Jen’s Position on Key Issues

This section was written when I was campaigning for the position of Electoral Area Director in the spring of 2019. I do not keep this section up to date with the many issues that I and others on the Metro Vancouver Board and TransLink Mayors’ Council make decisions on each month. I’ve left this page on my website as it does give a sense of the position that I would take on similar issues today.

Metro Vancouver and the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation have been making some bold and progressive choices about the future of our region.  Through Metro Vancouver, we have the will and the ability to continue to be a national and international leader in terms of protecting our future.

Here are some of my positions on key issues that the Electoral Area A Director can influence, as well as some examples of positive actions already taken by our region.

Public Transportation: I strongly support public transportation and believe that the UBC area needs greater service to meet the existing and future ridership demands.

  • Metro Vancouver has one of the fastest growing public transportation systems on the continent. In 2018, ridership was up 7%, and nine of the ten busiest routes service the UBC/UEL areas.  This is great news, as car and truck emissions make up the largest portion of greenhouse emissions in the region (at 31%). 
  • The need for improved transit to UBC is clear. While rapid rail has been endorsed by the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, important decisions regarding funding, specific technology, routes, and station locations and configurations remain to be decided by TransLink and the Mayors’ Council in the coming years.  If elected, I will ensure that the views and concerns of UBC and UEL residents – particularly regarding the impact on their communities – are heard and fully considered.  

Environment: I believe that implementing strong policies that protect our environment is essential to the future of our region. I also believe that Metro Vancouver is, and can be even more of a leader in regional and urban planning for an environmentally sustainable future. 

  • Increasing recycling and composting:  The Metro Vancouver region produces 3.5 million tons of solid waste per year. Metro Vancouver has the goal of diverting 80% of the region’s waste to compost and recycling by next year. Through collaborative (across the region) educational campaigns and improved recycling and composting facilities, the region has increased its diversion rate to 63% (as of 2017), which is the highest in Canada, and among the highest in North America.  However, we clearly have more work to do to get to 80% by next year.
  • Clean waste water: Metro Vancouver recently approved substantially expanding and upgrading a wastewater treatment plant on the Fraser river (just upstream from Area A’s Barnston Island). The water entering the Fraser River from the plant will be of better quality than the regular water in the river.
Preserving the uniqueness of the UNA and UEL

Affordable housing and gentle 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 domain of Metro Vancouver, I will do what I can to facilitate discussions and actions that support affordable housing, while preserving the unique feel of the UEL and UNA neighborhoods. 

I want to be part of solutions such as these, and to help guide the region in finding the most forward-thinking solutions to climate and waste problems – pushing the art of possible. Building on Metro Vancouver’s successful recycling programs, I would like to work with Metro Vancouver to expand plastic recycling and ensure that we know exactly where recycled plastics are ending up, in addition to drastically reducing plastics consumption.

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