Jerome

Article from the North Shore News: with a summary of the Candidate Meeting at Ridgeway School earlier this week:

Source: City of North Van council hopefuls talk housing options, traffic and Harry Jerome

‘Level playing field’ in Vancouver civic election a work in progress

Source: ‘Level playing field’ in Vancouver civic election a work in progress

From the Vancouver Courier, addressing in part the recent announcements by the Vancouver and District Labour Council promoting certain candidates in the City of North Vancouver.  CUPE has also endorsed certain candidates.  CUPE endorsements mirror the VDLC plus an additional three, ignoring other qualified candidates who have been long time union members. There is the 2018 election slate. So much for getting ‘big money’ out of local politics, quoting in part:

What the labour council didn’t tweet—and what was reported by Dan Fumano at The Vancouver Sun—is that it is also paying the salaries of four union employees seconded to work on its campaign to get Stewart and the other candidates elected.

As I learned in my interview with VDLC president Stephen von Sychowski, two of the union employees belong to the Hospital Employees’ Union, one is from the Canadian Union of Public Employees and another from the United Food and Commercial Workers.

Two of them began work Sept. 4 and two others joined Sept. 24. Some of their work is also focused on getting Linda Buchanan elected mayor in the City of North Vancouver and candidates Angela Girard and Mack McCorkindale onto North Vancouver city council.

As von Sychowski understands it, all of the VDLC’s campaign work is within the rules. And whatever has to be disclosed, will be disclosed, he said.

“We’ve been working hard to make sure that we have a solid, clear understanding of the rules and it’s been challenging at times because they are brand new, and untested,” he said, noting he doesn’t anticipate the VDLC campaign will exceed the allowable $150,000 it can spend on advertising during the campaign period.