Author Archives: Coalition

The Coalition Requests a Meeting With Mayor Robertson to Discuss Opportunities for Doing Things Better


November 16, 2014

Representatives of 25 Community Groups seek early meeting with Mayor Robertson

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods would like to thank all the participants in this year’s election for their hard work and efforts to better the City we all love.

We look forward to working with the elected Council and Mayor in helping to establish a better relationship between the city and its neighbourhoods.

Our recently developed Principles and Goals document was held up by many candidates as a blueprint for solving this issue, and was endorsed by all parties except Vision.

We appreciate the Mayor’s apology for mistakes made and his promise to do better.  Certainly we want to collaborate with Vision Vancouver to ensure that neighbourhoods continue to be the buildings blocks of our city’s future.

We will be contacting the Mayor shortly to arrange a meeting with him at his earliest convenience. We look forward to a new relationship with the Mayor and Council, one which is beneficial to both groups, and, most importantly, beneficial to the best interests of the City of Vancouver.

The Coalition writes the Minister of Housing – Stop the Sale of Public Housing!

The Coalition is deeply concerned with the proposed “sale” of social housing.  The tender document invites the non-profit sector to “buy” the land and building, with BC Housing financing the deal.  These are aging buildings  and included in the deal is the understanding that the properties will be re-developed.

Neighbourhoods are concerned with this commitment for redevelopment – with no consultation or discussion taking place at the community level.

The full text of the letter is below:

October 23, 2014

Hon. Rich Coleman
Minister Responsible for Housing PO Box 9052, Stn Prov Govt Victoria BC V8W 9E2

Dear Minister Coleman,

RE: Neighbourhood Engagement in Planning and Development

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods is a consortium of 25 Vancouver Residents’ Associations representing residents across the city. As a coalition, our purpose is to ensure that planning and development in our neighbourhoods happens within specific guidelines that focus on meaningful consultation, public engagement and collaborative planning.

We are writing to express serious concern with your proposed plan to offer significant public lands and housing throughout the City of Vancouver for sale and potential redevelopment without any prior discussion with impacted neighbourhoods. There is a tendering process currently underway for the first two such properties. Therefore our concerns are immediate and urgent.

It is our position that there is no need for haste in selling off BC Housing operated land. On the contrary, there are many reasons to undertake a thorough collaborative planning process with residents and the communities in question, with a focus on local preferences for land ownership and development. We believe that this must happen prior to any decision any one of BC Housing’s holdings.

We are alarmed by the speed of this drastic change in policy. While it is understandable that nonprofit housing societies would want to purchase rather than lease the lands on which they operate, it is unclear whether or how the public, or the neighbourhoods, or indeed residents of the housing will benefit from such a change in ownership.

Local input is critical to ensure that these properties continue to meet their goals. As such, any plans for use which will bind BC Housing’s ability to deliver services must, in our view, incorporate such input. The tender must be halted to ensure the future viability of these properties.

On behalf of the many Vancouver residents we represent we ask that you terminate the current tender, and suspend the policy to allow for a full and open public discussion of the merits and efficacy of undertaking such a change. As taxpayers and residents we share ownership of the properties in question which your government manages on our behalf. We wish to have sufficient time and information to allow for fulsome consultation and collaboration on the future of these public lands.

The Coalition’s Statement of Principles and Goals outlines more completely what collaborative planning entails. We attach a copy for your reference.

Yours truly,

Fern Jeffries, Co-chair, CVN
Larry A. Benge, Co-chair, CVN
On Behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

c.c. Premier Christy Clark

      Shayne Ramsay, CEO BC Housing Vancouver Mayor and Council


Where Was Gregor? Asks Letter Writer

The letter of the the day in Province today is from Randy Brophy who wonders why Mayor Gregor Robertson was a no-show at the Coalition’s Town Hall Meeting.
“Robertson,” he writes “was the only mayoral candidate who did not to bother to show up, sending instead Vision Coun. Andrea Reimer. She was the only candidate booed and laughed at during the question-and-answer period, starting with when she said that only provincial government should be concerned about developers funding political parties. During her closing comments, folks yelled, “Where’s Gregor?”…
Reimer took a lot of hurried, scribbled, heavy handed notes, seemed aloof, uncomfortable and reminded me a lot of a frustrated elementary school teacher I had who used to take notes before reporting us all to the principal. No doubt she ran back to her 33-member, $2.2-million-a-year taxpayer-funded communication staff for a better script.”

Town Hall – Putting the “Community” back into Community Planning

Plans are finalized for an exciting Town Hall meeting on Wednesday evening.

Participants include Mayoralty Candidates:  Meena Wong, Bob Kasting, and Kirk LaPointe

Representing  the Vancouver Green Party are Cleta Brown and Adriane Carr.  In addition to Mayoralty Candidate Kirk LaPointe, Melissa De Genova will attend for the NPA.  R.J. Aquino will represent OneCity.  Glen Chernen and Nicholas Chernen will represent the Cedar Party. In addition to Mayoralty Candidate Meena Wong, Lisa Barrett will represent COPE. Councillor Andrea Reimer will represent Vision Vancouver.

Our Moderator is Charlie Smith, editor of the Georgia Straight.

Should be a great evening.  Come with your questions.


Municipal Parties Endorse Coalition’s Approach to Collaborative Planning

6th October, 2014:  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods is proud to announce that the NPA, COPE, Vancouver Greens, OneCity, Cedar Party, and independent Bob Kasting, have now endorsed the Coalition’s proposal for improving the planning and development process in the City.

One of the major news stories in Vancouver last year was the unprecedented level of discontent with planning and development in neighbourhoods across our city. In response to these concerns 24 diverse communities from all across the city came together to form the Coalition, with a common goal to fix these divisive processes. All member neighbourhood associations gave input to establish principles for a collaborative planning process.

Following those discussions, in April this year the Coalition issued a document called “Principles & Goals” outlining a new and more respectful relationship between the City and our neighbourhoods. The “Principles” define a collaborative, accountable, and transparent partnership that views Vancouver as a community rather than a commodity, and which will produce a livable, inclusive, and sustainable city.

Last month, the Coalition announced a pre-election meeting to which all municipal parties have been invited.  The two-hour Town Hall will take place from 7:00pm on Wednesday, 15th October at St. James’ Hall, 3214 W. 10th Avenue.

Entitled “Planning, Development, and Community Engagement: Putting The Community Back Into Community Planning”, this town hall meeting will investigate how parties plan to bring peace to a divided city. Georgia Straight editor, Charlie Smith, will moderate the discussion with a focus on the Coalition’s “Principles and Goals”.

We call on all parties and candidates in Vancouver to endorse this new collaborative approach before the election in November, and we invite the public to attend and submit their written questions to candidates.

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Download this release: CVN Release Endorsement final.pdf