Friday, October 28, 2011

Controversial ad by Wendy Qureshi in Outlook; Municipal Election is full on.

Since the densification push in the 1990s, hundreds of condos and detached homes have been built in the District of North Vancouver. Population has increased and along with it crime, noise, litter, pollution, and traffic congestion. The tax-base gains are short-term at best and new infrastructure costs that come along with densification are borne by you–the taxpayer.

Most of these motions are passed unanimously by Council in the name of sustainable density. The developers come in, produce only market housing of which there is no shortage in the DNV, and leave with their pockets full of money.

But what about the average person who chose to live here long ago, when life in the District was laid back and tax rates were much lower? How do they feel about sitting in gridlocked traffic idling away their hard earned cash and adding pollutants to our environment? Many people drive cars out of necessity, as there have been few improvements made by TransLink on the North Shore. The three seabuses promised to be in operation before the Olympics still haven’t become a reality and in some parts of the district services have been cut back. Yet our Mayor, who is the chairman of the Mayors’ Council for Translink, voted in favour of a two cent per liter gasoline tax and he also committed to raise our property taxes to fund the Translink Evergreen Line, while we in the District of North Vancouver are left waiting in gridlock traffic as we ponder what will it be like with all the barriers, detours, and obstructions in place when the actual building under our new “sustainable” OCP is underway.

What will our communities look like with an additional 20,000 people moving to the District of North Vancouver? Currently almost every new family buying property in the DNV brings their vehicles. With only two bridges, two Seabuses and an inefficient transit system, plus an additional 10,000 vehicles, I cannot see how the words “densification and sustainability” could possibly define a better life for the majority of residents who own single family homes in the DNV. Sustainable densification is an oxymoron at best, unless you are a municipal government looking for a short term tax-base gain. Who knows what will happen when this tax base gain becomes unsustainable. Will our taxes skyrocket or do we build more centres and invite another twenty thousand or more people to live in the district? And then in the future will we need more and more centres and people, just to remain sustainable?

I attended many of the OCP public participation meetings and none of my comments were written in the hundreds and hundreds of glossy brochures paid for with our tax money. And, just previous to these so-called community input sessions, the DNV stopped advertising the council agendas and meeting dates. Instead they purchased several insertions of full page, full colour advertising in our local newspapers promoting their OCP. This is not open and transparent government. How can you fight something if you don’t know it exists? We should be encouraged to attend Council meetings, not shut out.

I am not against progress, increased population or development, these things will all happen in time anyway and without disrupting the entire District of North Vancouver for decades to come. Why do we need to bring 20,000 more people into the district if not to increase the tax base? The District is entrusted with our money to provide services to residents in our Municipality. Why do they continue to put major resources into new developments while our established infrastructure is in dire need of replacement and repair?

In the DNV we still have kilometers of antiquated asbestos-cement water mains prone to failure. Prudent minds may think why don’t we fix our outdated infrastructure first, before sinkholes appear in our streets caused by broken water mains and creating one emergency situation after another. People wake up to flooded basements and damage – and costly repairs at the expense of the homeowner. Many of our roads are patched and bumpy with manholes either above or below grade. There are ongoing trouble spots in our street network which need attention. Our traffic and transit problems must be solved before any new major development takes place.

My name is Wendy Qureshi and I’m running for Council in the District of North Vancouver.

As a councillor I will be committed to keeping our district vibrant, as it is now and work toward fixing long overdue and neglected problems. Only then we can talk about development in the district, by the people and for the people who live here now–and not for developers and outside government bodies whose interest is not necessarily best for the citizens of the District of North Vancouver.

To accomplish my platform I will need your help! Why not attend a council meeting or two or join your community association? Why not get involved in our Municipality and have your say?

Did you know that in the last municipal election only 17 per cent of the citizens in the DNV voted?

In a healthy democracy it’s people like you who come out and vote for the candidate who will serve you best. You take the time to discuss with your family, friends, and neighbours the important issues facing our communities and our District. Please get them to vote, regardless of what candidate they choose to vote for. The choice is simple: If you want high density then move to the West End or vote for all current councillors and mayor. If you want flowing traffic, safe streets for cars and cyclists, and transparency at district hall — then vote for me.


Anonymous said...

She comes out swinging!
No rebuttal yet incumbents? What about the cuts and pending cuts to public safety,(the removal of fireboats from the north shore) for one! Time for new blood and fresh ideas vote for the newcomers how much worse can they be?

Anonymous said...

What's the point of posting Wendy's ad here, John? It smacks of an endorsement. Will all candidates be given equal exposure on this blog?

Anonymous said...

John has been very selective and creative with what gets posted and what gets deleted.ts a great forum please ekeep posting all non derogitory posts1

Anonymous said...

This ad should NOT be on this blog unless Wendy is paying for the space. The only option is to either delete the post or start posting every single candidates's ad.

Anonymous said...

Alls fair then
Fire Fighter's for Macauley!

John Sharpe said...

I am happy to post any ads or letters controversial or not from other candidates if and when they occur. I post local community news, issues, concerns, and NEWS and as far as I'm concerned this qualifies.

I expect a retort via ad or letter to the ED. re: this ad and that will also be posted for discussion here if it happens. In the meantime discuss away!

Anonymous said...

All's fair? OK firefighters. What is your current wage demand in your contract negotiation?

If you believe in open and transparent government you should have no problem posting this information.

John Sharpe said...

After going to an All Candidates Meeting last night at Delbrook I'd say we need a little colour in the campaign anyway.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you post this article

I agree, you are a little biased

Anonymous said...

NSNews, quotes of the week, from new WV mayor Mike Smith,

"I was on the Metro (civic employer rep) labour board for three years and you want to see a frustrating experience...I looked around - 18 representatives from the other municipalities, none of them with any management experience, any (employer) labour relations experience."

"Smith said...that in his four school board terms and two as councillor, 'I've never taken a dime from anyone...In North Van they take it from the goddam unions!'"

How refreshing.

What a concept - elected reps with management and employer labour relations experience and no obligation back to the very unions to which they must ratify the union's new contracts.

Anonymous said...

Rare indeed

Anonymous said...

A poster child for nimbyism. A long list of complaints with no suggestions on how to fix anything. The district is running a deficit, how do you propose getting out of it unless tax base increase? Do you either want to massively increase the existing taxes, or do you want to increase taxes so the new people pay the taxes? Pick one, you can't have both.

Wendy's Translink comments in a nutshell explain your nonsensical platform. You are against the recent 2 cent gas tax because it's popular to be against taxes, you mention the broken promise of increased Seabus service, then do not bother to mention the 2 cent gas tax increase will also increase Seabus service. So you complain about something, complain about tax hikes, then don't bother to put forth any solutions.

Anonymous said...

The 2c per litre gas tax goes to the Evergreen Line. We on the North Shore are paying high property taxes to go to TransLink when we are getting nothing for ourselves. We are subsidizing other jurisdictions.

Densification increases the current residents' tax bills and lowers their quality of living exponentially.

To say nothing about pollution, agitation, stress levels, and traffic gridlock.

It is a flawed argument that says having thousands of people move to the DNV will in any way ease our tax burden.

pb said...

While we're on the subject of campaign advertising, check this out.

Anonymous said...

Good for Wendy! She express what I and many other people in the North Vancouver District think. If only they were to go out and voting, perhaps we would effect some change in the District! New ideas and new people are needed in Council! Let's vote!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If you folks aren't happy with this blog, then I suggest you start your own.

Anonymous said...

Who are you?

Anonymous said...

No - the broken promise on Translink concerning the third Seabus is a very big deal as under the current plan (adopted in 2004) North Shore taxpayers were supposedly going to be milked of $ 1/4 billion on the property tax levy in return for $45 million back.

The $45 million was supposed to be a third Seabus in 2009, a bus depot (I'm not aware Translink has made a serious attempt to find a location since 2006 when they tried to ram through a site and refused to make any compromises at all such as accomodating Norgate residents by committing to only starting their diesel engines at 4:30 am on the south side of the property as they did in Richmond) plus improved bus service.

From where I sit that's one broken promise, one promise they haven't seriously tried to keep and a maybe.

Make no mistake about it - the 2004 ten year plan was sold to us on the basis of NEW services not replacement of existing infrastructure.

No question Translink has to be paid for - I just don't think it's fair or reasonable that the North Shore should be at the back of the line or be asked to pay a second time for what we've already paid for.

So while I'm not at all a Wendy fan I think she's right on the money on Translink.

Anonymous said...

I agree Wendy's ad shouldn't have been published here without doing so with everyone's.

John Sharpe said...

Any of the other DNV and CNV candidates are equally welcome to e.mail their ads to and I will publish them.

Anonymous said...

Good thought John, however most ads say nothing, especially the incumbents' ads. They just brag about all the committees they've sat on, etc. Well, it is part of a mayor or councillor's job to sit on these committees and they look foolish when they are simply bragging about doing the job they were elected to do.

I also find it hilarious that an Anon is asking the question of another Anon: Who are you?