Friday, May 27, 2011

North Vancouver MLA defends HST cut

The following is a portion of a North Shore News article by Tessa Holloway, May 26, 2011. For full article please use the link provided.

...'The changes are a last-ditch effort to sway public opinion ahead of the HST referendum, and, according to North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite, also an acknowledgement the tax added “unforeseen extra costs” for families by shifting the tax burden from business to consumers.

“That’s why it was a rebalancing of the priorities,” she said when asked about the tax shift back to business. “With the premier coming in and wanting to make sure everything we do benefits families . . . obviously she wanted to intervene and fix it.”...

Read more:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Historic DNV OCP Vote Monday, May 16th 5 PM

As you may or may not be aware, on May 16th it is planned that Council will vote to close further debate on replacing the OCP. When this vote happens, it will be an historic one for all residents in the DNV. Council's stated intent is to replace an outdated OCP (and notably its troublesome "low density" and "low growth" undertakings as embedded in our Local Area Plans). In their view, Council and DNV staff would replace our existing OCP with one that is "more flexible" and which provides "guidelines" rather than actually controls DNV development.

Specifically, on the planned May 16th vote,
"Recommendation: THAT the May 16, 2011 Public Hearing be Closed ... " see

... and for the May 16th "Meeting Agenda and Reports" ... see

One of the new OCP's " ... stated intents is to identify 10,000 new housing units, equalling an additional 20,000 residents ... The plan lists Lynn Valley (2500 new units), Lower Lynn (3000 new units), Capilano/Marine (2000 new units) and Maplewood (1500 new units) as the primary growth areas ..." see: (North Shore News, March 9, 2011 ... and "DNV Identity 2030" document for "new unit counts"). Interestingly, the DNV website lists our total population as 82,562 people, so the plan is for a 25% increase. Is such an increase truly what DNV residents and voters want? What they deserve? Is this a realistic plan?

Apparently, the new OCP's "new unit" counts are in addition to developments that have already been approved, and will happen regardless of future single- and multi-family development on the Tsleil-Waututh Nation lands (the present large and growing Ravenwoods Development) and Squamish Nation lands (new development).

It is my view that the 'new' OCP ignores the "new" infrastructure needed to support the planned density increases, much of which will very significantly affect the already over-taxed northern-end of the 2nd Narrows Bridge, which is controlled by the BC Highways Department and not the DNV. (i.e. most of the OCP's 20,000 new residents, plus another 1400 for the already-approved Fern Street development, plus whatever additional residents are added at the Tsleil-Waututh Nation's Ravenwoods development) And what about increased public transit, which is controlled by Metro Transit? And added hospital beds, which are controlled by the Health Authority? And what about added Community Centres, which finally is something we (DNV) pay for directly? If the DNV hasn't planned properly for the added infrastructure required, how can any added density be claimed to be "sustainable growth"? Who pays, well-planned or not? ... you and I do in our taxes - provincial and municipal - and with a diminshed quality of life. I also believe that adding density to accommodate 20,000added residents will do nothing to make housing more affordable on the North Shore. Housing prices are regional, and nothing that is presently being done anywhere in the Lower Mainland can turn the tide of ever-higher real estate prices against the 50,000 to 60,000 new residents every year who are calling Metro Vancouver home.

Regardless of your opinion on whether this Council should change our OCP as they plan, BRING A FRIEND AND ATTEND THE MEETING. This apparently will be the last chance for our voices to be heard in the OCP debate.

Please, plan on attending the Council meeting 5:00 pm May 16th at Council offices, 355 West Queens Road.

Written by Anonymous

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Saxton takes close to half of North Vancouver vote

By Jeremy Shepherd, North Shore News May 3, 2011

Saxton won the riding with 28,998 votes, taking almost 49 per cent of the total.
Saxton defeated Liberal challenger Taleeb Noormohamed, who finished with 17,665 votes. NDP candidate Michael Charrois finished in third place with 9,618 votes.
All numbers are unofficial until certified by Elections Canada. Asked what Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first majority government will mean for him, Saxton replied: “It means that maybe I’ll start looking for an apartment in Ottawa.”
Saxton attributed the Conservative victory to Harper’s leadership during what Saxton called, “The great recession.” Saxton thanked the three levels of government in North Vancouver for working together through different political affiliations to support infrastructure in the riding. Shaking hands under a black and blue sky, Saxton said he looked forward to working with the new official Opposition led by NDP leader Jack Layton. “I work out with him in the same gym in Ottawa and I can tell you he’s a feisty guy, and he’ll keep us on our toes.” Asked if he slept the night before the election, Saxton said: “I did sleep last night, but I may not sleep tonight,” before offering to buy a drink for all his supporters and campaign workers.

Taleeb Noormohamed, holding court in a noticeably more sombre campaign office just up the street, attributed his loss to the division among moderates and left-wing voters. “If progressive-minded folks had rallied together, we would’ve taken this riding by a large number,” he said. Asked about the future of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, Noormohamed said the party needs to go in another direction. “It comes down to connecting with Canadians,” he said. “It’s pretty clear the party needs to revitalize itself.” Noormohamed, who had just congratulated Saxton on winning after a “clean campaign,” said Saxton’s first priority should be freeing the North Vancouver man who’s been in a jail in Mexico without trial for three years. “I think job 1 is to get Pavel Kulisek home,” he said.

NDP candidate Michael Charrois had a one-word summation of his party’s performance in becoming the official Opposition: “Wow.” “We’ve increased 100 per cent,” he said.
Asked about the drop in support for the Liberal party, Charrois said Ignatieff was unable to rise above the image Conservatives painted of the party leader. “Harper framed Ignatieff, and he couldn’t get out of the frame,” he said. Asked about acrimony on the campaign trail, Charrois said he’s learned to take things in stride. “Take a breath, it’s not personal.” Despite the loss, Charrois said his campaign isn’t over. “It’s not over till we clean up. Just like camping, leave no trace,” he said, referring to campaign signs and posters.

Despite finishing with just five per cent of the riding’s votes, Green Party candidate Greg Dowman was jubilant following the election. “We made it,” he said, discussing Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s victory in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding. “It was the dedication of Elizabeth and her crew, and they just pounded it,” he said. Dowman attributed May’s victory to an increasing number of voters looking for leadership on environmental issues like climate change. Dowman said he hoped for a greater sense of accountability in government and greater decorum in Parliament, which he said had been characterized by “childish” behaviour. “These guys are throwing mud pies at each other,” he said.Dowman said he was optimistic for his chances in the next election. “Given an improvement in the machinery, we can do even better next time.”

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