Category Archives: Uncategorized

Province refuses to revive train from Prince George to North Van

The province won’t be doing any feasibility study on the possibility of a passenger train service between Lillooet and North

Source: Province refuses to revive train from Prince George to North Van

City Has No Interest In Rebuilding the Heart of a North Vancouver Community

Submitted by Guy Heywood,  former CNV Councillor and 50 year resident

City Has No Interest In Rebuilding the Heart of a North Vancouver Community

It must be obvious to everyone by now that the City government is neither willing nor able to rebuild the Harry Jerome recreation to serve all North Vancouver the way it was intended to when built 50 years ago.

While the Harry Jerome center is at the center of North Vancouver, it’s at the edge of the City. It’s too close to a City/District boundary most people don’t know about or ignore and more than half of the users are from outside the City.   

Rebuilding it may be a priority for residents of both the City and District but the City government, acting by itself, will not and cannot rebuild it in a way that would make sense for North Vancouver as a whole.

It wasn’t meant to be this way.

In the original deal between the City, District and federal government when the facility was built, the City and District agreed to share ownership and operating costs on a 50/50 basis. This made sense since users of the facility, then and now, come roughly 50/50 from each municipality.

During the mid-90s the City government bought the District’s half share in the facility and the lands that it sat on. It paid by forgiving a debt of several million dollars the District owed for the construction of a new police station.

When asked what benefit there was for the City, the former City Manager who was director of finance at the time, said it was “to control development on the site”.

This made no sense. The land was zoned for public use and park. The City already controlled if and how it was developed.

Given 50% of users were from the District, it would have made more sense to keep the District as half owner. While it would naturally have a say in how and when the facility was rebuilt, there would be a much stronger case for the District to continue to share the operating costs.

Ever since rebuilding Harry Jerome became a priority over ten years ago, the City has been doing everything it can to avoid the no-win situation they got themselves into. What’s right for the City inside the awkward boundary drawn by its founding developers is not going to be right for North Vancouver. 

The decision of City Council to delay and study more is consistent with past practice. That City staff has been told to prepare a “City recreation strategy” is new and almost certainly signals the end of the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission, or ‘Rec Commission’ as most of us have known it over the years.

For over 50 years the Rec Commission has been an unusually successful example of collaboration between peer levels of government and came into existence because of the Harry Jerome centre.

That deal required the City and District to create a jointly owned organization to run the new facility and as the District built more recreation facilities, they were operated by the Rec Commission as well. The formula for sharing operating costs was changed to one based on users and tended to match the ratio of the District and City populations.

The Rec Commission is unusual also because it’s not in the nature of local governments to collaborate. The real world of local politics and chains of command in the public sector make it all but impossible no matter how strong the public interest case is or how large the majority in an opinion poll.  

Paying out the District’s share in Harry Jerome was a dumb financial decision for the City at the time. It’s also a reason the City will make a bad decision for North Vancouver today.

Disagreement over management and cost sharing at the Rec Commission have been getting worse in past years. Councils of the past term were already arguing over cost sharing for the new facility and the new Councils are continuing the pattern with sniping at each other over social housing.

The inevitable disputes over what to build at Harry Jerome, how to pay for it and who’s going to be in charge will result in the two local governments finding their own reasons to break up the Rec Commission.  The fact the City government is doing its first ever “comprehensive” recreation plan is the beginning of the process.

It’s really too bad but just one more way the interests of North Vancouver are sacrificed by the blinkered perspectives and short-sighted thinking in it’s two municipal halls. 

 

Why build a pool too small? Size matters in pools! | The Global Canadian

By Mike Dowling Published: December 30, 2018 The City of North Vancouver recently passed a motion affecting the plans for building the new Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre. Among other things, the motion directs City Staff to seek clarification from the District of North Vancouver on its commitment to share in the operating costs of recreation components of …

Source: Why build a pool too small? Size matters in pools! | The Global Canadian

Harry Jerome project to be revisited, possibly revised

Four months after the previous City of North Vancouver council hit the gas on the $210-million Harry Jerome rec centre project, the new city council pumped the brakes. Mayor Linda Buchanan, who . . .

Source: Harry Jerome project to be revisited, possibly revised

#councilsowhite: They have got it so wrong | The Global Canadian

When some people branded the entire city of Vancouver as racist for not electing persons of colour, their arguments sounded dangerous to me, a journalist of colour By Gagandeep Ghuman Published: Nov 20, 2018 Wading through the flood of coverage on Vancouver council election, I suddenly started scratching my head. A frightening thought streaked through …

Source: #councilsowhite: They have got it so wrong | The Global Canadian

Buchanan inaugurated as City of North Vancouver Mayor

The City of North Vancouver is open to business. That was Mayor Linda Buchanan’s message to an overflowing gallery comprised mostly of well-wishers shortly after her inauguration Monday night. . . .

Source: Buchanan inaugurated as City of North Vancouver Mayor

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.

INDEPENDANCE OR PART OF A SLATE?

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.

WHY IT MATTERS 

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.