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City, BC Housing to partner on winter shelters for most vulnerable residents

Staff Reporter
Oct 8th, 2013

The City of Vancouver and BC Housing are partnering to put in place up to four temporary homeless shelters this winter, as part of ongoing efforts to address homelessness and help vulnerable residents move into stable housing, the City's communication office says. The annual partnership was outlined at City Council today as part of a staff update on Homelessness Action Week, which runs October 13-19, a press release from the City notes, adding that:

 “Our winter response shelters have been effective in helping people access safe, supportive housing, and transition into a stable home,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “I want to thank Minister Coleman for his ongoing commitment to supporting shelters and building new supportive housing, both in Vancouver and throughout the Province. These investments make a real difference and the City is proud to partner on such an important issue.”

City: Vancouver passes laneway housing "milestone"

Staff Reporter
Sep 29th, 2013
Vancouver has passed a key housing milestone with a total of over 1,000 new laneway housing permits now issued, building on the City’s work to enable new affordable housing options and create more livable neighbourhoods, a press release from the City says.
A total of 1,049 new laneway housing permits have been issued in Vancouver as of July 2013, following a record-high 354 permits being issued in 2012 alone, a City spokesperson says. 
“The addition of over a thousand new laneway houses helps meet Vancouver’s urgent need for more affordable housing in a way that fits with local neighbourhoods,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Confusion surrounds the city's Regional Context Statement

Chelsea Novak
Apr 25th, 2013

On Tuesday, Vancouver city council voted to refer the Regional Context Statement Development Plan to a public hearing on June 11th. Following the public hearing, council will vote again on whether or not to adopt the plan as an Official Development Plan. If adopted, the plan would then be the guiding policy for all development within the city. 

Councillor Adrianne Carr was the one councillor opposed to the referral. She was concerned because the plan referred to the Broadway Corridor and the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability, two items she felt hadn’t received enough public consultation: 

City of Vancouver makes record investment in child care

Press Release
Apr 24th, 2013

A new report presented to City Council today outlined the largest increase in child care funding in the City’s history, as the 2012 budget surplus - $5 million – was invested into the Childcare Reserve to support new child care spaces, according to a press release from the office of the mayor.

“We are committed to investing in child care as a way to make Vancouver more affordable for young families, and improve early childhood education,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “At a time when demand for child care far outstrips supply due to a lack of funding from senior levels of government, the City is stepping up to help make Vancouver a more supportive city for families and children.”

Vancouver’s Childcare Reserve was established in 1991 to provide funding that supports the high cost of infant and toddler care, helping keep costs down for families. In 2004, City Council created the Joint Childcare Council, where the City, Park Board, and School Board coordinate planning efforts and partnerships with private and non-profit partners to enable new child care spaces. After it was cancelled in 2006, Mayor Robertson and City Council reinstated it in 2009.

Street homelessness declining in Vancouver, City says

Anja Konjicanin
Apr 17th, 2013

Photo from Bigstock

A figure combs the alley of an underlit neighbourhood for bottles, spare change for a burger and retires in the safety of the night, in a warm spot on the sidewalk. This unfortunate scene brings the feeling of heartbreak and, sometimes, fear in Vancouver.

"There is no excuse for anyone to sleep outside at night," Mayor Gregor Robertson, stated in a press release released today by the City of Vancouver.

And according to preliminary numbers from the City of Vancouver's homeless count, the number of people sleeping outside at night is thankfully declining.

Here's what the press release said:

This year’s count, which took place over a 24 hour period on March 13, 2013 found 273 people sleeping outside in Vancouver, which is:

Vancouver city council talks Digital Strategy and snow removal

Chelsea Novak
Apr 10th, 2013

Vancouver's Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau reads two of her poems for Vancouver's city council.

The regular Vancouver city council meeting of Tuesday, April 9, 2013 came to order at 9:36am. 

Councillor Tony Tang gave the welcome and read a poem by A.E. Housman about cherry blossoms. He prefaced his reading be saying, “Of course, knowing that there are poets among us today in the chamber, I hope I don’t embarrass myself. After all, I’m just an engineer.”

Mayor Gregor Robertson gave condolences for Art Phillips, a former mayor of Vancouver, whose policies helped shaped Vancouver as we know it today. Council showed a photo slideshow of Phillips and observed a moment of silence.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Vancouver’s Poet Laureate, Evelyn Lau, read two poems inspired by events in the city.

Matters adopted on consent

City council remembers Stompin' Tom Connors and votes on Chinatown development

Chelsea Novak
Mar 12th, 2013

Rusty Ford and Michel Drouin play Stompin' Tom Connors' song "The Bridge Came Tumbling Down". Photo by Chelsea Novak. 

The regular Vancouver city council meeting of March 12, 2013 came to order at 9:37 pm.

Councillor Geoff Meggs gave the welcome and read Vancouver Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau’s poem “Living Under Plastic.”

Best Diversity Employers Award

Mayor Gregor Robertson acknowledged Vancouver’s receipt of the 2013 Canada’s Best Diversity Employers Award and City Manager Penny Ballem recognized the staff members who contributed to the city’s receipt of the award. 

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Mayor Robertson proclaimed March 21, 2013 the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Vancouver. He invited Demitri Douzenis, co-chair of the Multicultural Advisory Committee, to accept the proclamation. 

Stompin’ Tom

There were special condolences for Stompin’ Tom Connors, the iconic Canadian singer-songwriter who died last week, and local musicians Rusty Ford and Michel Drouin performed “The Bridge Came Tumbling Down.” 

New Translink study strengthens the case for Broadway Subway to UBC

Staff Reporter
Mar 7th, 2013

Is a subway the right investment for the UBC-Broadway Corridor? Yes, according to a recent study released by Translink, which provides new information supporting a subway as the rapid transit solution for the UBC-Broadway Corridor. The data shows that a subway would save travel time, produce greenhouse gas reductions and attract the most riders out of any transit option.

"Translink's new report lays out a number of compelling reasons why a subway to UBC is the best solution for the Broadway Corridor," said Mayor Robertson. "This data strengthens the case for why building a subway would benefit not just Vancouver, but cities throughout Metro Vancouver."

The Translink report "UBC Line Rapid Transit Alternatives Analysis" began in 2009 and evaluates several rapid transit options for Broadway, including rapid bus service and light rail. It found that a subway:

City council votes on fireworks and West End development

Chelsea Novak
Feb 27th, 2013

Mayor Robertson presenting a Civic Merit Award to Fred Mah. 

The regular Vancouver city council meeting of February 26, 2013 came to order at 9:35am.

Councillor Andrea Reimer gave the welcome and began by acknowledging the Coast Salish peoples, whose unceded traditional territory the council meets on every day. She also thanked the Coast Salish peoples for allowing the use of the territory and for their patients in seeking reconciliation of their titles and rights. Reimer hoped that council could honour the obligations that come with accepting the hospitality of the Coast Salish peoples.

Matters adopted on consent

There were four items adopted on consent, all of them administrative reports. The first was “Business License/Chauffeur's Permit Hearing Panels – May to December 2013.” The report was a schedule of hearings to be held from May to December, though there are no hearings scheduled in December. Staff also assigned three councillors and an alternate (in case someone is sick) to each meeting.

Vancouver city council gets report card on housing and homelessness

Chelsea Novak
Feb 13th, 2013

Students of the Windermere Leadership Grade 9 Ecology class with Mayor Robertson and Vancouver city councillors.

The regular meeting of the Vancouver city council meeting on February 12, 2013 came to order at 9:40am.

Councillor Tim Stevenson gave the welcome. He outlined the history of Chinese-Canadians and wished everyone a happy Lunar New Year.

The clerks took roll call, and councillors Raymond Louie and Andrea Reimer were absent on civic business.

After an upbeat (and accidental) musical introduction, Mayor Gregor Robertson proclaimed February 10-17, 2013 Lunar New Year week in Vancouver.  He presented the proclamation to representatives of the city’s Chinese cultural community.

Council agreed to meet “In Camera” later in the day, and Mayor Robertson announced the appointments that council had made during the last “In Camera” meeting on January 29, 2013. Council appointed Kim Maust to the Development Permit Board Advisory Panel, Michael Kluckner to the First Shaughnessy Advisory Panel, Phil Mondor to the Urban Design Panel, Alan Davies to the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee and Goran Ostojic to the Urban Design Panel.

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