April 2023 Civic Affairs Report

By Elizabeth Gautschi, Civic Affairs Convenor

Metro Vancouver 2050

 The Metro Vancouver region’s Regional Growth Strategy, Metro 2050, was adopted on February 24, 2023. Metro 2050 is the result of three years of extensive review, collaboration, and engagement. It is the regional federation’s collective vision for how growth will be managed to support the creation of complete, connected, and resilient communities, while protecting important lands and supporting the efficient provision of urban infrastructure like transit and utilities.

 Metro Vancouver is a region of diverse and complete communities connected by sustainable transportation choices where residents take pride in vibrant neighbourhoods that offer a range of opportunities to live, work, play, and learn, and where natural, agricultural, and employment lands are protected and enhanced.

City of Delta

The City of Delta has been granted $16 million as part of the Province of British Columbia’s new Growing Communities Fund. The fund is intended to give communities across BC a one-time boost to support the delivery of services to residents. Delta’s Mayor Harvie announced that Delta Council intends to fulfill its commitment to fund necessary projects in the community such as a new turf field at Mackie Park and improved track facilities at both Seaquam Secondary School and Delta Secondary School. The mayor concluded his remarks by saying that “the funding will go towards building much-needed infrastructure that meets the demand of our residents right across the City for years to come.”

City of New Westminster

 At the March 13 Council meeting, the New Westminster City Council proclaimed March 2023 to 2024 A Year of Truth as part of the City’s ongoing reconciliation efforts. The City recognizes that reconciliation can only be successfully achieved after learning and acknowledging the full truth of our colonial history. Truth-seeking will come through opportunities for City staff and the community to learn and reflect over the next 12 months, with the expectation that this truth will be applied to the City’s continued decolonization and reconciliation work.

The concept for A Year of Truth was inspired by education and relationship-building work done by the previous City Council and the Summary Report on Actions Taken by the City of New Westminster Involving Indigenous Peoples presented to Council on October 3, 2022. The City emphasizes that this is only “a” year of truth, rather than “the,” because it may take several years to develop a deep enough understanding of the truth before reconciliatory acts can be undertaken in a meaningful way.

 City of North Vancouver

Development of the new Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre (HJCRC) is now underway in the heart of Central Lonsdale. Construction began with site preparation and excavation for the new centre, which will be located on the north side of East 23rd Street between Lonsdale Avenue and St Georges Avenue.

As the City’s largest ever capital program, replacement of the 56-year-old HJCRC includes an arena with a 500-spectator capacity, more aquatic space, indoor and outdoor fitness amenities, new skate park, preschool and youth spaces and a new facility for Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre. Underground parking will maximize the site’s buildable space.

City of Surrey

The City of Surrey will host the 12th annual Party for the Planet, BC’s largest Earth Day celebration, at Surrey Civic Plaza on Saturday, April 29, from 11 am to 7 pm. The signature Surrey event will feature a sustainable marketplace, live music, dance battles, and environmental workshops featuring Indigenous education.

This year’s free event will offer a plant sale hosted by Surrey Parks, which will sell native plants from $3 to $6. University Drive will include a rock-climbing wall, exhibitors, and plant-based food trucks. Local live music will be performed on the Earth Stage, the Community Stage will feature dance battles and lessons, and the Family Stage will showcase a variety of children’s entertainment. The sustainable marketplace will feature local vendors that sell eco-friendly products. There will also be a clothing swap where attendees can shop free, lightly-used clothing items.  A complete list of activities and performers can be found at www.partyfortheplanet.ca.

City of Vancouver

 Did you know that Vancouver has published a FIRST PEOPLES: A GUIDE FOR NEWCOMERS TO VANCOUVER?  Vancouver welcomes newcomers from all parts of the world. Newcomers are often at a disadvantage when it comes to learning about First Peoples because of language barriers, access to information, or the time to learn. Learning about the rich and diverse history and experiences of Canada’s First Peoples is key to building understanding between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal communities. First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers aims to fill the need for clear information in simple language about the First Peoples in Vancouver. It introduces newcomers to three important topics: who are Aboriginal people (or First Peoples) in Vancouver and Canada; a brief overview of the relationship between the Government of Canada and First Peoples; and current initiatives and ways for newcomers to learn more about Aboriginal people in the community.