MARCH 11, 2011
TRI-CITY NEWS On multiculturalism
Reel good times & more
SEE FACE TO FACE, PAGE A11
SEE THINGS-TO-DO GUIDE, PAGE A21
INSIDE Letters/A12 Green Scene/A24 Tri-City Spotlight/A28 Golden Years/A37
JENNIFER GAUTHIER/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
A vandal or vandals spray-painted this graffiti Wednesday night on the wall of the Muslim mosque on Kingsway Avenue in Port Coquitlam. The wall faces the busy street and, like the mosque itself, is oriented to Mecca.
Mosque hit with racist graffiti PoCo mosque members and neighbours disturbed by attack By Gary McKenna THE TRI-CITY NEWS
CRAIG HODGE/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
HAIR-RAISING MOVES Under sunny skies and on a dry pitch — both of which have been in short supply of late — North Coquitlam United Elite takes on Clearbrook FC in a Metro Women’s Soccer League game last weekend at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park. For more sports, please see page A45.
Speaking out on growth By Janis Warren THE TRI-CITY NEWS
A complex and controversial blueprint for future growth in the Lower Mainland that has even some of the most seasoned planners and politicians baffled went out for public comment in Coquitlam this week. But many residents left Wednesday night’s meeting just as — if not, more — confused
than they were when they had walked into the council chambers 90 minutes earlier. Nearly all 12 people who spoke about Metro Vancouver’s draft Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) voiced their concerns with the document that will shape the region over the next 30 years and will replace the outdated Liveable Region Strategic Plan. see GREEN SPACE SPACE,, page A6 • MOODY RESPONSE: A8
Spring forward Remember to set all your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night. And for some daylight savings safety tips, see page A3.
Members of the Masjid Al-Hidayah and Islamic Cultural Centre are concerned after racist graffiti was sprayed across the front of the Port Coquitlam mosque Wednesday night. The word “sandniggas” was spray-painted on the front of the building and was visible to drivers and local businesses along the Kingsway Avenue industrial strip. Saad Bahr, a director at the mosque, said the graffiti is disturbing but he called it an isolated incident. “I can say that this is something very strange and unusual for our neighbourhood,” Bahr told The Tri-City News. “We have never seen anything like this.” He added that the mosque has operated in the area since 1994, first out of rented spaces, then at its current dedicated mosque, which opened in 2003. In the last 17 years, there have been no acts of vandalism on any of the properties, he said. see ‘IT IT’S S ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING DISGUSTING’,, page A4
A2 Friday, March 11, 2011, Tri-City News
Tri-City News Friday, March 11, 2011, A3
They want home of their own – to burn PoCo fire dept. looking for cash to buy a ‘live burn’ building By Gary McKenna THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Training exercises for Port Coquitlam firefighters could get a lot more intense if the city is able to come up with the money necessary to buy a live fire burn building. The proposed three-storey structure would give emergency crews real-world firefighting experience in a controlled — but hot and smoky — environment, enhancing their training in dealing with room and content fires, said deputy chief Alan Nicholson. In most fires, PoCo crews are able to get on the scene quickly and can generally confine a blaze to one room, he said. That means training in entering a structure is important, something a live burn building could go a long way toward improving, he added. “For the types of fires we fight, something like this is ideal,” he said. “These are the kinds of fires we can practice on.” Homes in Port Coquitlam have also changed, Nicholson said. In the 1950s, the typical residence was about 1,200 square feet and spaced apart from neighbouring buildings. Today, it is not uncommon for fire crews to attend calls at homes with between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet, he said. Currently, live fire training takes place in neighbouring municipalities, such as Maple Ridge, where the Justice Institute has a facility, or Vancouver, where there is another live burn building. But taking four people out of the rotation for a training exercise can be costly for the department, which has to fill the staffing gaps with overtime. While the PoCo building would be used for live-fire exercises, a report from Nicholson to
the city outlined several others uses for the structure. Confined-space training, technical rope rescues, search technique training and ladder operations could all be conducted from the building, as could responses to simulated earthquake damage. “[A live fire building] would give me greater flexibility,” said Capt. Rob Trousdell, who oversees training exercises at PoCo Fire and Emergency Services. “It gives me a lot more options.” But while the structure would improve the fire department’s training regimen, council must consider the cost in a larger budgetary context, said Coun. Mike Forrest, who sits on the city’s community safety committee. The building and the concrete castings would cost the city $145,300, a sum council will have to consider as it enters it budget consultations. Forrest said he and the committee support the purchase of the building but said it will be up to the full council to decide. And the business case put forward by the fire department could ease concerns about costs, he added. In Nicholson’s report, the deputy chief outlines how the city could recoup some of its costs by renting out the structure to neighbouring fire departments. The funds generated would be enough to cover some minor annual maintenance costs and could even pay for the building in 10 to 12 years, he said. “It sounds like a reasonable deal from what I can see,” Forrest said. “What it was missing before was a business case. I think they have some of that in the report now, which bodes well.” The report will go to the finance and intergovernmental affairs committee in the next few weeks. If the committee supports the report, it will go to the full council for a final decision. firstname.lastname@example.org
TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Port Coquitlam’s fire department wants to erect a “live burn” building in which firefighters — its own and from other departments — can train in conditions simulating real emergencies.
PoCo woman killed in Play it safe on Monday crash on Burnaby Mt. By Wanda Chow BLACK PRESS
A 20-year-old Port Coquitlam woman is dead after a car went off the road in a single-vehicle accident Tuesday evening on Burnaby Mountain. And the 20-year-old West Vancouver man driving the car was a prohibited driver, said Burnaby RCMP Corp. Brenda Gresiuk. “It’s still very early in the investigation but we are anticipating charges,” Gresiuk said. Just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, the 2010 black Mazda 3 was heading downhill from Simon Fraser University when it went off the road near University Drive and Gaglardi Way. A witness said the car left the road and rolled over into a ditch, knocking down a tree. The occupants had to be cut out of the car with the Jaws of Life before being taken to hospital.
Gresiuk said the PoCo woman died of her injuries at the scene. Two other passengers, men in their 20s from Coquitlam and Delta, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. She said police have not yet determined the cause of the crash but their investigation will look into whether alcohol, speed or road conditions were factors. Speed has been identified as a contributing factor in a number of other collisions on the steep stretch of road, including a Nov. 17, 2010 crash that claimed the life of a 22-year-old West Vancouver man. ICBC is in the process of installing a speed reader on the road to raise awareness of how fast motorists are driving in the area, which has a 50 km/h speed limit. Any witnesses who saw the crash or the car being driven before the incident is asked to call Const. Gillis at 604-294-5185. email@example.com
The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is warning the public to be extra cautious when making their morning commute Monday — a day after clocks are moved forward for the change to daylight savings time. According to B.C. accident statistics, 23% more collisions take place on the Monday after the time change than in the previous week. Many of the collisions are sleep-related, said ICBC, and range from a car hitting a pedestrian at an intersection to rear-ending another vehicle. Veering off the road and into parked cars or telephone poles is also common, according to a media release from the insurance corporation. “Sleep is what the body really needs to be able to function properly,” said Lennea Durant of the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation. “Time changes reflect a change in social clocks, not biological
ones, and studies show that our circadian rhythms [body clocks] don’t adjust to these changes naturally.” Fatigue can impair the brain’s function as much as drugs or alcohol, she said, reducing the ability of the mind and body to respond quickly and accurately. The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation recommends drivers: • avoid caffeine or other stimulants because when they wear off they can make drivers even more fatigued; • keep their headlights on during the darker morning commute for better visibility; • and be aware of the increased number of people out walking in the evenings taking advantage of the extra daylight, especially in residential areas. For more information about road safety, go to www.bcaatsf.ca. firstname.lastname@example.org
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A4 Friday, March 11, 2011, Tri-City News
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Workers at nearby businesses and drivers travelling past the Muslim mosque in Port Coquitlam couldnâ€™t help but notice the graffiti sprayed on the wall facing Kingsway Avenue Wednesday night. But by early Thursday afternoon, people had pitched in to clean off the spray paint.
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JENNIFER GAUTHIER THE TRI-CITY NEWS
â€˜Itâ€™s absolutely disgustingâ€™: neighbour continued from front page
â€œIt is very disgusting and odd,â€? he said. â€œBut it is something that is isolated.â€? While the sight of the graffiti was disturbing, Bahr said he was encouraged by the fact so many of his neighbours pitched
in to help clean up the mess. Representatives of local businesses and the Northside Foursquare Churchâ€™s Grace Campus across the street all expressed concern for Bahr and the mosque members. Bill Thomson, a worker at Boyd Autobody and Glass
Wood smoke is on city agendas
across the street from the mosque as well as several of his co-workers helped some of the mosque managers in removing the graffiti. â€œWe wanted to go over there and wash it off,â€? Thomson said. â€œItâ€™s absolutely disgusting.â€? So far, a formal com-
plaint has not been made to the Coquitlam RCMP and the PoCo mosqueâ€™s management was unable to comment by The TriCity Newsâ€™â€™ deadline. But Const. Kristina Biro said that if the incident is reported, Mounties will investigate. email@example.com
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Jeff Nagel BLACK PRESS
More on this story at tricitynews.com
Miss an opportunity to provide feedback at the Budget Town Hall Meeting? Itâ€™s not too late to give your comments! Friday, March 18th â€˘ Mayor and Council want to hear what you think about proposed budget expenditures for 2011-2015. Let us know what you think before Monday, March 21, 2011.
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Burn baby, burn. Thatâ€™s how it stands for owners of fireplaces and wood stoves that Metro Vancouver had been threatening to regulate. Metro politicians on Tuesday put the brakes on a plan to impose region-wide restrictions on residential wood burners, saying they see little justification for the regional district to get involved. Instead, Metro will work with any individual cities that want tougher anti-wood smoke regulations within their own city limits. Itâ€™s a contentious debate that pits wood burning fansâ€™ right to burn against neighboursâ€™ right to breathe. Roughly one third of Metro Vancouver households have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, according to a 2010 survey commissioned by the region, but only twothirds of them are in regular use. The same survey found a majority of residents support some residential wood burning restrictions but less than a third back a full ban. A Metro bylaw would not have the power to ban household burning but it likely could have limited how often and at what times it can be done, with temporary bans possible at times of reduced air quality. Cities, on the other hand, could pass bylaws to ban new wood-burning units and even require the removal of existing ones on grounds of nuisance, environmental protection and public health, according to Metro officials, who had recommended both avenues be pursued. email@example.com
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Tri-City News Friday, March 11, 2011, A5
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A6 Friday, March 11, 2011, Tri-City News
Green space loss How Coquitlam one big concern sees reg. plan Their fears focused on the potential loss of protection for green space, such as riparian zones, parks and golf courses. The biggest group of residents represented at the public input session came from Westwood Plateau, who expressed frustration about the RGS’ designation of the two Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club properties — the golf club and golf academy — as “general urban.” A designation of “conservation/recreation” would be preferable and would provide a third layer of protection, they argued, should the golf club owners one day ask to have the restrictive covenant lifted and the land use designation changed by the city. Many Plateau residents have been urging Coquitlam city council to make the change for more than a year. “We ask that you give residents the peace of mind to rest easy by giving as much protection as possible to these lands,” said Tom Cox, spokesperson for the Westwood Plateau Community Association, who also spoke about other threatened green spaces in the city. Many Coquitlam areas have the conservation/recreation label, including Mundy Park, but other smaller parcels and golf courses don’t and are classified in the broad-brush “general urban” category (to view the draft RGS map, visit www.metrovancouver.org). Other residents also spoke about how trees are being cut down to make way for massive developments. Under the RGS, Coquitlam’s population would double in 30 years to 240,000 residents, putting a high price on empty land and parks and pressure on budget-stressed councils looking to densify and broaden the tax base, warned Maggie Moss of Coquitlam Council Watch. Plateau resident Oscar Sanchez said language in the draft RGS is vague and it contains inconsistencies, loopholes and exclusions. “Perhaps the most glaring issue in the Re gional Growth Strategy plan regards separation of power between Metro Vancouver and member municipalities,” Sanchez said. “It is not clear as to who maintains control over the changing of land use designations. It is unclear as to whether the GVRD and its Regional Growth Strategy plan acts as a body of approval or as
an executive one.” Jim McIntyre, Coquitlam’s planning GM, who was the chair of the Metro Vancouver RGS technical advisory committee, attempted to give clarity. The RGS’ “general urban” designation, he said, is a “catchall” and the Westwood Plateau golf club lands will remain in the city’s OCP as a recreational use. Coun. Mae Reid, chair of the city’s land use committee, said council will make its decision on whether to support the RGS at its next regular meeting on March 21. City councils have until March 22 to submit their comments to Metro Vancouver (Port Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra have endorsed the draft RGS while Port Moody is opposing it). A final ratification vote by the regional board — which includes Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and Coun. Lou Sekora — is set for April 29. If it’s passed, Metro Vancouver municipalities would have two years to pass regional context statements showing how their OCPs align with the RGS.
Five questions for Coquitlam planning GM Jim McIntyre: Tri-City News: Why were the golf club lands designated as “general urban” and not “conservation/recreation?” • Jim McIntyre: As the draft plan was coming along, council had a growing apprehension about the level of control [by Metro Vancouver]. We wanted to make it simple and keep the control more in the hands of Coquitlam, so the way to do that is to keep everything in the “general urban.” That gives us the most flexibility. TCN: N Is the designation for the golf club lands the biggest concern about the draft RGS? • JM: That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s the balance between regional authority control and local government autonomy. TCN: N If the RGS passes, what would be the application process for developers of land deemed “regionally significant,” i.e., more than 25 acres? • JM: They would apply for an OCP amendment and rezoning. If that proposal is inconsistent with our regional context statement, we need to refer it to Metro Vancouver to change the statement and the RGS. TCN: N Are there questions from Coquitlam that Metro Vancouver hasn’t answered? • JM: There was a letter from [Metro Van] CAO Johnny Carline in mid-October where he tried to address some of the things that we have asked before. I think the jury is still out whether council feels those were sufficient responses. TCN: N What will be your recommendation to city council on March 21? • JM: We’re wrestling with that.
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Tri-City News Friday, March 11, 2011, A7
Approximately 200 members of the School District 43â€™s Student Leadership Council worked to help shape the future of education during a workshop at Winslow Centre in Coquitlam Tuesday evening. The students shared their ideas and put some of them on paper during the student cafe called UShapED organized by the students with the help of sponsor Mark Clay of SD43. The input will be shared with the board of education for inclusion in a vision document called Learning Without Boundaries. â€œBy getting students with varied interests and involvement throughout our middle and high schools, we are hoping to get a broad, more realistic view of what students in our district want to see in terms of the education process and the path itâ€™s currently taking,â€? Armin Rezaiean-Asel, SLC co-chair, said in an email message.
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A8 Friday, March 11, 2011, Tri-City News
PM ponders what to do about RGS Emergency council meeting next Tuesday on Metro growth plan By Todd Coyne THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Port Moody city council has called an emergency meeting for 7 p.m. next Tuesday to try to navigate the political minefield of the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). City council already roundly rejected the 30-year growth plan, which pairs population density targets with infrastructure rewards for all Metro municipali- TRASOLINI ties, on the grounds that the major transportation incentives for Moody — the Evergreen Line and the Murray-Clarke Connector — are still nowhere to be found in the plan despite the city having met its previous population and density goals. The dropping of the Murray-Clarke from the TransLink budget and the delay of construction of the Evergreen Line have caused Port Moody to adopt a “no-growth” policy, rejecting all new residential development in the city until construction on either project begins. Adding to city council’s frustrations with the RGS, Metro Vancouver’s chief administrative officer, Johnny Carline, told council Tuesday that its rejection of the RGS on principle, rather than on the basis of any specific clause, is viewed by the Metro board as “deemed acceptance” of the plan. It’s an apparent Catch-22, however, because if city council is able to specify that it will not accept the strategy without TransLink funding for the Murray-Clarke being reinstated, then its recommendation would go to a roundtable mediation in which it would need to be approved by every party involved in the issue, including TransLink. The transit authority has staunchly opposed funding the Murray-Clarke in the foreseeable future and would most likely veto any option that included it now. Carline was conciliatory on this point and realized the impasse it caused, saying, “Metro Vancouver staff totally understand your position, totally understand your position.” He added that the only Plan B remaining for Port Moody would be to accept the RGS and then alter it once it had been ratified — something he said Richmond and West Vancouver already plan to do and is allowable within the RGS as long as the changes made only apply to individual municipalities. Carline also offered a promise to Port Moody: Accept the RGS and I will vote in favour of your changes once the RGS is in place. It was a gamble on one man’s word that Mayor Joe Trasolini and all six councillors were reluctant to take. “What assurance do we have if we go along with this?” Coun. Bob Elliott asked. “There’s no assurances of anything,” Trasolini answered, adding that council’s problem with the RGS is no longer just about Murray-Clarke, although that failed project is a key example of the city’s distrust with the Metro Van partnership. “There’s no direct link between the [Metro Vancouver] planning and the transportation decisions and that responsibility for that mistake rests squarely with the provincial government,” the mayor said. “But at the same time, we have the only opportunity now to make a statement [by rejecting the RGS].” That statement, Trasolini said, was directed not only at the province but at Coquitlam and communities to the east of Port Moody that continue to encourage rapid population growth without what he deemed an adequate transportation plan. Fifteen Metro Vancouver municipalities have already accepted the RGS with two — Richmond and West Vancouver — requesting amendments following their acceptance. Port Moody is the only municipality to have so far rejected the plan. Council will meet with staff before the March 15, 7 p.m. rush meeting to “draft suitable language, verify compliance with legislation and bring forward a new resolution” on how to proceed with or without the RGS. firstname.lastname@example.org
Garage Sale April 16, 2011
Promote Community Recycling! sales in Coquitlam at no cost to participants! This includes a list of registered garage sale locations with specific items that are available. Participants must register their garage sale between March 1 and March 31, 2011, to be included in the City Wide Garage Sale. Pick up a registration form at Coquitlam City Hall or register online at www.coquitlam.ca. Watch for more information on the City Wide Garage Sale in your local newspaper and at www.coquitlam.ca If you don’t sell all your items, consider donating them or if you receive the City’s Garbage Collection Service, you can have them collected in the Large Item Pick Up program (4 items max. per year). Call 604-529-4011 to set up an appointment for pick-up with Smithrite.
Tri-City News Friday, March 11, 2011, A9
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A10 Friday, March 11, 2011, Tri-City News
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PICTURE THIS Adrian Raeside
Q WHAT WE THINK:
oquitlam city council has been slow to adopt a ban on cosmetic pesticides but there’s a good chance it will do so once the idea has been vetted by the environment committee. The reasons for delaying a ban are many and sound. After all, if the government permits the sale of cosmetic pesticides, why should cities step in to ban the sale and use of them? But the city of Port Moody’s experience has shown that Coquitlam need not be afraid of stepping on federal toes. There has been no serious court challenge and few complaints. Only three tickets have been issued and the city stresses education over enforcement. Sure, there are probably a few gardeners who use pesticides when no one is looking but since the city has taken this stand, most people have found ways to grow healthy plants and pretty lawns without the use of chemicals.
Q WHAT DO YOU THINK? VOTE ONLINE:
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Should the city of Coquitlam ban the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes?
LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you think you have enough knowledge to make sound decisions about your finances?
RESULTS: Yes 70% / No 30%
Register your opinion in our question of the week poll by voting online at tricitynews.com
This isn’t the time to ignore aboriginal issues AS I SEE IT Jeff Nagel
e in the Lower Mainland tend to be oblivious to the fact we’re essentially occupiers on never-surrendered First Nations land. Real estate values keep climbing, highrises soar ever higher and the aboriginal presence is mostly confined to art and ceremony, coupled with higher-thanaverage poverty and addiction. After a century of denial, successive B.C. governments have sought to reach treaties to resolve outstanding native claims that cover 90% of the province. Few, however, have been signed. Outgoing Premier Gordon Campbell — who initially fought treaty-making before becoming one of its biggest champions — lists the failure to achieve a broader accord on aboriginal reconciliation among his top regrets.
New signs increasingly suggest this should not be ignored as a problem confined to B.C.’s rural hinterland. One Interior band has had some success challenging the approval of a regional landfill expansion at Cache Creek, citing government’s failure to adequately consult the band. That case may determine whether much of Metro Vancouver’s garbage is buried inland or incinerated locally in new wasteto-energy plants that are widely opposed downwind in the Fraser Valley. Interior aboriginals are also fighting a $700-million power transmission line BC Hydro intends to build from Merritt to the Lower Mainland to keep the lights and computers on in increasingly power-hungry Vancouver. Regulators with the BC Utilities Commission likewise agreed the bands had not been duly consulted, setting the project back. Aboriginal bands also aim to block the controversial Enbridge Gateway oil pipeline across northern B.C. to Kitimat. If they
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succeed in defeating it, rival firm Kinder Morgan may have a better chance of expanding its oil pipeline to Burnaby, increasing oil tanker exports through Burrard Inlet. If more treaties are to be reached in the Lower Mainland, where Crown land available to put on the bargaining table is scarce, other properties may end up in play. Victoria might allow aboriginal groups to remove more urban farmland from the Agricultural Land Reserve for unfettered development (as happened to secure the Tsawwassen Treaty) and from Metro Vancouver regional parks (as happened when part of Pacific Spirit Regional Park was turned over to the Musqueam to settle a court dispute.) Meanwhile, First Nations such as the Squamish and Musqueam show little interest in pursuing conventional treaties because they see more return in developing their reserve lands along waterfront and other lucrative parts of Metro Vancouver outside treaties. Their initiative is to be applauded; busi-
ness ventures of the sort planned by those groups as well as others such as the winemaking Osoyoos Indian Band promise a quicker path to create aboriginal jobs and greater prosperity for their people. But no treaties may mean no long-term certainty in their vast traditional territories. And neighbours of band-led projects on reserve may be in for a surprise when they find out the condo towers springing up next to them are not subject to regular municipal rules or taxes. The lesson? You can try to ignore First Nations in B.C. — particularly in urban areas that seem far from the mines, working forests, gas fields and pipelines that generate both jobs and controversy in rural regions — but don’t be surprised when the impacts start to hit closer to home. Premier-elect Christy Clark should sustain Mr. Campbell’s focus in this area. Jeff Nagel is regional reporter for Black Press Lower Mainland, of which The Tri-City News is a member.
Nigel Lark publisher Richard Dal Monte Don Layfield editor advertising manager Diane Strandberg Mike Kingston assistant editor production manager Lisa Farquharson Phill Williams regional classified manager circulation manager
Q LEGALITIES THE TRI-CITY NEWS is an independent community newspaper, qualified under Schedule 111, Part 111,
Q CONCERNS THE TRI-CITY NEWS is a member of the BC Press Council, a self-regulating body of the province’s news-
Paragraph 11 of the Excise Tax Act. It is published Wednesday and Friday by Black Press Ltd. Copyright and/or property rights subsist in all display advertising and other material appearing in this issue of The Tri-City News. Second class mailing registration No, 4830 The publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with any advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue or the refund of any monies paid for the advertisement.
paper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complainant. If talking with the editor or publisher of The Tri-City News does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the BC Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent within 45 days to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby street, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 1-888-687-2213 or go to www.bcpresscouncil.org.
Tri-City News Friday, March 11, 2011, A11
FACE TO FACE: Does multiculturalism still make sense after all these years?
It’s not racist to ask a few questions W
elcome to the world of everything and nothing. Welcome to the multicultural muddle that my relativistic debating partner so warmly embraces. Here’s the issue: He thinks that most critics of multiculturalism are closet racists, hiding behind pseudo-respectable language to mask xenophobic and hateful attitudes. To him, multiculturalism is essentially a celebration of the diversity of humankind and anyone who doesn’t join the party is wrong-headed. Where to start? First, let’s consider that, in judging critics of multiculturalism so harshly, my partner is breaking the first rule of multiculturalism: Thou shalt not judge. For if multiculturalism stands for anything, it’s that no single belief can be said to hold sway over another. All are equally valid and must not only be tolerated, but celebrated. Of course, as evidenced by his most unsympathetic assessment of multiculturalism’s critics, multiculturalists are in a constant war with themselves any time they criticize the beliefs of those with whom they disagree or, more broadly, draw lines on just how much they are willing to tolerate. Cultures that stone to death
adulteresses, for example, seem to bring out the absolutist in even the most ardent cultural relativist. It is, indeed, the practices of immigrant Muslims to Europe, including their widespread failure to embrace western, democratic values, that have recently led the leaders of Germany, France and Great Britain to say multiculturalism has failed. Does my debating partner consider Chancellor Andrea Merkel, President Nikolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron all to be racists? The issue was being stirred up again earlier this week in the U.S. because of the House Homeland Security Committee’s decision to hold hearings into radical Islam and the threat posed by homegrown terrorists. Multiculturalists accused the chairman of the committee of scapegoating a religious community but, in doing so, avoided a crucial question: Is it a fact that a disproportionately high number of terrorists are emerging from the Muslim faith and, if so, what should be done about it? I believe we should not be afraid to search for the truth, especially when our freedoms and beloved democratic institutions are at stake. After all, as a wise man once said, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Multiculturalism is just so Canadian TERRY O’NEILL
“Cultures that stone to death adulteresses, for example, seem to bring out the absolutist in even the most ardent cultural relativist.” Terry O’Neill
vs. “Multiculturalism is not just a legislative policy enacted in 1988, it’s a Canadian perspective that both epitomizes and underpins Canadian tolerance.” Jim Nelson What’s your take on this week’s Face to Face topic and what they have to say? Email your thoughts to email@example.com.
s multiculturalism “working” in Canada? I think it is. Would we Canadians consider any other way of treating those of different races and cultures? That multiculturalism is a failed policy is an idea intermittently broached by conservatives in urban areas, where lots of “those people” don’t seem to want to embrace “Canadianism.” The analyses cite difficulties arising from multiculturalism in other countries and sincerely hope that Canada won’t experience similar difficulties. Thinly veiled racism notwithstanding, what, other than multiculturalism, would they propose Canadians embrace? Would we try the “melting pot” concept? Could we develop a mono-cultural view of Canadianism? Could we glorify the same God? Celebrate only “Canadian” occasions? Glorify Canada above other countries and perhaps send troops to help them seek the freedom we have? Naw, we couldn’t do that — it just isn’t us. Conversely, multiculturalism is so characteristically Canadian. The dogged respect for diversity it encourages is what, for example, allows Canadians to not only accept gay marriage but support it. It is our accepting nature that allows Canadians to respect a
women’s right to have control over her own body. It is why we don’t assassinate our leaders or designate countries as “axes of evil” or toddle off to fight unjustified wars. It is what makes Canadians, regardless of political stripe, support Medicare and other social programs. Multiculturalism is the bulwark of our Canadian tolerance. It embodies the best thing about being Canadian, that the single focus of Canadianism is tolerance for diversity; that our singular cultural focus is a lack of singular cultural focus. A small but cogent point is that the acceptance of diversity embodied by Canada’s multiculturalism allows two Canadians of disparate perspectives, such as me and my rabid rightwing debating partner, to be not only colleagues but good friends. Multiculturalism is not just a legislative policy enacted in 1988, it’s a Canadian perspective that both epitomizes and underpins Canadian tolerance. Were multiculturalism Canada’s consciousness in the 1940s, I, as Canadian of Swedish descent, might have retained the language and culture of my forefathers. Instead, they were called “dumb Swedes,” which forced them into speaking only English and acting “Canadian,” thus limiting my expression of my heritage to eating pickled herring every Christmas.
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A12 Friday, March 11, 2011, Tri-City News
TRI-CITYY LETTERS The Editor, Re. “Cities deal with concerns over heat pump noise” (The Tri-City News, March 2). Fifteen years ago, I worked in an industry where I had to deal with noise complaints from time to time. I can empathize with Timothy Lim of Port Moody, who has a heat pump whose noise is disturbing his neighbour’s sleep. First, the location of a heat pump should TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO be considered carefully prior to installa- Timothy Lim, owner of a tion. Noise decreases Port Moody home with a with the square of the heat pump, the noise from distance between the which has caused probsource and the ear. The lems with his neighbours. more distance separa- Local cities are working on policies to deal with noise tion, the less noise. Next, the heat pump concerns with heat pumps. unit must be installed carefully to minimize vibration. It should be securely bolted to a heavy, level foundation to reduce vibration of the unit. All panels, grills and doors on the unit must be tightly secured to prevent vibration (and rubber shims added, if necessary). Third, a sound barrier may be installed between the heat pump and the offended ear. Mr. Lim has installed a tall wood fence. The devil is in the details. The fence must be without gaps and long and tall enough to break the line of sight between the noise source and the ear. A pre-cast, modular concrete fence would offer superior noise-dampening performance. Another way to add a sound barrier would be to upgrade the bedroom window on the neighbour’s house. A non-opening, triple pane window installed carefully with insulation in all spaces around the frame would significantly reduce the noise level inside the neighbour’s bedroom. Mr. Lim could, of course, offer to share the cost of the window upgrade. Finally, the heat pump needs routine maintenance. The accumulation of dirt and debris on the fan’s blades will cause imbalance and noise. Worn gaskets will permit vibration and noise. People expect peace and quiet in their home for restful sleep. It is not appropriate for civic officials to suggest that noise complainers just have to grimace and bear it. Every community must have a carefully thought out noise bylaw that ensures a level of 45 to 55 decibels at the exterior wall for new installations. D. B. Wilson, Port Moody
Keep pushing on Coq. pesticide ban The Editor, Re. “Spray ban possible” (The Tri-City News, March 9). A letter to Coquitlam Coun. Selina Robinson: Thank you for your persistence in bringing forward the issue of banning the use of pesticides for cosmetic reasons. As a parent and Coquitlam resident who cares about human in- ROBINSON fluences on our global environment and health, I totally support your initiative. We need to care less about killing weeds and more about the health of our future — kids and other living things included. This one’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. Let’s get it done and move on to other issues, such as reducing levels of poverty in our communities. Jennie Boulanger, Coquitlam
The Tri-City News s welcomes letters to the editor on issues specifically affecting Tri-City residents. Submissions must contain name, address and daytime phone number. The editor reserves the right to edit for clarity, brevity, libel and taste. Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send us your letters to the editor on Tri-City topics
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Take steps to reduce noise from pumps
CONTACT Please send letters to: email: email@example.com fax: 604-944-0703 • Phone: 604-525-6397
Kids get high marks in financial literacy — and get paid to do it A speaker on personal finances used the oldest trick in the book to get Terry Fox students to pay attention to his money-mana g ement message. He gave away cash. James Cunningham, a speaker and stand-up comic who has tailored a program on financial literacy for high school students, gave away loonies, $5 bills and even a $50 bill to get kids to buy into his message that kids need money smarts. The son of an accountant, Cunningham said he isn’t afraid to talk about the “boring” subject of money and peppered his talk last week with jokes and gags and even a dance contest so as not to lose his audience of Grade 11 and 12 students. “Broke people, where are you?” Cunningham said as he scanned the bleachers. “Who wants to win some money?” He listed five basic groups of broke teenagers: • those who buy gas for their parents’ cars in $2 increments; • those who take the bus (“singles clubs for broke people”); • those who think Kraft Dinner is an essential food group; • those who borrow money from the piggy banks of younger siblings; • and those who think their pants are magic when they find money in the pockets. Then he began deliv-
ering the serious message about how students can avoid money problems in the future. To make sure they were following along, he gave money to those students who answered simple questions or were interviewed in front of the audience. “Know your flow, where does it come from, where does it go,” Cunningham told Port Coquitlam students, pointing out that teenage spending accounts for $100 billion in consumer activity in North America yet young people earn only $5.6 billion from part-time and summer jobs, gifts and allowances. He told them the typical North American wallet is stuffed with
Comedian and financial literacy speaker talked to Terry Fox students recently about the importance of investing, controlling debt and money management. credit cards, bank cards and merchant credit cards with high interest rates, and urged them to wait before getting just
a single credit card for emergencies. “I am tired of talking to college students about their massive credit card debt. These credit card companies are taking billions out of your pockets,” he said, as he exhorted them to “control what you owe.” Young people may not have a lot of cash at their disposable but they do have time in their favour and Cunningham urged the students it “invest some dough” in investment vehicles, such as tax free savings accounts (TFSA) as soon as possible. He then sweetened the deal by offering $50 to the student who could recite his three points, promised to put their savings in a mutual
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fund or a TFSA, and was rated by the audience as the best dancer. One boy walked away with the bill at the end of the contest. Cunningham also told students to go online to www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca if they had any more questions. Fox business education teacher Ken Kuhn said Cunningham’s speaking fee was covered by sponsors (Investor Education Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) and told The Tri-City News he brought the funnyman to the school to get kids thinking about money because they don’t get enough schooling in financial literacy.
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604-931-3363 After many years of serving up delicious Japanese food to the residents of North Vancouver, owner and Sushi Chef, James, is now plying his trade in the Tri-Cities at Gem Sushi located in the Como Lake Village Shopping Centre in Coquitlam. His restaurant on the North Shore, Gem Sushi on Lonsdale, took top honours for the Best Sushi restaurant in 2008 as voted on by the reader’s of the North Shore Outlook. Freshness and variety are key qualities to Gem Sushi’s success and James has developed several unique rolls to please even the most adventurous sushi lovers. His specialties are the Van Roll, Red Dragon Roll, Mango Roll and his newly developed Como Roll, which he named after the mall his restaurant is located in. Gem Sushi also serves up delicious Tempura & teriyaki dishes as well as rice bowls and Udon soups. If you’ve got a special occasion coming up or need to organize an ofﬁce lunch or dinner gathering, try one of the many party trays that Gem Sushi has to offer. There is a lot of variety and you’ll ﬁnd something to please everybody. Gem Sushi also offers FREE home delivery between 5:00 – 9:00 pm. Ask for details. Sushi Chef James and his family and staff welcome all new customers and look forward to seeing you soon.
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Tri-City News Friday, March 11, 2011, A13
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A14 Friday, March 11, 2011, Tri-City News
Evening water sprinkling may be a thing of the past as Metro Vancouver mulls tighter restrictions to preserve its water supply on hot summer days. Metro is contemplating amendments to its Water Shortage Response Plan that would limit residential lawn sprinkling to just 4 to 9 a.m. in the mornings on three days a week — an increase of one from the current two-day limit during the summer sprinkling restriction period. Currently, lawn sprinkling from June 1 to Sept. 30 is allowed from 4 to 9 a.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. on two permitted days a week. Even-numbered addresses get Wednesdays and Saturdays, while odd addresses can sprinkle T h u r s d ay s a n d Sundays. Under the proposed change, residents would also get to sprinkle on either Saturday or Sunday mornings, giving them an overall 15-hour window each week to green up their lawns. M e t r o Vancouver generally has plenty of drinking water but the system struggles to deliver enough water throughout the region at peak times in the summer. M e t r o p o l i cy and planning department senior engineer Stan Woods estimates the new measures wo u l d c u t t h e water use rate at peak hours by 12 per cent and by three per cent on peak days. Demand is lower in mor nings than evenings and Woods said the change would spread lawn sprinkling demand out more evenly over the week. It would also be easy to enforce, with evening sprinkling banned outright. Woods points to the experience in Abbotsford, where morning-only sprinkling rules have been in effect the last three summers with “relatively few complaints.”
Tap not bottled, Metro Van residents say Bottled water use slashed in half: survey Articles by Jeff Nagel THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Metro Vancouver is declaring victory in its campaign to get more people to shun wasteful bottled water and drink tap water instead. A new survey has found roughly half as many people using bottled water as did in 2008, when the region set a goal of cutting bottled water use here by 20 per cent by 2010. The Mustel Group telephone survey found 11 per cent of respondents say they primarily use bottled water, compared to 21 per cent in 2008, while 85 per cent say they mainly use tap water, up from 74 per cent previously. “We actually got a 50 per cent reduction so it was well beyond what we expected,” said Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt, who sits on Metro’s water committee. The campaign,
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Metro Vancouver residents are switching from bottled water to tap water, according to a recent survey. which used the slogan “Nature’s health drink — always on tap,” raised the hackles of bottled water sellers. But Metro politicians like Hunt maintain the campaign was worthwhile because high rates of bottled water use meant unacceptable numbers of plastic bottles were ending up in the landfill. One report estimated more than 23 million plastic bottles a year weren’t being recycled and were instead ending up in Metro Vancouver landfills — and that
even the ones being recycled still carried a heavy carbon footprint. “The issue was reduction of waste and reduction of the creation of the plastics in the first place so those resources can be used for something much more beneficial,” Hunt said. Metro officials were also irked by the growing trend toward bottled water use when they had just spent $800 million in taxpayers’ dollars on a major upgrade of the water system. The region has always maintained its
water supply is among the cleanest and safest on the planet. But completion of the new Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant — at the recommendation of health officers — means water from the North Shore reservoirs that occasionally looked murky is now being filtered, removing an occasional aesthetic objection. Hunt noted it also means less chlorine is added to disinfect the water, which was another objection some had about the taste of tap water. Ninety per cent of those surveyed now agree the tap water quality is excellent or
The City of Coquitlam is seeking nominations for the 8th Annual Environmental Achievement Awards. The program recognizes individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to promoting, preserving and enhancing Coquitlam’s natural environment. Nominations can be made for individuals or groups who volunteer in Coquitlam and show their commitment to the environment. Both youth and adult nominations are encouraged. Nomination forms can be picked up at all Coquitlam civic facilities or an online application can be completed at www.coquitlam.ca.
The nomination deadline is April 29, 2011. For more information, please contact 604-927-6907 or firstname.lastname@example.org
previously. The campaign included advertising, social marketing and the launch of an iPhone app to help residents find free locations to refill water bottles with tap water. Several cities pledged to eliminate bottled water sold in their buildings. Metro is also spending $200,000 this year to acquire two water wagons that can be taken to major events as a mobile place where people can refill water bottles. There’s been no talk at Metro of setting a new target to beat bottled water use back further.
The Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Committee is an advisory body mandated with providing a local perspective and advice to Council, through the Engineering, Utilities and Environment Standing Committee, on sustainability and key environmental issues and trends, while promoting environmental awareness within the community.
2011 Environmental Achievement Awards
City of Coquitlam Environmental Services
very good – up from 82 per cent before, according to the Metrocommissioned survey. Bottle users cite convenience, taste, health and safety for their choice. Other findings: • 23 per cent drink more tap water than two years ago. • Two-thirds rarely if ever use public drinking fountains, with residents outside the City of Vancouver most likely to have safety or health concerns about them. • 84 per cent now agree bottled water has a negative impact on the environment, compared to 76 per cent
GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY! VOLUNTEER ON THE SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Evening sprinkling ban eyed
Coquitlam City Council invites applications from residents with experience and/or a demonstrated interest in, and dedication to, all aspects of the environment, sustainability and the community to serve on the Committee. Youth applicants are encouraged. Consideration may also be given to exceptional individuals from outside Coquitlam who meet the recruitment criteria for skills, training, or education, and who have a demonstrated desire and commitment to serve the City of Coquitlam as a member of the Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Committee. An application package, including detailed information on the Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Committee mandate and composition, is available at www.coquitlam.ca or from Coquitlam City Hall, City Clerk’s Ofﬁce, 3000 Guildford Way, Coquitlam, B.C or email@example.com . Interested applicants are required to submit an application form accompanied by a one page covering letter with a resumé highlighting occupation, history of community involvement, other relevant history, technical or special expertise, and reasons for seeking appointment. Deadline for submission of applications is 5:00 p.m. – March 18, 2011. For further information relative to the forgoing, please contact Kerri Lore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-927-3016.
Tri-City News Friday, March 11, 2011, A15
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A16 Friday, March 11, 2011, Tri-City News
Harnessing the earth’s heat By Todd Coyne THE TRI-CITY NEWS
A Coquitlam homeowner and a city business made history this week, becoming the first in North America to install a state-of-theart “green” snow-melting system at a private home. Jeevan Thaker of Scotch Pine Avenue watched with pride and, naturally, a little anxiety Wednesday as workers on a mobile drill dug 20feet down beneath the gravel of his unfinished driveway. Beside him stood C o q u i t l a m M ayo r Richard Stewart. “It’s great to be on the leading front of this,” Thaker said, the two men watching the drill excavate the first of 40 two-storey holes in front of Thaker’s home. But the men hired by Coquitlam’s HVAC Systems aren’t drilling for oil, they’re mining a different kind of energy — geo-thermal heat. Using 40 ‘L’ shaped steel pipes, reaching 20 feet down into the ground and six feet horizontally across the top of the earth, the pipes will sit upright like bendable straws, sucking up natural heat from deep in the earth and bringing it to the surface to melt snow and ice from just below the concrete of Thaker’s driveway. Unlike buried electrical coils or hot-water systems that do the same job, geo-thermal heat carries with it no operating or maintenance costs and the system will run as long as the core of our planet is warm. While the heat is free, the system and installation are not. “This project here, you’re looking at between $20,000 to $25,000,” said Glen Bereti of HVAC Systems, not-
ing that costs vary depending chiefly on the difficulty of drilling required to reach the subterranean heat. And while the long black right-angled pipes, or “Geo Hot Rods,” look simple enough, their technology is a closely-guarded trade secret under patent by Richmond developer, Free Energy Solutions. Without giving too much away, Free Energy president and CEO Alf Sanderson told The TriCity News Wednesday that the “hot rods” are filled with a sand-like “thermal superconductor material” that is completely har mless to the environment if leaked. HVAC Systems president Paul Aucoin said that in the short time they’ve teamed up with Free Energy to distribute Geo Hot Rods, they’ve had requests for trials come in from places as far afield and as frigid as Montreal and Regina, as well as doing trial installations at bus stops and street corners in Richmond and Langley. And, if Stewart gets his way, we could all soon be walking in warmth and safety on the winter sidewalks of Coquitlam.
“I see applications for this for the city in those dangerous frosty areas in front of seniors’ centres, for example,” Stewart said. “Imagine if you save just one hip operation. The cost to the health care system of a slip and fall is enormous. If we could take that sidewalk in front of the seniors’ centre and for a few thousand make it so from this point forward it won’t be frosty... imagine the benefits.” Stewart said he met with HVAC Systems at the Scotch Pine site to discuss the logistics of installing Geo Hot Rods on sidewalks around seniors’ and community centres and around busy areas of the city centre. “I plan to take it back to the city and really contemplate it in those areas,” the mayor said. email@example.com
Agenda Highlights Monday, March 14, 2011 7:00 pm – COUNCIL CHAMBERS 2580 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam PUBLIC HEARING
Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3757 for 1874 Fraser Ave. ADJOURNMENT OF PUBLIC HEARING Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3757 for 1874 Fraser Avenue
Board of Variance Amendment Bylaw No. 3735
Cemetery Amendment Bylaw No. 3733
Of¿cial Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 3749 for North East Dominion Triangle Area
Fire and Emergency Services Amendment Bylaw No. 3754 Final Municipal Ticketing Information Amendment Bylaw No. 3755 Final Noise Control Amendment Bylaw No. 3756
Municipal Ticketing Information Amendment Bylaw No. 3758 Final
REPORTS Smart Growth Committee
Rezoning Application for 843, 867 and 913 Dominion Avenue Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy - Metro Vancouver 2040, Shaping Our Future Standing Committee Verbal Updates CRAIG HODGE/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Coquitlam’s HVAC Systems are installing a state-of-theart “green” snow-melting system at a private home on Scotch Pine Avenue in Coquitlam.
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Tri-City News Friday, March 11, 2011, A17
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