Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association
Volume 2, Issue 12
DECEMBER 19, 2011
Revised Wesbrook Plan Passes to Dismay of Condo Owners UBC governors give densification go-ahead at December 1st meeting; spokesperson for Wesbrook residents says ‘consultation’ experience has left them cynical about dealing with UBC
The Pacific Ring Handbell Choir gather around the Christmas tree at the UNA Christmas Concert, which was held at The Old Barn Community Centre on December 12, 2011.
At a meeting December 1, governors of the University of British Columbia concurred that the residential neighbourhood on campus called ‘Wesbrook Place’ should be densified despite the widespread objections of residents. As a result, UBC may now develop Wesbrook Place—consisting of more than 100 acres in South Campus—into neighbourhood of up to 12,500 residents whereas it had previously capped Wesbrook population at about 5,000.
REVISED continued on Page 6.
UBC Group Gets Task of Reviewing Campus Governance Working group will be led by UBC vice-president Stephen Owen; report will be used to evaluate role of UNA The UBC board of governors has advanced the idea of a task force to review
the contentious issue of governance on campus. A group should begin working on this shortly. The issue of governance came up at the December 1 meeting of the board following remarks by Prod Laquian, chair of the University Neighbourhoods Association. Mr. Laquian discussed a recent development in which “some UBC residents
raised the need for an effective local governance mechanism with Ida Chong, minister of community, sports and culture.” He said, “The minister’s response, not surprisingly, was that the situation at UBC is very complicated. However, her answer was very encouraging in that she said the province expects UBC, the UNA and other ‘stake-holders in the University
Parking Enforcement Comes to UNA Neighbourhoods Starting January 2012 Long-standing parking problem is about to be solved; new parking rules will be enforced by transportation ministry Starting January 2012, the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) residential neighbourhoods at UBC will have a set of new interim parking rules enforced by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. For years residents and their visitors in the Hawthorn Place neighbourhood have seen their available on-street parking
become more scarce as other visitors to UBC try to avoid paid parking on campus by parking in this residential neighbourhood. Working with the ministry, and with advice from UBC, the UNA has developed interim parking rules that will be enforced. Starting in January 2012 unauthorized parking will be prohibited in all UNA neighbourhoods – Hawthorn, Wesbrook, Chancellor, Hampton and East Campus. New ministry-authorized signage is being installed in all neighbourhoods and enforcement by towing will begin once the signage is in place. Prod Laquian, UNA chair and president, said he is pleased that parking will finally be enforced in the UNA neighbourhoods.
“Past UNA chairs have tried for years to get parking regulations in place; now it’s going to happen.” Not all neighbourhoods have the same parking issues, but working with the transportation ministry and UNA, staff has been able to develop suitable interim parking rules for all neighbourhoods pending the development of a parking bylaw. The streets in the neighbourhoods were dedicated to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure when UBC subdivided the land for residential development. The proceeds of development are a source of funding for the university academic endowment.
Town’ would come up with recommendations on a governance system that will apply to our unique situation.” Bill Levine, UBC board chair, expressed the most recent thinking of the University on the governance system by saying, “We do hear you on governance. We are going to proceed with a small group to explore ‘best practices’ in this area.” UBC continued on Page 10.
Read ‘Special Reports’ on UNA Expenditures: Pages 4-5 ‘Municipal Expenditures’ Page 9 Remuneration of Directors
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Reaches Out to New Canadians at UBC - Mondays at The Old Barn Settlement program officer is available to help with enquiries about adapting to life in Canada; immigrants are invited to either drop-in or phone for appointments S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a social service agency whose vision is to create ‘A World of Multicultural Harmony’, has begun reaching out to new Canadians living in the UBC area. In cooperation with the University Neighbourhoods Association, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. now offers local immigrants the kind of multilingual settlement services at the Old Barn Community Centre on campus that it has long offered at other locations both in the Lower Mainland and elsewhere in the province. S.U.C.C.E.S.S.—and the UNA—invite new Canadians with enquiries about adapting to life in Canada to contact settlement program officer, Helen Su, Mondays at the Old Barn either by dropping into the community centre or by making an appointment. Drop in Mondays between 2 PM and 4 PM or phone for appointments Mondays between 10 AM and 1 PM or 4 PM and 5 PM. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. settlement, languages and community (SLC) services division provides services for new immigrants from diverse cultural backgrounds. The comprehensive settlement service helps immigrants gain the knowledge and resources necessary to adapt to the Canadian way of life. At The Old Barn, new Canadians may
expect: • to receive one-on-one responses to inquiries about immigration, citizenship, housing, customs, medicine and health, legal, family, employment, social benefits, transportation and travel documents; • assistance in form filling, making referrals and connecting to services and resources in the community; • invitations to new immigrant orientation sessions, workshops, and welcoming parties. Ms. Su reminds new Canadians thinking of contacting S.U.C.C.E.S.S. at the Old Barn that the agency offers its settlement services there for free. The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. outreach program at UBC began recently with a settlement workshop attended by about 40 new Canadians. Ms. Su, who speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin, says she expects the next workshop to be held in February. New Canadians from China form the majority of those attending at The Old Barn for assistance in adapting to life in Canada, Ms. Su says. However, she has also helped immigrants from Israel and the United States. The Beijing-born Ms. Su says her time as “a front line” settlement program officer is divided evenly between helping those enquiring about services and those seeking to overcome ‘languages barriers’. She said newcomers have sought her assistance in many areas, including applications for driver licenses, care cards, pharma-care cards, child benefits, and SIN cards. Established in 1973 and incorporated in 1974, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is one of the largest social service agencies in British Colum-
bia. It provides services in settlement, English as a second language training, employment, family and youth counseling, business and economic development, health care, social housing, and commu-
nity and volunteer development. To make an appointment, please call 604 408 7274, ext 2072, or e-mail Helen. firstname.lastname@example.org
S.U.C.C.E.S.S settlement program officer, Helen Su
中侨互助会将于每周一在Old Barn 为UBC校区新移民提供咨询服务 安顿辅导员会帮助解答 有关适应加拿大生活的 问题；移民们可以直接前 往或是先行预约
作为一个以创造“多元文化和谐世 界” 为宗旨的社会服务机构，中侨 互助会现已开始为住在UBC地区的新 移民提供服务。 通过和University Neighbour-
hoods Association (UNA) 的合 作，中侨互助会开始在大学校园里的 Old Barn社区中心为本区移民提供 它长期以来一直在低陆平原和省内其 他地区提供的多元文化安顿服务。 中侨互助会和UNA邀请对于适应 加拿大生活有任何问题的新移民在每 周一联系安顿辅导员苏小姐 (Helen Su)，无论直接前往咨询或事先预约 均可。直接前往咨询的时间是每 周 一下午2点到4 点；预约服务的时间 是每周一早上10 点到下午1点，或下 午4 点到5点。。 中侨互助会的移民安顿、语言及 社区服务部 (SLC) 专为来自多元文 化背景的新移民提供服务。这项全面 的安顿服务帮助移民们获得适应加拿 大生活所需的知识和资源。 在Old Barn社区中心，新移民可 以获得多种服务： • 有关移民、入籍、住房、海关、 医药保健、法律、家庭、就业、社会 福利、交通、旅行文件等问题获得一 对一的答复； •介绍如何填表，写申请，以及了解 各项社区服务与资源; •受邀参加新移民迎新说明会、讲 座、迎新联欢会。 苏小姐提醒新移民，中侨互助会
在Old Barn的服务是免费的。 中侨互助会的UBC外展计划是在 最近以一次有40位新移民参加的安顿 讲座揭开序幕。会说流利国、粤、英 语的苏小姐表示，她预计下一场讲座 将在2月举办。 苏小姐说，虽然参加Old Barn讲 座的多半是来自中国的新移民，但她 也曾帮过来自以色列和美国的移民。 生于北京的苏小姐表示，她作 为“前线”的安顿辅导员，她一半的 工作时间用于解答移民的各种问题， 另一半的时间帮助那些寻求克服“语 言障碍”的移民。她说新移民已经在 很多方面要求她的协助，包括申请驾 照、医疗卡、药物补助卡、牛奶金、 工卡等。 成立于1973，并于1974年设立为 有限责任法人的中侨互助会是加拿大 卑诗省最大的社服机构之一。它提供 移民安顿、英语为第二语言培训、就 业、家庭及青少年辅导、商业与经济 发展、医疗保健、社会住房、社区以 及义工参与等服务。 如要预约，请致电604 408 7274转 分机2072，或电邮 Helen.email@example.com
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
page 3 Published by: University Neighbourhoods Association #202-5923 Berton Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6S OB3
Editorial Page Era of Parking Enforcement Ensues in All Neighbourhoods Residents of the Hawthorn Place neighbourhood at the University of British Columbia live where once thousands of visitors to UBC—most of them students—parked their cars daily for a modest fee (the famous B, C and D lots). Old habits die hard, of course, and some visitors have not tired of parking their cars in what was called ‘mid-campus’ despite the rise of streets, condominiums and town houses there—and its renaming as the Hawthorn Place residential neighbourhood effective about 2005. This has constituted unauthorized parking, which the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) would have restricted had it been enabled by proper authority. Finally, working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and with advice from UBC, the UNA has developed interim parking rules that will be enforced. These rules cover all residential neighbourhoods on campus, but residents of Hawthorn Place will greet them with particular warmth since unauthorized parking has plagued the Hawthorn Place the worst. Effective in January with the erection of MOTI signage, the following rule will prevail in both the Hawthorn Place and Wesbrook Place residential neighbourhoods: No parking except authorized vehicles M-F 8AM - 5PM.
The vehicles of Hawthorn and Wesbrook residents will require identification decals to park on the street during posted times. Each home in Hawthorn and Wesbrook will receive a new visitor parking pass, The UNA, which is in the midst of an information campaign to advise residents of the new parking rule, will make the decals and passes available. Meanwhile, the further daily rule applies: 7AM-10PM, two hour parking around The Old Barn Community Centre and one hour parking in commercial area in Wesbrook Place. Much frustration has preceded the introduction of this new parking regime, which received formal approval of the UNA board December 13, and some pockets of reservation remain. For example, some residents think the car decals should not be free and that residents should pay an annual fee. Others think that permanent round-the-clock parking for a limited set of vehicles on the streets of Hawthorn Place is acceptable at a modest monthly fee. For the most part, however, the residents of Hawthorn Place—and other parts of campus managed by the UNA will greet the new rules eagerly. Visitors engaging in unauthorized parking, beware. A tow truck might soon head to where your car’s parked.
Letter to the Editor Resident reviews new Wesbrook Place plan: “hundreds of trees removed”; “thousands more residents”; and “thousands more cars” I attended the Open House on the Wesbrook Place neighbourhood plan which UBC campus and community planning department held at MBA House in November, and listening to UBC representatives speak at this meeting, I was reminded that when they first presented plans for the Wesbrook Place neighbourhood to us (in 2005), they did not tell us that it would be a high density community with narrow roads. They also said then that they would not put Wesbrook Mall (roadway) through to Southwest Marine Drive, but they did so anyway. Now we are told that they want to remove hundreds of trees in this beautiful
forest for thousands more housing units! That’s thousands more residents and thousands more cars - all leading to high density living. Apparently, we shall see ‘new’ wooden six-storey structures too. We need resident/owner representation on the UBC property and planning committee, which seems to be full of greedy developers. Ruth Frackson, Wesbrook Place
Letters to the Editor & Opinions Include name, address and telephone number. Maximum lengths: Letters 400 words. Opinions 750 words. We may edit or decline to publish any submission.
Editor & Business Manager John Tompkins 604.827.3502 JTompkins@myuna.ca
How Does the UNA Spend Your Tax Dollars? By Prod Laquian One would expect that faced with service levy increases, rising prices and bleak economic times, UBC residents would show great interest in how University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) spends their tax dollars. However, at the public consultation on the UNA’s 20122103 budget on November 22, only eight out of more than 8,000 residents (including 3,000 UNA members) showed up. How can one explain this lack of interest? Are residents satisfied, uninformed or simply apathetic? This coming fiscal year, the UNA revenue will exceed $4.2 million. The budget consultation gave residents the opportunity to review the budget. However, the few residents who came mainly sought clarifications on certain budget items. Some suggested activities they want to be funded or defunded: increase the landscaping budget for tree trimming; support First Aid Training for emergency preparedness; allocate funds for legal advice on whether to unpeg the UNA tax rate from Vancouver’s; add a resident non-Board member to the finance committee for oversight; provide funds that UNA can use to pay for services paid for by Stratas such as composting and recycling; defund the UTown Collaborative Program as unnecessary; and trim the “exorbitant” budget for staff salaries and benefits by reassigning and cross tasking job functions. As expected, most of the queries at the consultation focused on big ticket items such as the $515,000 per year cost of access to UBC athletic facilities. The fees are based on a charge of $58.50 per resident per year for access to the UBC pool, skating rink, athletic fields, and tennis courts. Some residents argued that the charges should be based on the number of residents actually using the athletic facilities. However, UBC Athletics claims it is difficult to track the number of UNA residents using the facilities. Some residents thought that Salaries and Benefits ($746,185 accounting for 17.5% of the budget) were too high. The UNA has nine full-time staff members costing $455,100 per year and spends another $127,000 for non-management part time salaries. Most of the part time staff members work at the Barn community centre. Some residents asked why the UNA is spending so much for salaries and benefits when it claims that many of the association’s functions are carried out by volunteers. The UNA Treasurer (Ian Burgess) and Executive Director (Jan Fialkowski) said that compared to similar-sized local governments in BC, UNA expenses for salaries and benefits are lower. Residents suggested a job au-
dit and performance evaluation of UNA staff to determine the cost-effectiveness of staff salaries and benefits. Next year’s UNA budget allocates $1.4 million for municipal services like landscaping, road, gutter and sidewalk maintenance, sanitary sewer and storm water management, streetlights, and security and parking. Some residents welcomed this level of expenditure, saying that the UNA should concentrate on these basic services. Interestingly, not one budget consultation participant questioned the $580,792 for landscaping that many residents feel enhances the value of their properties. The municipal services in the UNA neighbourhoods are managed by UBC Properties Trust which charges the UNA $80,000 a year for this function. A resident asked if it would be better for the UNA to manage these services itself. One problem with such an approach is that the UNA does not have the technical and logistical support mechanisms for services management while UBCPT already has those. Purchasing and installing those support mechanisms and hiring additional personnel will probably cost the UNA more in the long run. One resident complained that the UNA spends too much money on social and cultural activities such as Barn Raising, Christmas parties, free movies, yoga, barbecues and fiestas. He proposed to rename UNA as the University Neighbourhood Recreation Association (UNRA). Another resident said that the UNA’s support for the Botanical Garden, Nitobe Garden, Museum of Anthropology, UBC Library, and Osborne Centre is a direct subsidy to UBC. Just like the athletics fee of more than half a million dollars per year. Aside from the eight residents who attended the budget consultation, another 15 wrote letters to the UNA on the budget. Ten of those (four of them former UNA chairs), said the budget was appropriate and the UNA was managing the affairs of the organization in a costeffective manner. Happily, every year since 2002 when UNA was established, it has always managed to balance its budget and had not incurred any deficits. In fact, the UNA now has hefty fund reserves to pay for infrastructure replacement, capital replacement, rate stabilization and contingencies. However, with only eight residents attending the budget consultation and 15 bothering to write comments, the main conclusion that can be drawn from this budget exercise is that the greatest deficit in the UNA is not financial -- it is the lack of residents’ interest. Why? Prod Laquian is board chair and president of the UNA.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
OP-ED PAGES Special report by Hampton Place resident Jim Taylor on costs of running the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA):
How do UNA ‘Municipal’ Expenditures Compare to Others in BC? “I think that our model is very cost efficient,” says Jim Taylor At the last UNA AGM, questions were raised about the costs of the UNA and whether we get value for money. I start by admitting my bias. While I recognize the democratic deficit and some other issues, I think that the method of governance that we have developed provides us exceptional value and service for the money and, I know, that our viable “governance” options are limited. I think we live in a beautiful and healthy community. I think we are lucky to be served by the able and responsive staff we employ. I count my blessings for living here. Having disclosed this, I try here, as fairly as I can, to shed some light on the admittedly complex question I pose in the title.
The first thing to understand is that we call our governance model a “Neighbourhood Association”. Unfortunately, this puts people in mind of the West Point Grey Community Association, or the Dunbar Residents Association, or any of a hundred like bodies throughout the Lower Mainland. This creates a conceptual difficulty. We live in unorganized territory. The UNA is a unique governance model developed over years. It provides virtually all the municipal services to our residents as does a regular municipality. All other neighbourhood associations are indigenous groups generally involved in a particular project or issue, but none of them does anything like what we do in the UNA. While the UNA does not provide all municipal services (because UBC reserves some services to itself– such as issuing permits, the planning process and building inspections) and also because some of the traditional municipal services such as protective services (fire and police) are
provided in a different way (through our general rural tax), the distinction is an important distinction. So when we look at the UNA and its expenditures, we have to realize that it is a municipal government. With some exceptions. One is that pound for pound, we have more volunteers, I am sure, working on our “municipal” life than is true anywhere else in BC. But aside from our volunteers, we are a municipal emanation that delivers all of the necessary services that a municipality provides, either directly or under contract: operating and maintaining a community centre; developing programs; supporting volunteers; keeping track of finances; making a public library available; supporting a Board of Directors (in effect a municipal council); arranging numerous meetings and important community events; supporting numerous volunteer programs; maintaining the public realm in an outstanding fashion; ensuring that the
streets are lit (and that spent bulbs are replaced); ensuring street repairs to be made; operating and maintaining parks and playgrounds; and any number of other things. That is what municipalities do and that is what the UNA does. But what should this all cost? I probably have had as much to do with the UNA in a variety of different capacities as any one and I think that our model is very cost efficient. But, it is true that either directly through the UNA or by contract with UBC or by virtue of obtaining municipal-like services from our rural tax, we spend a fair bit of money. I tried to make a comparison with other like communities (using population as the critical measure because I thought when I started out it would be the best measure). This appears in the Table below. Beneath the Table I set out notes to explain certain matters.
2010: Expenditures: Comparison of Communities (as taken from 2010 Audited Financials)
Notes for Reader 1. Population figures are taken from the most recent census available for the communities represented. We do not have census data for the UNA so I estimate. 2. There is no entirely fair way to express expenditure per capita across a number of different jurisdictions. They are all quite different. In the case of some, you will notice from their total expenditures, they must have enormous industrial or heavily taxed commercial property owners. Nonetheless a number of these jurisdictions do not appear to be the recipients of that sort of money and in those cases the expenditure per capita are helpful reference figures. In this group I put Bowen Island, Hope and Kent (which cannot tax the federal institution within
it). In our neighbourhoods we have no industrial and little commercial tax base. Generally industrial and commercial taxpayers subsidize residential taxpayers. 3. I try to make the total expenditures as accurate as possible. For most I use the figures in their financial statements. To make the UNA expenditures roughly equivalent to the others I have added in to our basic expenditure figure of $2,215,183 (what we take from the Services Levy) a close estimate of what we spend on policing (which is in our rural tax and otherwise is not included in our expenditure items) and a reasonable estimate of what we pay for fire protection (which is also covered by our rural tax).
NOTES continued on Page 5.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
OP-ED PAGES NOTES continued from Page 4.
For Bowen Island, Fernie and Golden I have added in a policing cost which they do not show. In virtually all cases (Bowen Island is the exception) revenue exceeds expenditures, perhaps because all these communities, as we do in the UNA, set aside reserves for anticipated future eventualities. 4. The UNA general government fig-
ure includes general meetings, director’s liability, insurance, honorariums, the accounting payment to UBC (to whom we contract our tax billing, tax collecting, tax notice, and tax certification regime), office expenses and salaries/benefits for the staff at Berton. I have done this to try to reach a fair total expenditure figure comparable to the others. 5. Protective services includes police and fire protection. This is an interest-
Parking enforcement starts January 2012 Violators will be towed Hawthorn Place & Wesbrook Place NO parking except authorized vehicles M-F 8am - 5pm • Resident vehicles require identification decal to park on street during posted times • Each home receives a new visitor parking pass
Hawthorn Place - The required decals and visitor parking pass will be available at The Old Barn Community Centre office starting Jan 3, 2012.
Wesbrook Place - The required decals and visitor parking pass will be available at the UNA office starting Jan 9, 2012.
Drivers license, vehicle registration, proof of address required.
DAILY- 7am-10pm, 2 hour parking around The Old Barn Community Centre and 1 hour parking in commercial area in Wesbrook
East Campus & Hampton Place No changes
Chancellor Place • NO parking on Iona Dr. except Sunday on north side only • 2 hour parking on Theology Mall
www.myuna.ca for full details 这是有关在UNA社区停车的重 要信息, 请将此信息翻译。 University Neighbourhoods Association
UNA 지역내 주차에 관한 중요한 정 보입니다. 번역하여 읽어 주세요.
#202 – 5923 Berton Ave. Vancouver, BC V6S 0B3 604.827.5158 firstname.lastname@example.org
ing figure from the UNA’s point of view. Our local RCMP report annually on the incidence of crime in the UNA, the UEL and UBC. Just comparing the UNA and the UEL, the UNA, with a larger population than the UEL, only contributes about 10% of the break-ins that the RCMP attend. The reasons are likely that: the UEL has many large, single family homes with space around them which makes concealment easier; multi-million dollar homes would, quite reasonably, to any intelligent crook, be a better target than the more modest homes in the UNA; UNA residences, consisting entirely of multiple family dwellings, have protective features that we pay for by way of our strata fees – high rise, locked access, gated parking, cameras, etc.; and the UNA provides an evening security patrol which the UEL does not. 6. It is exceedingly hard to compare our park and recreation data to the various communities. First, because we are on the margins of a large sophisticated urban centre, our residents reasonably expect the same services and opportunities. Providing these services cost. Second, we are able (and make a fair contribution) to access all of the community services that the most sophisticated urban centre would have – pools, arena, playing fields (including artificial surface playing fields), a running track, community centre (soon to be centres), library (by virtue of the UNA’s arrangement with the Vancouver Public Library), many pocket parks, reception and meeting space, ancillary benefits like the Botanical Gardens/Nitobe Gardens/MOA/ Chan Centre, etc. As well, the UNA (and because of Neighbours’ Agreement 2008 these monies were in fact advanced by Properties) made a substantial contribution to the development of new daycare spaces in the UBC daycare system. This daycare program is widely regarded as the best program available in BC. As a consequence of this, the UNA obtained access to a large number of these spaces for UNA residents who otherwise would not have had access to the daycare. This is a benefit that does not appear to be part of the offering of any other communities.
Settlement Introduction services NOW AT THE OLD BARN COMMUNITY CENTRE! SUCCESS Settlement, Languages, and Community (SLC) Services Division provide services for new immigrants from diverse cultural backgrounds. The comprehensive settlement services help immigrants gain the knowledge and resources necessary to adapt to the Canadian way of life. We provide: One on one enquiries (drop in/appointment) on immigration, citizenship, housing, customs, medical and health, education, legal, family, employment, social benefit, transportation, and travel documents… etc. Assistance in form filling, making referrals and connecting to services and resources in the community. Conduct new immigrant orientation sessions, workshops, and welcoming parties. Outreach program at the Old Barn Community Centre start on November 7, every Monday. 1.) By appointment: 10:00am - 1:00pm; and, 4:00 - 5:00pm. To make an appointment, please call 604-408-7274 ext 2072, or, Email: email@example.com 2.) Drop-in: 2:00 – 4:00pm.
中侨社区、语言与安顿服务部的专业工作人员为不同文化 背景的人提供移民安顿服务。广泛的移民安顿服务让移民 获得所需的知识和资源，得以适应加拿大的生活方式。 通过电话预约或者亲自前往，我们将对您提供一对一的协 助。服务包括: 提供有关房屋，医疗，教育，考车牌，税制，加国福 利, 就业市场介绍，具体行业分析等信息和转介服务。 填写新移民所需申请的表格：医疗卡，牛奶金，成人 英语学习（ELSA）等； 定期开办新移民讲习班，讲座，以及联欢会。 从11月7日起，中侨互助会社会外展辅导员会在每周一 Old Barn社区中心办公室办公。 全天服务分两个时段： 1.） 预约时段：早上10点 - 下午1点； 以及下午4点 5点，欢迎预先致电预约。 电话： 604-408-7274分机 2072 ，或者电邮到： firstname.lastname@example.org 2.） 自由时段：下午2点 4点，无需预约。
It is difficult to think of a facility that we do not have access to (many of which with whom we have negotiated memorandums of understanding which provide preferred access in various ways). And, having some special needs we have some programming none of these communities have (multicultural, ESL, etc.). I, as carefully as I could, analyzed the recreation facilities available in each of the communities referred to in the table. For Bowen Island, despite the substantial cost of their recreation, parks and culture figure, they run their entire recreation program out of a school and it features some access to a “community” library and an after school daycare and sporadic evening programming (they do have a public pool); Coldstream provides no recreation services of any nature whatsoever (some parks and trails are maintained by the engineering department); Kent lists only a library; for Kimberly the only recreation facilities they identify on their statements are an aquatic centre, curling club and “a cemetery” (which one would normally not think of as a recreational facility); in Smithers they list only an arena. Some of the others have reasonably sparse recreational offerings but some have a good range as do we, although none offer all we do. We would not be able to offer the full range of recreational programming we do without taking liberal access to UBC’s facilities and amenities (perhaps particularly the aquatic centre, the hockey arena, the baseball diamond, the track, and the all weather playing fields and things like the MOA, etc.). 7. Our “Other” figure is low compared to all of these other jurisdictions. This figure includes planning, engineering, and other related matters. As regards this figure, we are different than these other communities. UBC has a large institutional planning department (which UBC has had forever). UBC also does the planning, permitting and inspections for the residential neighbourhoods. Therefore none of this cost appears in our costs for these services. On the other hand, none of the revenue that UBC receives from its permitting (particularly) and inspection processes appears on the other side of our balance sheet. Additional Notes. Some things have to be said about the Table. First, there are obviously huge differences between the UNA and some of these communities. You see this when you look at the total expenditures column. These expenditures obviously reflect significant industrial and commercial tax base, at least for many of the communities. In the UNA we have virtually no commercial tax base and no industrial tax bases. It is a fact of municipal taxation that industrial and commercial property is taxed at higher rates and is generally thought to subsidize residential taxation. Second, all of the places I have included in the Table have filed audited financial statements. For all communities other than the UNA, I use the audited financial statements for the year end December 31, 2010. With the UNA I use our year end of March 31, 2011. Third, as the notes show, you have to make some estimates and adjustments to try to get as good an apple to apple comparison as possible (accountants, which I am not, call this normalization). I have done these adjustments as fairly and accurately as I can.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
REVISED continued from Page 1. Claire Robson, a spokesperson for Wesbrook residents, expressed disappointment at the unanimous UBC vote to allow for increased density in her neighbourhood, and exclaimed Wesbrook residents no longer trusted the University when it came to the planning of land use. Ms. Robson said her group had fought only for only one goal, a 90-day extension of public discussion on the proposed land use amendments in Wesbrook Place, and since UBC had not allowed even this, she forecast residents would be much more “cynical” in dealing with UBC in the future. (See article by Ms. Robson eslewhere on this page.) UBC president Stephen Toope gave the most succinct explanation of why governors at their December meeting voted in favor of more high-rises, more cars and more stores in Wesbrook Place, which UBC had envisioned and marketed originally as a residential area equating to ‘a village in the woods’. Prof. Toope held out the idea of two principles supporting what will amount to at least the doubling of housing density in Wesbrook Place. “First, we have to look at this from the point of view of sustainability,” he said at the board meeting. The president indicated three aspects to sustainability: economical, environmental and social.
He said that in the case of social sustainability, the UBC board justified Wesbrook densification for its ability to bring more affordable housing to campus—i.e. with densification comes smaller suites for sale or rent. In regard to the environment, Prof. Toope said densification in Wesbrook Place would keep—or help to keep— “urban sprawl” in check. In regard to economics, he said only with enough people living on campus would UBC rise to the desired level of economic vitality. “If we don’t have enough people, there would be no lift.” The UBC president made reference to the endowment in explaining the second principle involved in the Wesbrook Place decision. He said the one thousand acres on which UBC stands was given to the University as an endowment. The University needs to “monetize the land to create a financial endowment.” Taken together, these two principles of sustainability and monetizing the land endowment would offer UBC the opportunity to reach its primary goal which is “to fulfill its academic mission,” the president said. A prominent member of the campus community provided The Campus Resident with a different perspective on the density issue. This resident said, “UBC treats its residents like second-class citizens.”
UBC Board Decision Drives W By Claire Robson In his December 1 presentation to the UBC board of governors as they contemplated their decision whether to endorse the South Campus Plan Amendments, UNA chair Prod Laquian flagged concerns around the massive density transfer planned for Wesbrook and the impact this would have on quality of life for residents and neighbouring communities. Mr. Laquian asked that members of the board “conduct more thorough and effective communication with campus residents at every stage of the planning process.” Needless to say, we endorse Mr. Laquian’s request, though we would have expressed it more strongly. Residents of the Keenleyside condominium complex in Wesbrook Place have worked hard to make their views known. We’ve attended numerous formal and informal meetings, drafted and circulated petitions, conducted extensive research, made written and oral presentations, sent numerous letters and emails to the UBC campus planning department, talked with our neighbours, and been interviewed by media journalists. The end result of our efforts was a simple request to the board of governors not that proposed new residential towers should not be built in South Campus, nor even that some of these extra residents might be accommodated elsewhere. We asked purely and simply that a decision on the South Campus plan amendments (in effect, a new plan) be delayed for 90 days until better public consultations might be conducted and trust restored. The UBC board denied our request for a
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Residents say outcome of revised Wesbrook Place neighbourhood plan will be fewer trees, more cars and more homes
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
Wesbrook Residents to Cynicism
delay, and this raises the question: “What is trust?” Corporations, governments and other organizations seeking to make changes that impact communities typically seek a social license to do so (also known as a ‘buy in’). Such a social license is based on legitimacy (the organization has a sound legal basis on which to act) and credibility (the organization sticks to its promises). When the organization is seen by those it serves as legitimate and credible, the outcome is that it wins the public trust. Many recent articles and letters (in The Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight, The Ubyssey, Campus Resident) have raised serious questions about the legitimacy of development processes at UBC. As residents promised a ‘Village in the Woods’ of 5,000 people, and handed a plan calling for nine more massive high
rises and 7,500 more residents, campus planning’s credibility, in our neighborhood at least, has sunk to zero. Trust has been severely breached as a result. For all these reasons, we will be entering the next round of ‘public consultations’ with much more cynical assumptions: • that public dialogue will be regarded as troublesome and unnecessary, • that the views we express, and the facts we marshal, will not be seen or heard by those who make decisions, and • that those decisions will been have been made, in large part, before the ‘public consultation’ is conducted. (Claire Robson chairs the Keenleyside Strata Council, and is a co-founder of the Wesbrook Residents Association. You may contact her at clairerobson@ shaw.ca)
Heads of UBC Hear Resident Concerns About Wesbrook Plan On behalf of the UNA board of directors, chair Prod Laquian has conveyed to the UBC board of governors a set of concerns expressed to the UNA by Wesbrook Place residents and residents in other UNA communities about the amendments to the Wesbrook Place Plan. At a meeting of the UBC board December 1, Mr. Laquian presented the concerns of residents as follows: First, on density transfer – While some residents acknowledge that preserving the UBC Farm necessitates the transfer of densities to other parts of the campus, they question why the bulk of densities are concentrated in Wesbrook Place. They also question the need to transfer densities from Gage South to Wesbrook Place. The plan, as amended will more than double the population of Wesbrook Place from 5,000 to 12,600. The UNA agrees with the residents in UTown that UBC should find other areas in the campus to absorb some of those densities, including Acadia, Stadium Road, East Campus and other areas. Second, doubling the population of Wesbrook Place will have negative repercussions not only in the Wesbrook Place neighbourhood but in other communities in UTown as well. There will be more traffic congestion, especially when the elementary school, the high school, the second UNA Community Centre and the school playing fields will be opened and people from other UNA neighbourhoods,
the UEL, Dunbar and other areas will flock to the UBC Campus. Parking will also be a problem as it is now in other UNA neighbourhoods. Third, many residents had purchased units in Wesbrook Place enticed by the vision that they would be living in a “village in the woods.” The UNA shares their concern that with the addition of more high-rise towers that vision may not be realized. Residents fear that higher densities in Wesbrook Place will negatively affect their “quality of life” and eventually reduce the value of their properties. “We in the UNA Board take very seriously our role as an advisory body to the UBC Board of Governors. As such, we convey to this Board the strongly felt concerns of many residents not only in Wesbrook Place but in other communities in UTown as well,” Mr. Laquian said. “To this end, we strongly recommend that Campus and Community Planning should conduct more thorough and effective communication with campus residents at every stage of the plan implementation process. We appreciate the fact that during the Plan amendment process, Campus and Community Planning had conducted more open houses, more information sessions and more community consultations than it normally does. We in the UNA Board look forward to more of these consultation sessions during the plan implementation process.”
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
UNA Community News Sustainability Corner MOU Focus Area: Waste Reduction After a break for my Christmas column, I’m returning to my series of columns on focus areas in the UBC-UNA MOU on Sustainability. In my October column, I reviewed the energy and emissions focus area. This month, I’m reviewing the focus area for waste reduction. A centerpiece of the waste reduction focus area is the Waste Action Plan currently under development by UBC. The MOU commits UBC and the UNA to work together on the Action Plan to identify opportunities to partner on waste reduction initiatives for the residential community. If the action plan is the centerpiece, the next focus area component – residential organics service - could be considered a cornerstone. The MOU commits to expanding access to the UNA residential organics program. Finally, the MOU commits to improving access to e-waste and other recyclables not handled by residential recycling programs. Progress has already been made for this focus area: as part of UBC’s public outreach for the Waste Action Plan, a set of publically advertised workshops and a community open house were held to develop broad vision and priorities. Following the workshops, four working groups were created to develop actions and targets for waste reduction focus areas. The UNA Working Group was created to develop cross-cutting recommendations for waste reduction relevant to UNA residents and neighbourhoods (the Working Group also focused on water conservation, a MOU focus area covered in a future column). The UNA working group was comprised of resident volunteers, UNA and UBC Campus Sustainability Office staff and a UNA Board member. The working group developed a number of waste reduction goals and recommended actions related to improving our organics programs, recycling and improving access to e-waste programs. The working group also developed recommendations for landscaping waste and ways we can improve community engagement. One recommendation we plan to focus on in the coming year is the feasibility of developing a recycling centre for
Ralph Wells, UNA Sustainability Manager the community that would provide a place for residents to access e-waste and other non-standard recycling programs, and get information about UNA recycling and compost programs. The working group also recommended expanding education programs and public events. The Waste Action Plan will be coming to a community open house by late winter/spring 2012, so be sure and attend to find out more about the plan and the UNA working group recommendations. On the topic of waste reduction, I’d like to welcome two new stratas to the program (Esse in Chancellor Place neighbourhood and The Bristol, in Hampton Place neighbourhood), bringing our total to 20 buildings. The UNA waste audit showed that more than 50% of our household waste is compostable, so by participating in the UNA composing program Esse and The Bristol (along with our other participating buildings) are making a big contribution to waste reduction while generating soil for local use (including our community gardens). If you are a resident or strata who would like to find out more about how to get your building signed up for this innovative service, contact me at rwells@ myuna or 604.822.3263.
full details in our Winter 2012 Program Guide and online
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
Special report by John Tompkins, editor of The Campus Resident, on remuneration of UNA Directors
How does UNA remuneration of directors compare to others in BC? “... UNA directors receive relatively small sums for their services...”
earn only a combined total of $22,500 for administering neighbourhood governance on behalf of 7,500 residents of the University of British Columbia. The amount—$5,000 for each of four elected directors and an extra $2,500 for the director chosen by them as chair (currently Prod Laquian)—does not jibe (or appear to jibe) with the volume of work undertaken on a daily, weekly and monthly basis in the administration of a $4 million budget. In comparison, a mayor and six councilors paid a total of $85,685 keep the $5.5 municipal budget rolling along in the Georgia Strait community of Bowen Island (population 3,551, as of 2007). The mayor looks to an annual remuneration of $21,371 while each councils looks to $16,719. Meanwhile, a mayor and four councilors paid a total of $37,644 manage a $2.8 million budget in the Burrard Inlet com-
Members of the University Neighbourhoods Association UNA) might justifiably give their elected directors a raise. A review of fees paid to elected representatives in the Metro Vancouver region highlights the fact that UNA directors receive relatively small sums for their services in attending both board and committee meetings, discussing public issues on the telephone and via e-mails almost daily, attending public meetings on behalf of the UNA, and otherwise taking care of UNA business. Assembled by The Campus Resident following research of the websites of various municipalities in the Lower Mainland, a table of fees (below) indicates that annually the four directors of the UNA
munity of Anmore (population 1,992 as of 2007). The mayor nets $12,548 while each councilor nets $6,274. In the three jurisdictions of Anmore, Bowen Island and UBC, municipal councilors (UNA directors in the case of UBC) operate on a part-time basis—i.e. they may hold other jobs also. The larger the community, of course, the more the position of elected representative pertains to full-time work. On the opposite side of the population scale (ie. in communities more populous than UBC), the municipal website for Pitt Meadows quotes the salary of its mayor as $63,220 and the salaries of each of its six councilors as $24,761 for a total payment to elected representatives of $221,786. The remuneration runs almost ten times what is paid at UBC though the population of Pitt Meadows (16,757 as of 2007) is barely double the population of UBC residents and its budget of $18.1
million only about four times the size of the UNA budget. Looked at another way, 7500 UBC residents spend only minimally to remunerate the four elected representatives of the UNA (currently Prod Laquian, Thomas Beyer, Erica Frank and Maknee Mah). Generally, the smaller the community, the more its residents token up per capita for the services of their elected representatives, and the table of fees triumphs this fact with one exception—UBC. While Anmore residents undertake to spend $19 a head to pay for the services of their mayors and councilors with Bowen Island doing the same for $24 per head, and Pitt Meadows for $12.64 per head, UBC residents by contrast undertake to spend only $3.00 per head. If you have any thoughts on the issue of higher fees for directors, please voice them in the form of letters to the editor of The Campus Resident.
Beyer Backs Increase in Director Fees $5,000 annual fee for directors is too low for time put in at meetings, phone discussion, e-mails, he says; $20,000 is closer to mark if residents want professional council
than I expected,” said Mr. Beyer, who was elected recently to the UNA board. As a result, Mr. Beyer feels that directors of the UNA should be better compensated. “My thinking is that the target (compensation) should be about $20,000 a year for each UNA elected board member and $30,000 for the chair.” Currently, elected board members get $5,000 each, while the chair gets $7,500. Mr. Beyer would handle the increased renumeration of $20,000 per elected director by having the UNA pay a $10,000 base salary and then up to $10,000 in meeting fees—the chair would get $15,000 in base salary and up to $15,000
Thomas Beyer had not expected serving as a director of the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) would take as much time as it does. “The amount of time is vastly more
in meeting fees. Serving as a UNA director involves not only attendance at board meetings and committee meetings but also almostdaily e-mail and telephone discussion among board members and other assignments. “The job easily takes a day a week or more on some weeks,” Mr. Beyer says. He judged the need for a different type of UNA board to emerge in the years ahead. “With a $4 million (and growing) budget, the UNA needs a more professional council—such a council that would attract serious candidates from all social stratas at UNA.” Mr. Beyer knows an increased renu-
meration schedule as the one he proposed would require the approval of the UNA membership—and he proposes an item to this effect be put on the agenda of the 2012 annual meeting. He likens the schedule he proposes similar to the one Metro Vancouver employs to pay for the services of its director elected in Electoral Area A (currently Maria Harris) and smaller cities. The Campus Resident made a survey of renumeration schedules paid to elected representatives throughout the Metro Vancouver region. UNA directors net the least in terms of annual payments. (Please see table below.)
Table of Fees Paid to Elected Representatives in Metro Vancouver Region Name of Municipality
Budget in Millions of $
Salary of Mayor/Chair
Salary of Councilors
No. of Councilors/Directors
Total Payments to Elected Representatives
Total Payments to Elected Representatives Per Capita
New ‘Open’ Spirit Starts Out Shakily for UEL Group Henceforth, community council monthly meetings will be open to public; inadvertently, however, all but four members of public were locked out of annual meeting A new spirit of “openness and transparency” has taken hold of the Community
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011 Advisory Council (CAC), which advises the University Endowment Lands (UEL) administration on community issues. However, you might have doubted this if you tried attending the CAC annual meeting Monday, December 12. The meeting started at 5:30 PM, but after the start of the meeting, an employee inadvertently locked the gates to the UEL public works building, where the meeting was being held. Only after the meeting did it come to light that members of the public had been unable to easily access the meeting room for this reason. Ron Pears, elected chair of the CAC at the meeting, explained, “This is a very unfortunate set of circumstances for which the administration apologizes.
“Steps will be taken to ensure that there can be no repeat instance. However, we must be clear that the intent of the CAC was to make last night’s meeting open to the public.” Mr. Pears said the meeting was located in the UEL’s public works building, rather than the administration office, specifically to make room available to accommodate members of the public. Four members of the public were in attendance. Founded in 2005 to replace an ownersonly ratepayers association as official advisor to the provincial government, the CAC has held its monthly meetings largely in camera since. Until now, the council has allowed public attendance only for a few minutes
at the start of each monthly meeting, and it then posted minutes of the meetings at the CAC website up to a month later. Mr. Pears said three meeting signs were posted on and around the administration office building to ensure that members of the public were able to locate the CAC annual meeting location at the public works building. “The CAC resolved that all its meetings should be held in public, with the limited exceptions prescribed in the Community Charter, and that there would be an opportunity at meetings for members of the public to make representations to the CAC,” Mr. Pears said. “I trust that this makes our commitment to openness and transparency clear.”
Years of Delay Yield to Planned Start Up of Playground Project Soon Chancellor Place playground will be located south of Iona Building; second Chancellor playground will be built circa 2013 After years of delay, a playground for the toddlers and young children of Chancellor Place, a residential neighbourhood at the University of British Columbia, looks set to be built in months. The playground will lie south of the Iona Building—arguably the most stately building on campus—on an ex-
panse of grass called ‘Iona Green’. UBC and the Vancouver School of Theology (VST)—which owns the Iona Building—recently concluded a legal agreement to manage the outdoors play area. Sources say the agreement covers the issue of legal liability, a sticking point which had long prevented construction of the playground, a neighbourhood facility envisioned when development of Chancellor Place—formerly ‘the theological precinct’—began in 2005. An Open House on the playground project took place at the Iona Building December 15, and Karen Russell, UBC manager of development services, said
that a development permit for the playground existed as part of the neighbourhood plan, and that UBC required only that it be amended before construction of the playground begins—likely in January. Paul Becker, architectural consultant to the VST, estimated construction of the playground would take only a month or so. For the young children of Chancellor Place, development of a playground on Iona Green comes at a fortuitous moment since they are about to lose access to the only other place to play in their neighbourhood, namely the commons of
St. Andrew’s Hall, a theological college (as is the VST). A partnership of St. Andrew’s and Concert Properties proposes to build a 15-storey residential building on part of the commons, and UBC expects this development to take until 2013. Following this two-year disruption of St. Andrews commons, the development of a second playground is expected on the remaining part of the commons. Children accustomed to playing at St. Andrews may get to adjacent Iona Green along St. Andrews Walk, protected from cars in a parking area by bollards.
UBC continued from Page 1.
Following the meeting, Mr. Laquian said, “I eagerly await the invitation from the UBC governance committee to get together on ... the governance issue.” Some campus residents hold to the idea that only local government (with a mayor and council) will work in the long run, while others—Mr. Laquian among them—hold to the idea of a governance system unique to the University being made to work. The provincial government instituted a governance review back in the 1990s not long after Hampton Place became the first residential neighbourhood to open at UBC. Representatives of residents in both Hampton Place and the University Endowment Lands (UEL) joined in discussing possible amended governance structures—with the status quo ultimately prevailing. More recently, in the mid-2000s and following formation of the UNA, the provincial government again kept the local governance pot boiling by proposing a public hearing process to review possible changes. However, the proposal lapsed without as much as a single meeting.
Mr. Levine foresaw the University making a comparison between these best practices and the practices the University currently has in place (such as the UNA), and making a proper evaluation of them. Susan Yurkovich, chair of the UBC governance committee, gave further form to these comments by saying, “First let me state that we have a robust process for neighbourhood planning on campus. That said, we are always interested in learning and continuous improvement.” What would be helpful, Ms. Yurkovich said, “Is a clear understanding of the facts around our neighbourhood planning process and how that compares to other jurisdictions. Then we can understand if there are any gaps. “We have asked (UBC vice-president) Stephen Owen and staff to put together a small working group to complete this work. We look forward to receiving that report which will be a foundational piece in thinking through opportunities for improvement.”
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THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
Kyoto Backtrack Brings Stinging Rebuke from Local MP Peter Kent is adamant about Kyoto ineptitude; Joyce Murray is angry about government “hypocrisy” The decision of the Conservative government to invoke the legal right of Canada to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol addressing climate change has brought a stinging rebuke from local Liberal MP Joyce Murray. Peter Kent, federal environment minister, announced the decision of this country to withdraw from the Kyoto agreement shortly after his return from the 17th annual United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, and in Ottawa, Ms. Murray promptly blasted the decision both because “Kyoto is the only international treaty governing greenhouse gas reductions”, and because “polls show that 65 per cent of Canadians want action on climate change.” A former British Columbia environment minister, Ms. Murray went so far as to equate the process by which the Canadian government reached its decision to withdraw from Kyoto with the way she saw South Africa governed when she was young. “I was born in South Africa under a proapartheid government, which continually governed with disdain for its people,” she said in a news release. “As such, it is deeply disturbing to witness the current Conservative government in Canada refuse to acknowledge the sentiments of the majority of Canadian people.”
In an address outside the House of Commons, Mr. Kent had not one good word to say about Kyoto before announcing Canadian withdrawal from it. “As we said from the outset, the Kyoto Protocol did not represent the path forward for Canada. The Durban Platform is a way forward that builds on our work at Copenhagen and Cancun (sites of the 15th and 16th annual UN climate change conferences respectively). “Before this week, the Kyoto Protocol covered less than 30% of global emissions. Now it covers less than 13% -- and that number is only shrinking. The Kyoto Protocol does not cover the world’s two largest emitters - the United States and China - and therefore will not work. “It is now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward for a global solution to climate change; instead, it is an impediment.” Instead of Kyoto, Mr. Kent said, “We believe that a new agreement, with legally binding commitments for all major emitters, that allows us as a country to continue to generate jobs and economic growth, represents the path forward.” Increasingly, he said, support is growing for Canada’s position - from the EU, to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, least developed countries and the group of 43 small island states. Canada will work towards a legally binding agreement to address global emissions that allows us to continue creating jobs and economic growth in Canada. Ms Murray called the Conservative government’s withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol a historic insult to international community. “The Conservative government’s decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol is a historic breach of international trust and an embarrassment for Canada. “Cooperating to combat climate change so that the world avoids dangerous levels of climate warming is an urgent task for all nations. This decision is not only wrong and demoralizing, it is insulting to the international community who gathered at a climate change conference in Durban. “The entire time that Canada’s environment minister was negotiating, he was operating in bad faith. That’s incredibly hypocritical and a black day for Canada’s reputation.” She said, “The government is squandering Canada’s proud history of environmental leadership,” said Murray. “Canada led the charge on tackling holes in the ozone and ozone research. Conservative cuts now threaten that international role and government inaction on climate change continues to sully our reputation on the world stage.”
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT DECEMBER 19, 2011
Biodiversity in your backyard Patrick Lewis, Director, UBC Biodiversity Collections Nature and biodiversity are most frequently associated with national parks and reserves. The water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and green spaces we enjoy are all provided by nature and natural processes, but it is the urban and near-urban ecosystems that most often represent nature and natural processes for the 80% of us who live in cities. These critical but often overlooked ecosystems are how most people interact with nature on a day-to-day basis. In a December 8 op-ed piece in the Vancouver Sun, “Let’s protect the nature in our neighbourhoods”, Dr. Patrick Mooney, chair of the UBC Landscape Architecture program and co-authors Dr. Faisal Moola and Michelle Molnar of the David Suzuki Foundation make a case for additional protection of urban and nearurban ecosystems. Their editorial stresses that citizens should continue to pressure local governments and regional planning bodies to alter development processes to restore or prevent further damage to these
ecosystems. Local governments and regional planning bodies are critical to safeguarding urban and near-urban ecosystems on a broad scale, but the valuable roles that individuals and community groups play at the local level shouldn’t be underestimated. With this in mind, UBC Biodiversity Collections, with the Botanical Garden leading, is taking steps to provide tools to individuals and community groups to better understand, appreciate, and encourage biodiversity. In early 2011, the Botanical Garden signed an agreement with the Canadian Wildlife Federation to promote the CWF’s Backyard Habitat program regionally. Through this program, homeowners both assess their backyards for contributions to local biodiversity and learn how to improve conditions on their property to encourage greater diversity. The Botanical Garden will be building on CWF’s Backyard Habitat program through a new outreach initiative called ‘Backyard Biodiversity’. As part of the program, the Garden will launch a lecture series, install interpretative signage on backyard gardening, and reach out to
local schools and teachers. According to Research Manager, Daniel Mosquin, who is spearheading the Garden’s initiative, “we are looking forward to providing the community with tools to help build more dynamic, sustainable gardens based on the principles of biodiversity.” Upcoming Events and programs: The Garden will be holding its annual Christmas tree recycling program this year December 26, 2011 to January 8, 2012. Dropped-off trees will be chipped into mulch and used on garden trails. Donations will be collected to help Bayview Elementary School expand its garden. Visit botanicalgarden.ubc.ca for more information on this community program. While snow-covered landscapes are beautiful to us, winter is no wonderland for many of the organisms that must survive the cold. Visit the Beaty Museum anytime until January 8, 2012 to discover some of the amazing adaptations that organisms have evolved to survive this challenging time of the year. Complete details are available at beatymuseum. ubc.ca.
The Langley Ukelele Ensemble perform at the UNA Christmas Concert, which was held at The Old Barn Community Centre on Monday December 12, 2011. Around 80 people we in attendance, to watch performances by the group, as well as the UNA Community Choir, The Pacific Ring Handbell Choir and also join in audience sing alongs.