Published by the University Neighbourhoods Association Volume 8, Issue 4
april 18, 2017
UNA We Are Community Team Storms the Wall at UBC
Governors Back Plan to Expand UBC Fitness Venues, UNA Housing Almost $185 million will be spent upgrading recreation and athletics facilities on campus; development of Stadium Road Neighbourhood will in part be source of funding John Tompkins Editor
It was rainy and cold outside, but that didn’t stop the We Are Community team from running, biking, swimming and climbing at the Storm the Wall event at UBC in March. In fact, the miserable weather only made the team feel tougher and prouder of their accomplishment. The We Are Community team is already excited about participating next year!
UEL Head Count Comes Up Short of Expectations Population of UEL has long been considered 4,000+; according to 2016 Census, true figure is close to 3,000 Census 2016 shows the population of University Endowment Lands is 3,034, a figure significantly lower than the one of 4,000+ which UEL community leaders have long considered fact. The lower figure of 3,034 is one produced by Metro Vancouver regional planning staff researching data provided by Census 2016. Marcin Pachcinski, Division Manager, Electoral Area and Environment, Parks, Planning and Environment, said Metro Vancouver staff looked at the Census data and were unable to find numbers indicating a 4,000+ population figure for 2016 for the UEL. Mr. Pachcinski said, “Staff doublechecked the 2016 Census and confirmed the Census data show a UEL population of 3,034.” The issue of an exact population count for the UEL was raised at the most recent Community Advisory Council meeting, and subsequently, Metro Vancouver Regional Planning staff was asked to provide 2016 Census figures for both the UEL and UBC populations. The 2016 Census shows the number
of people living at UBC is 12,856. Mr. Pachcinski pointed out, however, that the Census excludes UBC students living on campus in student residence only part year. To compound confusion about the precise population of the UEL, a recent fact sheet mailed to all residents by the provincial government listed this population as 4,000. At least one resident spoken to by The Campus Resident raised the question of fire tax paid by UEL residents over the years. This resident asked, “If fire tax has been paid by 4,000 UEL people over the years when it should have been paid only by 3,000 people, does this mean UEL people have overpaid all these years?” Whatever the precise number of people living in the UEL today, there is no doubt its population is set to grow. The Musqueam First Nation in February began developing its Block F land in the community. The population of Block F, when fully developed, is expected to be 2,500.
Fire Tax Comes under Fire In December 2015, the UNA was informed that the Province would start charging residents in market neighbourhoods of UBC for fire protection services. The Province proposed a per capita fee of $105 and agreed to a phased approach: $500,000 in 2016 (half the annual cost), $1,000,000 in 2017 and thereafter the cost would increase by inflation and population. Although the UNA Board of Directors agreed to use the Services Levy to pay the cost of fire protection services, it did not support the Province’s decision. Given that residents in the UNA neighbourhoods pay a general Rural Tax to the Province that is approximately $2M annually, and yet see no apparent benefit from these taxes, the Board committed “to seek clarification from the Province on how the general Rural Tax is allocated” in its September 2016 Resolution. Please turn to Page 7 for a March 31 letter sent by the UNA Board to the Province and to Page 8 for a March 27 letter sent by the UBC Taxation Working Group to the UBC Board of Governors.
At a board meeting April 13, governors of the University of British Columbia approved in principle a plan that would enhance fitness facilities on campus significantly while developing neighbourhood housing for another 2,500 residents. The future residents would live in the proposed Stadium Road Neighbourhood, which would become the sixth residential neighbourhood to open on campus since Hampton Place opened in the early 1990s. Almost 13,000 residents have moved onto the UBC campus over the years, and Hampton Place, Hawthorn Place, Chancellor Place and East Campus are essentially built out while the development of Wesbrook Place—the largest neighbourhood—is about half complete. A unanimous decision in favour of this UBC plan—aptly named GamePlan— came at the board meeting after governors weighed the contents of a staff report envisioning a 20-year strategy for recreation and athletics facilities on campus. The part of GamePlan relating to the expansion of housing on campus stems from the proposed rebuilding of Thunderbird Stadium. The governors directed staff to return to the boardroom by fall 2017 with a scope for the Stadium Road Neighbourhood planning process. According to the staff report, funds to rebuild the aging stadium would flow through “incremental revenue from new and better development sites created by optimal siting through the Stadium Road Neighbourhood Plan.” Thunderbird Stadium is nearly 50 years old and has system and seismic upgrade needs, as well as an inefficient layout for its intended use (i.e. team rooms, spectator amenities and distance from stands to field). GamePlan recommends that a precise location and layout for the stadium be determined through the Stadium Road Neighbourhood planning process. GAMEPLAN continued on Page 6
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT april 18, 2017
UNA Appoints Six New Members to Civic Engagement Committee Appointments will be for two years starting April 1; CEC is officially supported by UNA Board
At their monthly meeting in April, directors of the University Neighbourhoods Association appointed six new members—all residents— to the volunteer Civic Engagement Committee (CEC), a sub-committee of the UNA Standing Committee on Operations and Sustainability. The new members of the CEC are: Nils Bradley, Hampton Place; Michael Chen, Wesbrook Place; Floyd Mann, Hawthorn Place; Shohreh Ravanshad, Hawthorn Place; Rose Wang, Hawthorn Place; and Cherie Zhang, Wesbrook Place. As stated in Terms of Reference (approved in 2013), the CEC serves the UNA Board in matters relating to the participation and involvement of UNA residents in the community. The main goal of committee members is to help build the UNA neighborhoods into a vibrant, inclusive, participatory,
multicultural and sustainable community. The committee consists both of residents and one or more elected resident directors. UNA staff members also sit on the committee. The UNA Board allocates resources needed by the committee in carrying out its functions. The CEC is one of five volunteer committees officially supported by the UNA Board. The five are: • The Multicultural Committee (MCC), established around 2008 (Sharon Wu, first chair). • The Community Gardens Committee, established in 2008 (Heather Friesen, first chair). • The Plant Stewardship (Children’s Garden) Committee, established around 2009 (Patrick Moore, first chair). • The Civic Engagement Committee, established in 2013 (Ying Zhou, first chair).
• The Campus Resident Editorial Board, established by the Board in 2013 (Charles Menzies, first chair) – in hiatus. Jan Fialkowski, UNA Executive Director, said a call went out for UBC residents to become members of the UNA volunteer committees in the March edition of The Campus Resident. Ms. Fialkowski also updated directors on pending appointments to other volunteer committees as follows: • For the May 2017 Board meeting, the current co-chair of the Multicultural Committee will provide the names of the current members for reappointment. • For the May 2017 Board meeting, the current chair of the Community Garden Committee will provide the names of the current members for reappointment. • As to Plant Stewardship Committee, staff are assisting current members to recruit new members.
Terms of Reference of the committees also came up for discussion, and Ms. Fialkowski reported on them. She said that while the Multicultural Committee and the Plant Stewardship Committee have no Terms of Reference, staff can assist the current committees in drafting Terms of Reference. “This would give residents an understanding of the purpose and objectives of each volunteer committee supported by the UNA and ensure clarity and continuity for the future.” The directors then passed a motion that the UNA Board of Directors supports the important work of volunteer committees, and to ensure clarity around purpose and objectives, each volunteer committee will have an approved Terms of Reference.
Members of the UNA Civic Engagement Committee.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT April 18, 2017
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Letter from UBC President We Cannot Change the Past, but We Can Honestly Recognize It
President Santa Ono (front) and Linc Kesler, Director of the UBC First Nations House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs, at the Reconciliation Pole ceremony. Photo credit Paul Joseph, UBC. Earlier this month, I was honoured and humbled to participate – along with thousands of others – in the raising of Reconciliation Pole on the Main Mall. It was gratifying to see so many people turn out for this important occasion and to hear from residential school survivors such as Elder Barney Williams and Pauline Jones, who spoke with courage and candour of the abuse they suffered and witnessed. I was also heartened to hear the inspiring speech given by second-year UBC student Adina Williams, who spoke of her parents and grandparents and their experiences with the residential schools and her vision for a future where Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians can live in harmony and reconciliation. The 55-foot red cedar Reconciliation Pole was carved by 7idansuu (Edenshaw),
James Hart, Haida master carver and hereditary chief. It was jointly commissioned by the Audain Foundation and UBC and was installed in a traditional Haida manner facing north on Main Mall near Agronomy Road, on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Reconciliation Pole symbolizes the experiences of residential school students and the path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. The pole tells the story of the time before, during, and after the Indian residential school system – a system that began in the 1800s and ended with the last school closure in 1996. The bottom half of the pole represents the time before Indian residential schools and features salmon, a bear and a raven. A schoolhouse, fashioned after a residential school Hart’s grandfather attended, is carved in the middle with students holding hands above it. The top half of the pole represents the time after residential schools and features spirits, family, and a canoe. On top of the pole is an eagle about to take flight, which Hart said represents “the power and determination needed to look towards the future.” One detail about the pole I found especially moving: the thousands of copper nails that were hammered into the pole. The nails represent thousands of Indigenous children who died in Canada’s residential schools. The nails were hammered one by one by residential school survivors, affected families, school children and others. Reconciliation Pole is awe-inspiring and humbling. I urge you to come to Main Mall at Agronomy Road and contemplate it, and the story it tells. Hart carved the pole from an 800-year-
old red cedar tree in Haida Gwaii, on B.C.’s north coast, before it was barged down to Vancouver. He spent the past several months on campus working on the finishing touches before Saturday’s ceremony. Fittingly, the pole looks toward the future site of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, which will provide survivors and their families with access to the records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and give UBC students and visitors ways to understand the history and lasting effects of Indian residential schools. The centre is expected to open in the 2017/18 academic year. Together, the pole and the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre will provide a landmark and a place to better understand the history and lasting effects of Canada’s Indian residential schools. We cannot change the
past, but we can honestly recognize it. As the scales fall from our eyes, we can see clearly what we did not see before. James Hart’s carvings are truly breathtaking and the pole reflects UBC’s commitment to provide continued education and awareness about the Indian residential school system and the steps we must take to move forward together. As Williams reminded us, what went on in the schools is “a Canadian problem, not just a First Nations problem.” Hart says his hope for the pole is that it moves people to learn more about the history of residential schools and to understand their responsibility to reconciliation. “The schools were terrible places,” he said. “Working on the pole has been difficult but I have loved it too. We need to pay attention to the past and work together on a brighter future.” When I look at Reconciliation Pole, I can’t help but feel pain and sorrow. The
Reconciliation Pole was installed at UBC on Main Mall near Agronomy Road. Photo credit Paul Joseph, UBC. work tells the story of the time before, during, and after the Indian residential school system – a system that caused so much harm. But I also feel a sense of deep First Nations people at the Reconciliation Pole raising ceremony. In the centre, James Hart, a Haida master carver and Hereditary Chief 7idansuu. Photo credit Paul Joseph, UBC.
gratitude, for only in learning the truth can we work together, towards a better future. Professor Santa J. Ono UBC President and Vice-Chancellor
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT april 18, 2017
letter to the Editor
Towing and Parking in the UNA
Having your car towed away is not a good experience, but having your car towed in the UNA neighbourhoods is an even worse experience. We have a towing company located 16 km away. UNA neighborhoods and UBC are planning to build a greener community, but with a towing company located 16 km away, we wonder how green we can get. Let us do some math: one towing trip for a car will need a towing truck to travel 32 km for a round trip, and the unfortunate owner of the towed car will then need to have a friend take him or her to the towing company to get his or her car back. This will add another 32 km round trip plus 16 km for the towed car.
The combined trip of towed car and tow truck will consume at least 12 litres of gas. If 100 cars a month are towed, 1.2 metric tons of gas will be needed to do the job. In a year, this will be 14 metric tons of gas. We can see how much we pollute the air by using only a towing company from 16 km away. Another point we would make, it will take the owner of the towed car at least 40 min to get to the tow company. So the round trip will take at least an hour and a half. If this happens 100 times a month, this works out to 150 hours a month or 1,500+ hours a year of time wasted on the street—going back and forth doing nothing but giving extra burden to the already traffic-saturated streets of Vancouver. Why do we force people to waste valuable time on the street? Why don’t we find some better way—like a locker to lock a car in—to enforce penalties? Beside, the fine can be paid to the UNA instead of towing company. In addition, this towing company serving the UNA is famous among the residents for a rude attitude and expensive charges. Right now, they charge $230 for each towing which is the most expensive fee in Vancouver, and their excuse is that they are far away from UBC. Residents—especially newcomers— bear the pain. Any errors or omissions
will result in their cars being towed from the parking lots in front of their homes. Then the residents will have to pay the equivalent cost of 2 weeks of grocery shopping and spend at least 2 hours on the way to get back their cars. Do you think it is fair and reasonable to the residents in the UNA area? All UNA efforts to provide help and service for campus residents will be in vain if these residents cannot find their cars in front of their homes. Let’s go back to the parking pass. The residents in the UNA have the right to buy an owner pass and a guest pass, but they have only one choice: they may purchase a pass for the whole 12 months period with a fixed expiration date of March 31. It is really unfair to the residents who travel or move in or move out. How about if they move out in February? Why do they need to pay for the remaining 2 months? The residents call for better service like they get at ICBC where they can buy anytime an insurance for any amount of time they need: whether it’s for 3 days or for a year. As the result, people get exactly what they paid for. This is fair. We are expecting a great future.
Editor’s Note: UNA advises that roads in the UNA neighbourhoods are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and as such, the UNA must follow the Ministry’s regulations. UNA also advises that a comprehensive article about parking and towing in the University neighbourhoods will be placed in the next issue of The Campus Resident.
Jason Xin and Ada Dong, UNA residents ( representing about 300 residents in UNA)
Menzies Returns to UNA Boardroom to Speak Charles Menzies is a former Resident Director of the UNA; he is also a Governor beginning three years on the UBC Board
As a guest speaker at the April 11 meeting of UNA Board of Directors, Charles Menzies—a former elected member of the UNA Board and now a member of the UBC Board of Governors (BoG)—made an open offer to UNA residents preparing to send letters of concern about neighbourhood issues to the UBC BoG. Mr. Menzies said, “If you send a letter to the Board of Governors, add ‘cc: Charles Menzies’.” He said that copying a letter to him might enhance and speed up the process. Mr. Menzies began his short address to the UNA Board by stating emphatically, “I am not speaking on behalf of the UBC Board of Governors.” Referring to some neighbourhood issues he was aware of, Mr. Menzies called the much-discussed UBC plan (GamePlan) probably “the most important one.” GamePlan envisions conversion of the status quo in the Stadium Road area of
Charles Menzies campus into a mix of new Thunderbird Stadium side by side the proposed Stadium Road Neighbourhood. While GamePlan planning is not scheduled to start until the fall, pre-planning is already taking place. Mr. Menzies referred to the formation of a Stadium Road Advisory Committee which would be tasked to envision what the planning process would be like. He described three possible perspectives that
might be expected to develop in the year ahead: • Neighbours would have serious concerns about housing density and traffic patterns. • The pro-GamePlan sports group would look to drive the project forward. “They have lots of cash, excitement and determination.” • The UBC faculty would have concerns regarding the state of repair in some buildings in which they teach. Mr. Menzies said he had recently met with a fellow member of the UBC Faculty Association who complained about having no room for his class in mathematics. Other faculty members complained about not enough money going into building repair. These are serious concerns, Mr. Menzies said. The newly elected UBC Governor looks forward to addressing them. Under the British Columbia University Act (s27), the Board of Governors
has responsibility for the management, administration and control of the property, revenue, business and affairs of the University. Members of the UBC Board of Governors are volunteers and serve the University without remuneration. Editor’s Note: On April 13, Charles Menzies participated in his first UBC Board of Governors meeting. Mr. Menzies spoke to several items on the Agenda and along with all other governors voted in favour of UBC GamePlan.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT April 18, 2017
New Residents from Quebec Share Message of Sports with Community Krysta Wallbank UNA Sales and Communications Ambassador
Campus residents Gilles Lepine and wife Danielle. Meet Gilles Lepine, one of our community’s newest UNA residents and UBC’s Senior Director of Athletics. Hailing from Quebec City, this friendly French-Canadian was approached by UBC last year and was given the opportunity to work with their outstanding athletics department. On making the tough decision to move across the country, Gilles simply said, “Why not?” Gilles and his wife, Danielle, moved out of their home of 25 years and settled into Wesbrook Place last July. They were a little nervous at first, thinking about downsizing their home and being immersed in a new West Coast lifestyle. But Gilles explains that they discovered something incredible in this community. “There are so many benefits to living here. We are surrounded by so many kind people, people who are here to learn, work and raise their families. There are lots of people but it still feels like a small village. Everything is close by and convenient—
I feel like I’m living in the future!” Gilles is already taking full advantage of what our futuristic community has to offer. Besides exploring the natural beauty of Pacific Spirit Park and riding around campus on his bicycle, he enjoys working out and doing yoga with Danielle at Wesbrook Community Centre. As a lifelong sports enthusiast who made a career out of his passion, he claims that sports and recreation are simply part of his DNA. This makes Gilles the perfect person to work as UBC’s Senior Director of Athletics; he knows how important recreation is in order to live a full and happy life. As a new UNA resident, he hopes to share this message with everyone in our community. He knows that there is something for everyone to enjoy through UBC Athletics, even if you are not a varsity athlete. Going to a basketball game is a great way to spend a Friday night, but it’s also great way of meeting new people and building connections with
other members of the community. Gilles explains that children benefit the most from going to games and cheering on their team. When they see these incredible athletes working together, they see role models. They see young, hardworking people who are not only training hard and staying active, but who are also studying and working towards a degree. If children want to be like their favourite players, they’ll learn that they need to work hard and get an education, too. There is no better place to do these things than right here at UBC! The UNA and UBC have a strong relationship, but Gilles hopes to strengthen the bond between the community and UBC Athletics. He wants UNA residents to learn about all the sports and recreation that are available. Most importantly, he wants people to feel excited and interested in getting
involved. That is why he will be working with us more closely to achieve this goal. Beginning this fall, the UNA will be hosting several Meet and Greet events in which members of the community can meet some of UBC’s best athletes, learn about their teams and maybe challenge them in a friendly game! In the meantime, Gilles and everyone here at the UNA would like to hear from you. If you have ideas about how we can better connect members of the community with UBC Athletics, feel free to contact Gilles at gilles.lepine@ ubc.ca or speak with our very own Program Manager, Andrew, at andrew. email@example.com. Of course, you are always welcome to stop by Wesbrook Community Centre or the Old Barn Community Centre and chat with us! As Gilles would say, why not?
UBC Senior Director of Athletics Gilles Lepine on the Thunderbird Stadium field.
Residents Relish Use of UBC Sports Facilities Usage figures are climbing year after year; usage figure for new pool is especially impressive
Residents of the University of British Columbia have shown a relish for using sports facilities on campus. Usage figures have climbed into the tens of thousands annually. Facilities range from the mammoth new swimming pool which opened only a few months ago to the grass and turf fields of Thunderbird Park long in use. UBC offers at least ten major athletics and recreational facilities for use, and residents appear to be exercising in most if not all of them. Kavie Toor, Director, Facilities and Business Development, UBC Athletics and Recreation, appeared before UNA directors at their Board meeting April 11 to present a report on the use of UBC recreational facilities by campus residents and others. Mr. Toor noted that over the past five years (2011–2016), the number of recognized visits to UBC sports facilities
by UBC residents has climbed from 25,000+ to more than 40,000. “The number of visits keeps on climbing,” he said. Mr. Toor put this down to growth in the number of people living at UBC as well as to greater public awareness and transparency around what sports facilities are available for public use at UBC. In a brief interview aside from the meeting, Mr. Toor reported how the widely-advertised Aquatic Centre recorded 30,000 visits in its first month of operation. With the pool now in its third month of operation, he said, “the figure is still climbing.” UBC students use the swimming pool free, and obviously, make up the largest group of users. However, many UBC residents are known to use the first-class swimming , diving and community facilities also. UNA directors at the meeting asked
Mr. Toor about the $185 million new UBC GamePlan to expand and enhance sports facilities on campus over the next 20 years. Mr. Toor responded saying, “This project (GamePlan) is what UBC is all about—how UBC is a symbol for high performance.” Richard Alexander, UNA Board Chair, asked the UBC executive if he would share in the future information about the GamePlan project as it progressed through pre-planning and then planning. Mr. Toor agreed he would. The following sport facilities are available at UBC: • UBC Aquatic Centre, Indoor Pool Complex, Home to UBC Varsity Swim Teams • John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse, Event Hall Rentals, UBC Varsity Rowing Teams • Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports
Centre, 3 Ice Rinks, UBC Sports Hall of Fame, High Performance Training Centre • Student Recreation Centre, Home of UBC Recreation, Triple Court Gymnasium Fitness Centre, Studio, & Dojo • UBC Tennis Centre, 8 Indoor Courts, 1 Outdoor Court • Thunderbird Park, Grass & Turf Fields, Baseball Diamond, Track & Field, Rugby Pavilion • Thunderbird Stadium, Home of UBC Varsity Football • War Memorial Gymnasium, Home of UBC Athletics & Recreation, Varsity Volleyball & Basketball Teams • Gerald McGavin UBC Rugby Centre, Home of UBC Varsity Rugby, Special Events and Rentals • UBC Baseball Indoor Training Centre, Home of UBC Baseball, 4 Indoor Batting Cages, Pitching Area, HitTrax Technology.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT april 18, 2017
GAMEPLAN continued from Page 1 This would allow for full consideration of issues such as neighbourhood compatibility and interface with the stadium, building heights and urban design, parking, traffic and circulation, as well as opportunities for enabling net new housing opportunities in the neighbourhood, above what is allowed under current plans. The processes to develop a Stadium Road Neighbourhood Plan—and, if necessary, amend UBC’s Land Use Plan—include broad public consultation with the campus community and stakeholders and will take up to 18 months to complete. According to GamePlan, a delay in planning for the Stadium Road Neighbourhood Plan could result in delay of the provision of housing for future faculty, staff and students of UBC, which could impact recruitment and affect revenue contributed to the endowment. The proposed funding approach for a rebuilt Thunderbird Stadium is based on a potential increase in land area from a more efficient stadium siting as well as more development sites with better views (than what are in the current Land Use Plan). According to UBC, GamePlan provides a 20-year vision for capital facilities to support its delivery of outstanding sport and recreation experiences as well as academic programs at the Point Grey campus to support well-being and the student experience. It supports UBC’s commitment to well-being by meeting a growing need for recreational fitness, gymnasium and related academic space, and for addressing
Stadium Road Neighbourhood Housing development at or near the Thunderbird Stadium site is under consideration. Photo credit Martin Dee, UBC. aging campus facilities. GamePlan includes the following summary of core needs as well as program, planning and the following facility concepts to meet the needs: • New Recreation Fitness Centre with three gymnasium courts, about 40,000 square feet of fitness space and about 10,000 square feet of office and support space (estimated cost $40–$45 million). • New or renewed War Memorial Gym with retractable seating for varsity sports, about 25,000 square feet of strength and conditioning space and about 25,000 square feet of office and support space (estimated cost $45 million [new] to $50 million [renewed]). • Up to 85,000 square feet of academic space plus 15,000 square feet including
classroom space (estimated cost $40–$50 million) for an academic partner (such as the School of Kinesiology). • Rebuilt Thunderbird Stadium (estimated cost $30 million) with seating for 5,000 spectators and a multi-purpose field space. The precise location of the rebuilt Stadium will be determined through the Stadium Road Neighbourhood planning process. • New Baseball Stadium (estimated cost $9 million). There will be a donor-funded opportunity to transform UBC’s existing baseball field into a spectator facility. In a joint Finance Committee and Property Committee meeting a week before the UBC Board of Governors meeting, Michael White, UBC Associate Vice-President, Campus and Community
Planning, told governors than UBC “would work closely” with the residential community to plan the proposed Stadium Road Neighbourhood. “It will be a very engaged process,” Mr. White said. UBC has two choices on where to locate the Stadium Road Neighbourhood. It may choose the current site of Thunderbird Stadium, or it may choose the site of Whin Mathews Field—which lies immediately adjacent to the stadium. Meanwhile, a UBC source said the University has started thinking about a transportation plan which would suit a rapid-transit terminus in the area of East Mall and 16th Avenue, very much in the vicinity of the proposed Stadium Road Neighbourhood.
Stadium Road area map. Please see aerial photo of Stadium Road area on Page 7.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT April 18, 2017
Aerial photo of Stadium Road area. See story on Pages 1 and 6.
UNA Asks Province to Reconsider Unfair Fire Tax Imposed on UBC Neighbourhoods Fire Service Charge University Neighbourhoods I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) to inform you of the UNA Board’s position with respect to the fire service charge imposed by your government on property owners in the UNA neighbourhoods. As you know, at its meeting in September 2016, the UNA Board approved a resolution asking UBC to enter into a 5-year contribution agreement with the provincial government for fire protection services delivered to UBC’s campus neighbourhoods (i.e. the UNA neighbourhoods), and to pay for these services through our UBC Services Levy. The UNA understood that if it did not approve the resolution to pay for fire protection costs through the UBC Services Levy, the Ministry might revisit the methodology of calculating the fire service charge, in addition to being subject to a tax collection fee of 5.25%. Thus, the resolution was supported out of an interest in mitigating potential additional costs. In light of this, one of the recitals accompanying the resolution
states that the UNA does not support the Province’s decision to establish a separate levy or tax for fire protection services. This continues to be the Board’s position. Our view is that the charge is unfair and unjustified. When the issue of fire protection cost recovery was initially raised with the UNA, a comparison of the taxation of our community with that of the UEL was made and was used in the government’s rationale for imposing a charge or an additional tax for fire protection on property owners in the UNA neighbourhoods. However, this comparison was based on incorrect and misleading information. The Province already taxes us unfairly relative to UEL residents, and the fire service charge makes the unfairness even greater. The comparison of our situation with that of unincorporated areas other than the UEL does not take into account the purpose for which general Rural Property Tax is levied nor differences between us and those other areas. We wish to stress that the residents in the University Neighbourhoods are more than willing to pay their fair share of the costs of the services they receive.
We ask that the Government informs us of what other specific benefits UBC residents receive in return for paying this tax and the amount of the tax that funds such benefit. On behalf of all UNA residents who firmly believe that they have been paying their fair share of taxes but receiving few services in return, we respectfully ask that the Ministry reconsider the decision to impose this unfair charge. Yours sincerely, Richard Alexander Chair, UNA Board of Directors Richard Alexander Indeed, we believe we have been doing so. However, of the more than $2million dollars collected annually by the Province for the general Rural Tax, we assert that we receive very little by way of services delivered directly to the local area. The UNA is wholly responsible for the maintenance of the neighbourhood roads within UBC, and that residents pay a designated Police Tax collected through the Rural Tax.
CC: David Eby, MLA, VancouverPoint Grey Jacquie Dawes, Deputy Minister, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Professor Santa J. Ono, President, University of British Columbia Michael White, Associate Vice President, Campus and Community Planning, UBC
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT april 18, 2017
Neighbourhoods Tax Group Requests UBC Governors to Seek Termination of the Fire Tax UBC Neighbourhoods Fire Service Charge We are writing to request that the Board of Governors approach the provincial government (after the election) to seek the termination of the fire service charge recently imposed by the government on the UBC neighourhoods. We are a group of residents who are extremely concerned about this charge, which is unfair and threatens the financial viability of our community. While three of us are UNA directors (Laura Cottle, Rose Wang, and Ying Zhou) and one is the Alternate Director for Metro Vancouver’s Electoral Area A (Bill Holmes), we write as residents, not in our official capacities. The Taxation Working Group was formed nearly a year ago, when we became aware of the provincial government’s intention to impose the unfair and unjustified fire service charge. The Working Group has put much effort into opposing this charge: we have written letters to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (Minister Fassbender) and the Minister of Finance (Minister de Jong); met with Minister
Fassbender; met with our MLA, David Eby; written articles for our community newspaper, The Campus Resident; and convinced the UNA Board to write a letter to Minister Fassbender expressing that Board’s opposition to the charge. In addition, we have made Freedom of Information requests that have provided insight into the government’s decision to impose the charge. We are not against our community paying its full share of fire protection costs. However, we believe that we have been doing so in the past through the general Rural Property Tax imposed on us by the Province, an amount of $2.15 million for 2016. With a separate charge for fire protection service—$1 million for the 2017–18 fiscal year and increasing thereafter—we believe that we now receive no services in return for payment of 70% of the general Rural Property Tax. As we have recently learned, about 30% of the amount paid as general Rural Property Tax funds a reduction in the amount of police tax we would otherwise pay, a reduction that is approximately $350,000 for 2016. We are not aware of any services we receive for the remaining $1.8 million of general Rural Property Tax.
The provincial government has sought to justify the fire service charge by a comparison of the taxation of our community with the taxation of property owners in the University Endowment Lands (UEL). However, that comparison is based on incorrect and misleading information; in particular, it ignores the fact that UEL residents do not pay the general Rural Property Tax. The Province already taxes our community unfairly relative to UEL residents, and the fire service charge makes the unfairness even greater. The other rationale given by the provincial government is that we are being treated the same as other unincorporated areas. This is obviously untrue when the comparison is with the UEL. For other unincorporated areas, this rationale does not take into account the purpose for which general Rural Property Tax is levied nor the differences between the UBC neighbourhoods and those other areas, including the fact that we pay to maintain the roads in our community and we contribute towards Metro Vancouver’s Major Road Network. Our letter of May 23, 2016 to the Minister of Finance contains a detailed
critique of the government’s rationale for the introduction of the fire service charge. (The May 23, 2016 letter was written before we learned that a small portion of our general Rural Property Tax is considered to fund a reduction in the amount of police tax that we pay.) We look forward to confirmation that the Board of Governors will, on behalf of residents, pursue this important matter with the provincial government. Yours sincerely, William Holmes, George Mackie,Ying Zhou, Laura Cottle, Rose Wang. CC: Professor Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor, UBC David Eby, MLA, Vancouver-Point Grey Richard Alexander, Chair, University Neighbourhoods Association Michael White, Associate Vice President, Campus and Community Planning, UBC
Why Did the Province Impose the Fire Service Charge? Bill Holmes Hampton Place resident
What led the Province to impose the unfair fire service charge on the UBC neighbourhoods? We now have the answer: It was inaccurate and misleading information given by officials in the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (CSCD) to their Minister and to the government’s Cabinet Working Group for Core Review. We see this in the response I received to my second Freedom of Information (FOI) request last September, which asked for documents from June 1, 2013 to July 31, 2015. The response is a 98-page package of documents that includes emails between officials and documents prepared for meetings of the Cabinet Working
Group. As is typically the case, the documents are heavily redacted. You can view the documents at www.ubcresidents. ca. The documents show the following: The officials noted that UEL property owners pay an amount for fire protection service to the Province each year through their property taxes. They also noted that UBC property owners do not pay any amount that is identified as being for fire protection service. Unfortunately, and in error, they jumped to the conclusion that there was an inequity between the two communities that needed to be addressed by imposing a fire service charge on the UBC neighbourhoods. That is what they told the Cabinet Working Group. The error made by the officials was in failing to take into account the fundamental difference between the Province’s taxation of the two communities: UBC property owners pay the general Rural Property Tax, but UEL property owners do not. In 2016 for example, UBC property owners paid about $2.15 million in general Rural Property Tax; UEL property owners paid nothing. The amount that UEL property owners paid to Victoria in that year for fire service was only $500,000. Even though properties in the two communities have approximately the same aggregate assessed values, UBC property owners contributed much more to the provincial coffers than did UEL property owners. The situation was the same in prior years. For CSCD officials to tell the politicians that UBC property owners were getting a free ride relative to the UEL was a gross misrepresentation of the facts.
I’ll quote a few statements from the FOI documents that illustrate the inaccurate conclusion reached by CSCD officials: • In a presentation to the Cabinet Working Group on November 27, 2013 listing the recovery of fire service costs as something for which CSCD would be seeking approval, one of the implications listed is: “UEL residents & UBC neighbourhoods would be on parallel footing”. • In an email written on January 7, 2014 regarding the proposal to impose a fire service charge, a senior CSCD official states: “I think that our focus from the start had been on rectifying the inequity between the UBC neighbourhoods and the UEL.” • A document headed “Cabinet Submission – Request for Decision” dated July 8, 2014 states: “On the Point Grey Peninsula there is an inequity in paying fire service costs: UEL residents fund their share; UBC residents do not.” Disheartening, because it is untrue, is a statement that appears in a Briefing Note dated March 16, 2015 prepared by CSCD officials for their Minister. The Briefing Note asserts that UEL residents pay “a rural area property tax rate that is determined each year based on general provincial rural area rates and costs of operating the UEL”. The UEL tax rate is based only on the costs of operating the UEL; it is not based at all on the rural area rates. Did CSCD officials not understand the fundamentals of the issue on which they advised their Minister? As the UBC Neighbourhoods Taxation Working Group discovered in its meeting with the Minister last fall, he is not
interested in questioning whether the advice that he and the Cabinet Working Group received is correct. The Minister said: “I rely on my staff.” The Taxation Working Group will continue to look for ways to oppose the Province’s unfair and unjustifiable decision to extract another million dollars a year from our community in addition to the more than $2 million a year we send to Victoria as general Rural Property Tax.
Firehall No. 10 on Wesbrook Mall
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT April 18, 2017
Visiting Little Mountain Jacqueline Stewart and Fiona Henderson Academic Director and Academic Coordinator of Little Mountain Learning Academy
The school bustles with excitement. Kids are busily writing notecards out, testing the overhead projector, reciting their pronunciation of long words, and setting out tea and chocolates on the classroom table. “Two minutes till your parents arrive!” the teacher says. Instead of the usual, “No, there’s not enough time! Teacher, more time!”, the students say ok, look at each other and smile nervously. Meanwhile, parents are shyly congregating steps away from the classroom door, waiting for the go-ahead to enter the small classroom, to witness their children’s first time presenting a well-researched topic to the class, in English. If you were to visit Little Mountain on an in-class visit day, you could poke your head into one of the small, brightlylit classrooms and witness something completely different. At the primary levels, students make presentations about gratitude and design cupcakes for their parents. The middle level students design and share storm-chasing vehicles, gameshows and wacky inventions. At the highest levels, students present slam poetry, literary responses, persuasive essays and narratives. Some students even record a live Little Mountain Radio Broadcast! The in-class visits are not only a way to welcome the family community into the school, they are also a way for students to demonstrate their Design Cycle learning. Although Little Mountain is not an International Baccalaureate school, anyone who is familiar with the Design Cycle way of working will see the similarities. The Design Cycle facilitates a processoriented method of working: it helps students to understand the process is the primary work, and the product is secondary. Students become innovators
Student-directed Little Mountain Radio Broadcast. Photo credit Little Mountain Learning Academy. by investigating a problem, presenting a hypothesis, and then planning, creating and evaluating their choice and application of techniques. Through this, students have trained their intellectual muscles to solve real-world challenges. Einstein said, “It is important to never stop questioning,” and so at Little Mountain, questions form the basis of all project work, including the work which is demonstrated during an in-class visit. Guiding questions propel the students forward into the act of inquiry, and so the scholastic work begins to take shape,
Metro Makes Case for Changing Tax Regime Home Owner Grant, Property Transfer Tax and School Property Tax are brought into focus; Rural Property Tax is also brought into focus at UBC by residents With the provincial election underway, Metro Vancouver is calling on the four main provincial parties to commit to implementing substantial changes to the B.C. Home Owner Grant, Property Transfer Tax and School Property Tax to ensure property taxation is fairer and more equitable for residents and businesses across the region. As well at UBC, local residents are calling on the provincial government to justify the general Rural Property Tax they are charged. Hampton Place resident Bill Holmes, who co-founded UBC Neighbourhoods Taxation Working Group, said, “In the UBC community, we are doubly disadvantaged: not only do we bear a disproportionate amount of School Tax but we also pay far too much in general Rural Property Tax.” The Metro Vancouver recommendation
that the four main provincial parties commit to implementing substantial changes follows a Metro Vancouvercommissioned independent analysis “Provincial Property-Based Taxes in the Metro Vancouver Regional District ” by Cascadia Partners, which found regional homeowners pay a disproportionate share of property taxes—compared with the rest of B.C.—because of an antiquated property tax system that pegs taxes to property assessments. “Metro Vancouver residents are facing an inequitable tax burden because of an antiquated taxation system based on assessed property values,” said Metro Vancouver Board Chair Greg Moore. “It’s patently unfair for more than half of B.C.’s population to be financially penalized when many residents are struggling to afford to remain in their homes.”
driven by a desire to find the answer, and guided by the teacher who realizes that an easy answer is no answer at all. Guiding questions are open-ended questions that facilitate self-directed student discovery. Rather than answering simple multiple choice-like questions, students are called to move beyond mere recall of information and to synthesize and evaluate learned concepts. The product which emerges through the process of guiding questions is what parents get to witness at an in-class visit. Learning how to ask questions, to
identify problems, to collect research and to offer viable solutions gives students the opportunity to hone critical thinking and real-world skills that are above and beyond mere recall of information. Students become inquirers, innovators and creators, and ultimately—architects of their futures. Little Mountain Learning Academy would like to thank the families for sharing in the process and for being a great source of inspiration.
2017 Provincial General Election General Voting Day is May 9 You can vote in the Election if you are a Canadian citizen, 18 or older on General Voting Day, and a resident of B.C. for the past six months.
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THE CAMPUS RESIDENT april 18, 2017
Provincial Election: Vancouver-Point Grey Candidates Four candidates compete in Vancouver-Point Grey constituency
At press time, Elections Canada reported four candidates running for the seat of Vancouver-Point Grey— which includes UBC and the University Endowment Lands—in the 2017 Provincial General Election on May 9. Listed by Elections Canada are the following candidates: Amanda Konkin, Green Party Political Association of British Columbia; David Eby, British Columbia New Democratic Party; James Lombardi, British Columbia Liberal Party; and David Stall, Your Political Party.The candidates have posted the following material on their websites.
David Eby, British Columbia New Democratic Party
Amanda Konkin works in the entertainment industry and is passionate about producing socially provocative projects in theatre and film. Working with members of the LGBTQIA2 community, she was one of the producers of the world’s first transgender sitcom, The Switch, that aired on OUTtv in 2016. This project intensified her dedication to fighting for the rights of transgender individuals and marginalized demographics in all communities and reinforced her belief that diversity in representation matters in all areas of life. Konkin has introduced her passion for politics into numerous projects and companies through her work with local arts organizations. She sat on the board of directors for ICTV, one of the local independent groups producing television for Shaw channel 4 and was one of the hosts for their program After Hours. She also teamed up with ACTivist Theatre Collective as a producer for Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary celebration plays performed at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Konkin is dedicated to finding success for children and youth and values strong community programs to further childhood development. She worked for daycamp programs throughout university and upon graduation has continued to prioritize teaching and assisting youth programs alongside her creative pursuits. Konkin has a BA in theatre and political science and a MA in theatre studies from the University of British Columbia.
he loves. Together with his wife Laura and their dog Elliott, James is a proud resident of Point Grey. David Stall, Your Political Party
Amanda Konkin, Green Political Association of British Columbia
Amanda Konkin, BC Green Party.
James Lombardi, British Columbia Liberal Party
David Eby, New Democratic Party In the three years since his historic defeat of Premier Christy Clark in Vancouver Point Grey, David Eby has become a leading voice in British Columbia’s legislature. “Eby in his rookie term in the legislature has emerged as one of the most effective critics in the House. He’s one of the busiest too.”- Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, April 2016. David meets regularly with local business owners, community leaders, and neighbours from across the UBC neighbourhoods, the University Endowment Lands, Point Grey and Kits, to ensure community interests are well represented in the legislature through his legal training and effective advocacy. David Eby was chosen second most popular provincial politician by Westender newspaper readers, February 2016. Supported by people of all political backgrounds in the community for his integrity and commitment to fairness for all B.C. families, David has been described as “leading the charge” for affordable housing (Globe and Mail, March 2016), and as the NDP’s “pit bull” demanding accountability for an out-ofcontrol government (Vancouver Sun, June 2016). You may have seen David parked with his ‘mobile office’ on a local street corner talking to neighbours, or on the news championing affordable housing for British Columbians, supporting rapid transit solutions to growing gridlock, insisting on high quality public education for our children, and calling for effective carbon pollution reduction policies to defend our climate. David lives with wife Cailey and son Ezra on UBC campus.
James Lombardi, BC Liberal Party James Lombardi brings his leadership experience at world-leading non-profits where he successfully brought the corporate and education communities on board to inspire and equip young people around the world. James served as the Head of Global Business Development at Free The Children, an international Canadian charity renowned for their WE Day events. James helped the organization achieve exponential growth, scaling from 400,000 to over 2.4 million young people empowered each year and more than doubling annual revenue to $50 million. He previously served as the Director of WE Day, launching the organization’s first-ever stadium tour of 100,000 people across 9 cities. James also oversaw Free The Children’s Vancouver office, partnering with community, business and educational leaders to launch the first WE Day events in Vancouver and Calgary. James was also the Chief Business Development Officer at Net Impact, a pioneering non-profit that mobilizes millennials on campus and in the workplace to create positive change through their careers. Today, James is the Founder of Minded Projects, an innovative Vancouver startup that supports purpose-driven brands and nonprofits in deepening their social impact. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Global Finance and a Bachelor’s in Political Science, and also speaks Italian and Portuguese. Born and raised in the Lower Mainland, James has deep roots in the province that
David Stall, Your Political Party. David Stall is a political science researcher studying conflict prevention at the University of British Columbia, as well as a freelance artist. In his free time, David enjoys hiking, rock climbing , and experiencing new cultures. David believes that to live well means to live authentically and true to your values. As a result, David has been engaged in a wide range of social and political activism, ranging from donating fruit from urban fruit trees to those in need with the Vancouver Fruittree Project, to leading a march advocating for electoral reform. David is dedicated to reducing human suffering and increasing equal opportunity for life satisfaction. He believes that this can be done through approaching policy collaboratively, with empathy and with peer reviewed research geared toward increasing the public good. David feels the disconnect between the provincial government and publically funded, post-secondary institutions is not only unfortunate, but wasteful. He believes that it is a shame to exclude tens of thousands of researchers from contributing to building a better world, and that reaching out to some of the brightest minds in our society can only result in innovation and prosperity.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT April 18, 2017
Biodiversity in your backyard Tips and Tricks for Small Gardens on Campus Matias Taylor Marketing & Communications Assistant, UBC Botanical Garden
With the arrival of spring not only come warmer temperatures, heavier rains and blooming cherry blossoms all over Vancouver, but also opportunities to grow all kinds of wonderful plants in your own patio or garden, from flowers to crops and herbs. But how should apartment and townhouse residents on campus, who have less space to grow plants within their homes, approach gardening? We spoke to Kathy Shynkaryk, one of the buyers in the Garden Centre at UBC Botanical Garden and a member of The Friends of the Garden, the group of volunteers who run the Garden’s Shop and organize events throughout the year. Kathy offered some tips and tricks on how to make the best of a smaller dwelling when growing plants. “Tomatoes grow well in containers and [growing them like this] is also a way of avoiding blight from contaminated soil,” explains Kathy, referring to the all-toocommon cause for crop failure in larger plots. She mentions that “I like to plant my tomatoes in containers and place them underneath the overhang of my house”, which protects them from the rain, since tomatoes should be watered at the soil line rather than from above the plant. She also recommends fertilizing containers of annuals regularly; Kathy herself
fertilizes once a week, usually applying half the strength the fertilizer package recommends. During the summer months, she specifies daily watering is required. Explaining a classic pitfall of small gardens, Kathy mentions that “some people buy trees that start off small but end up being too large for a typical city size garden”, and recommends keeping in mind the size the tree will grow to in 10 or 15 years. “In our Plant Centre, we try to select trees for sale that are a more appropriate size for the average small garden, like one you might find in an average UBC campus residence, as well as trees and shrubs that do well in containers.” As a rule of thumb, Kathy recommends letting the pot or lot size determine what trees or shrubs are right for a particular situation. Some possibilities she recommends for smaller gardens include Japanese maples, some magnolias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Down to Earth, the free interactive gardening event at UBC Botanical Garden on May 13, will feature demonstrations of how to grow a variety of crops and plants, including vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries (early blooming and everbearing) and herbs. There will be plant sales of shrubs and trees for small
Free interactive gardening event Down to Earth at UBC Botanical Garden on May 13. Photo credit Matias Taylor. gardens and containers, some more exotic perennials, annuals, dried flowers, and more. For those wanting to explore more options, the Garden Centre will include a variety of shrubs, trees, blueberries and blackberries for sale from May onwards, as well as a wide selection of herbs. For more information, visit botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/down-to-earth.
Bird Week 2017 Vancouver’s Bird Week returns May 6–13, 2017! Bird-themed activities will take place all week at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, including a Way Cool talk on Ethno-Ornithology on May 7. For more information, visit vancouverbirdweek.ca.
Deluxe Hotel Suites Summer Months will Mean More Upgrades on Marine Drive Construction begins May 8; work should be completed by September 4
The final phase of construction work will take place on Southwest Marine Drive—a key link between UBC, the University Endowment Lands, commercial centres, the airport, provincial highways and the regional road network— from May 8 to September 4. The first phase of upgrades along this route—from Granville Street to Macdonald—was completed in September 2016. As part of a larger road rehabilitation project, the City of Vancouver will upgrade the bikeway along Marine Drive to improve the safety and comfort of people cycling. The upgrades will widen the bike lane to 1.8m to meet the minimum-width guidelines and add a 0.6m painted buffer to separate the bike
lane from the motor vehicle travel lane. Hours of work along Marine Drive this spring and summer will be Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 5:30 pm and weekends as needed. Local traffic will be maintained during Marine Drive construction work. Truck traffic will be routed to West 41st Avenue. Through-traffic will be rerouted locally. In a news release, the City of Vancouver said, “Upgrades will allow this portion of the network to continue its role as part of the movement of goods in South Vancouver to UBC.” This project will also improve sewer main infrastructure. Once replaced, the pipes are expected to serve the Southwest Vancouver neighbourhood for 100 years.
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THE CAMPUS RESIDENT april 18, 2017