During my tenure as your Electoral Area Director, I have learned that advocacy and softer modes of influence via relationships are the primary means for effecting change. The reality is the EA Director has little direct control over decisions that directly impact the electoral area. For example, land use decisions are made by UBC or the provincial government (for the UBC/UNA and UEL lands, respectively), and decisions that come to Metro Vancouver are decided through weighted votes by a 40-person Board. While I am an active voice on the Board, my vote is worth just one point, while others at the table have votes worth up to 5 points. Although directly creating change can be challenging, the EA Director position provides an important platform for influence and advocacy for change, and building relationships is key to being effective in this role. I value the good working relationships that I have fostered with key players such as UBC, Minister David Eby (MLA for Point Grey), the UNA, UEL, and my fellow Board members, and will continue to strengthen these and other key relationships in the coming years.
The issues that are most important to me in the coming years include:
Climate Action and Environmental Protection: I believe that implementing strong policies that protect our environment is essential to the future of our region. I also believe that Metro Vancouver should continue to be a leader in regional and urban planning for an environmentally sustainable future. I hope to be re-elected in order to continue my work on Metro Vancouver’s Climate Action Committee and also the region’s new Zero Emission Innovation Centre. Time is running out for society (individuals, organizations and governments) to make meaningful reductions in our carbon footprint, and it is important to me to be contributing to policies and practical solutions for our future.
Affordable housing and midrise densification: Like much of Metro Vancouver, Electoral Area A faces significant challenges with affordable housing, including for students, faculty and staff, as well as for people who work in the surrounding community, such as the daycares, schools, and medical facilities. While much of the decision-making around housing and rental prices falls outside the purview of Metro Vancouver, I will do what I can to facilitate discussions and actions that support affordable housing, and housing that promotes stronger communities and meets the needs of the UEL and UNA neighborhoods.
Reconciliation: We are finally making meaningful progress on reconciliation, but we have a long way to go. As a member of TransLink’s Indigenous Relations Working Group, we are working with the ten First Nations whose traditional, unceded and ancestral territories overlap with what is now called Metro Vancouver.