Tagged: Metro Vancouver

District of North Vancouver communities want more information on proposed transit tax

One community in the District of North Vancouver is for the transit tax hike while other communities seeks more information on the situation.

The Mayors’ Council will ask in the upcoming plebiscite for transportation funding if Metro Vancouver people are willing to pay an extra 0.5-per-cent increase in the provincial sales tax.

Corrie Kost, executive member of the Edgemont and Upper Capilano Community Association, said, “Show me the money.”

As a retired scientist, he wants facts. Until there is a defined cost-benefit analysis plan, Kost remains in the “No” camp.

On the Mayors’ Council transportation website, the plan for the North Shore is mostly focused on improving public transit in the City of North Vancouver and not so much on the District of North Vancouver.

The website promises 50 per cent more SeaBus service with “increased frequency to provide service every 10 minutes in the a.m. and p.m. peak periods and every 15 minutes at other times.”

Kost said, “A third seabus has been promised for the last 20 years. [Politicians] didn’t follow through many times in the past. It kills their credibility.”

He remains adamant for specific numbers, especially how much residents will receive for the dollar amount they invest.

On the other side of the fence, Rene Gourley, chairman of Delbrook Community Association, said people within his community are a bit more informed than anyone else and they’re for the tax hike because they understand the need for transit options, especially with the older generations.

“It requires strong knees and strong hearts to get around,” he said. “We live on a hill.”

Buses are needed, said Gourley. Otherwise there would be too many cars on the road.

He said, “We’re a car-centric community, a secure standard suburb.”

Looking towards the Blueridge Community Association, the co-chairperson said people aren’t informed enough to state anything firmly.

Eric Godot Andersen said there would be a meeting at the library at Blueridge Elementary School about this specific issue. He’s inviting a speaker from the “Yes” side and from the “No” side to illuminate what the consequences are. No one is confirmed at this time.

The meeting is on March 24, 2015 at 7 p.m.

TransLink’s transit plan for the North Shore claims its goal is to increase transit travel by 50 per cent by 2040.


Buying local food, supporting local farmers will infuse innovation into agriculture industry: Langley’s mayor

If there were a regular demand for local food and produce from the public, Langley’s mayor claims it would start a chain reaction in the agricultural industry, sparking innovation in technology development.

But if that doesn’t happen, farmers will just continue to worry about the bottom line and keeping their farms afloat.

At a Metro Vancouver agriculture committee, Surrey city councillor Linda Hepner said, “What do we expect in the business in regards to technology?”

She said there was missing innovation in the agricultural technology industry.

Hepner wanted to know what people are doing successfully around the world. “What can we do to encourage tech start-ups here?”

Langley mayor Jack Froese said, “We need to educate the public on the agricultural business.”

There needs to be a push for the public to buy local food and support the local farmers, he said.

“Tech development is only if the farmers get paid for their products.”

In news release by the BC Association of Farmers’ Market, it said farmers’ market contribute nearly $170 million annually and “are now in full swing throughout British Columbia.”

There has been a 62% increase in the number of markets, it said.

“With a loyal customer base, farmers and vendors are finding the stability they need with this marketing channel.”

To see what kind of agricultural technological ideas are happening, UBC Farm has student research internships, ranging from studying consumers attitudes about organic certification to free choice feeding regimes on poultry health.

New Westminster school board decided on a security plan for new schools, learning centres


Foundations of the new elementary school being built. “Students have always been told to report strangers on the school grounds to adults providing the outside supervision,” said school board community development officer Betina Ali.

The New Westminster school board finally decided on a security plan for the three new schools and their learning centres.

The city’s social planner John Stark said in an email that, “[Learning centres] would contribute to these schools being hubs for the neighbourhoods in which they are located,” and effectively use the school facilities during school and non-school hours.

In a final report on the public consultation process in 2010, people wanted “the schools to act as community learning centres and be focal points in the neighbourhood.”

École Qayqayt Elementary is the first one of three new schools in the city. The other two schools are a middle school and a replacement for New Westminster Secondary School. All three will have its own learning centre.

However, with two halfway houses nearby and community programs happening within the elementary school building, the public was concerned about safety with younger students.

Continue reading

Hello Langara! Hello journalism! Hello New Westminster!

SAM TO photo

This is how I look on a good day. You may or may not see me wandering around New Westminster with a notebook and pen.

Hello. I mentioned previously, as part of my journalism program, I will be covering a municipal beat. This term, I’ll be reporting on New Westminster, doing my best to capture the flavour of this area. If you have any ideas, don’t be afraid to throw them at me.

Sharing a little bit about me: back to school and back on track.

The main highlight of my summer was completing Tough Mudder in Whistler with a few friends but otherwise, I spent majority of time working at a grocery store.

Tough Mudder wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be but there was one moment where my spirit quivered because I was required to jump off a platform that stood about 20 feet in the air into roughly 12 feet of cold, murky water. It was already too late when the volunteer said, “Don’t look down. Just look straight at the mountains in front and jump.” I had looked and took two steps back.

My mind blanked out a little bit from the moment my feet left that platform to the moment they hit the water. Ask me what happened and I cannot tell you. Heights are not easy.

There were a few other things I did this summer:

Reading “Journalism and Truth” put me through a roller-coaster ride. It started off with chapters that questioned the quality of sources journalists used, the stance on checkbook journalism and the reliability of eyewitness testimonies.

For a few days, I asked myself, “What am I doing this for? What is the point?”

However, by the end of the book, it saves itself. It reminds me why.

But journalism is still, as Thomas Griffith characterized it half a century ago in The Waist-high Culture, “history on the run.” Journalists need to be much more aware of their relative strengths and shortcomings, and they need to let the readers and viewers in on their secrets. After all, as Griffith remarked: “If journalism is sometimes inaccurate and often inadequate, ignorance would not be preferable.” (page 167)

With this reminder, I will cover everything as accurately as possible by deadline.

Thank you for your patience with me.

Deanna Cheng