City Hall's 12th Avenue entrance

Events, decisions, and reports at City Council this week

February 28 2020 –

City Council met this week to hear and discuss a variety of topics during Council, Public Hearing, and Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meetings

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 

Council received a staff presentation  (2.3 MB) from Engineering Services regarding On-Street Car Sharing Parking Policy: Updates to One-Way Fleets at Metered Parking  (86 KB) This was approved after hearing from one speaker.

City staff from Development, Buildings and Licensing presented  (1.1 MB)on and responded to questions regarding By-laws for an Inter-Municipal Ride-hailing Business Licence (185 KB), which was approved by Council.

Council considered and approved unfinished business from the February 11 meeting, City of Vancouver LGBTQ2+ Advisory Committee – Renaming Consideration  (12 KB)

Council approved the following Reports on consent:

Council approved By-laws 1-2  (102 KB)

Several motions from Councillors were then discussed:

“This is an important step to support our ongoing efforts towards a city that is inclusive and welcoming, and supports past work such as Vancouver’s official apology to our Chinese community for historical discrimination,” said Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung on Discriminatory Covenants, Language and Encumbrances on Vancouver Land Titles. “Exclusionary covenants on land titles based on race and nationality are common. They may be void and unenforceable, but the words that remain on documents are a painful reminder of city’s racist history. We shouldn’t erase that history, but leaving these in place is hurtful to people.”

The following motions were referred to the City Finance and Services Standing Committee meeting on February 26 to hear from speakers:

The following motion was referred to the Policy and Strategic Priorities Standing Committee meeting on March 11:

On Tuesday evening, a Public Hearing was held:

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A City Finances and Services Standing Committee meeting was held on Wednesday. The meeting began with a proclamation recognizing Pink Shirt Day.

Council received a staff presentation  (348 KB) on 2020 Renter Services Grants and Renter Office Update  (245 KB). After hearing from two speakers, this was approved. 

Council approved agenda items:

Council then heard from speakers on referred items from the Council meeting on February 25, 2020:

Continuing to hear from speakers, debate and decision for the following motions were referred to the reconvening City Finance and Services Standing Committee meeting on March 3:

The following items were referred as Unfinished Business to the Council meeting after the City Finance and Services Standing Committee meeting on March 3:

Council will next reconvene for the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting on Tuesday, March 3 at 3 pm.

Amended motions:

See the amended motions below. These are provided for your understanding and the published minutes will be the official record of the meeting. 

Accessibility Funding and Guarantees for Passenger Directed Vehicles in BC

WHEREAS 

  1. Passenger Directed Vehicles (PDV) refer to all vehicles for hire including taxis and ride-hailing, and Transportation Network Services (TNS) are app-based ride hailing services; and
  2. Bill 55, the BC Passenger Transportation Amendment Act which took effect September 16, 2019, imposes a $0.30 fee for each non-accessible vehicle trip but does not otherwise mandate minimum number of accessible vehicles, nor how the non-accessible vehicle trip fee will be utilized. 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following two motions (as attached in Appendix A and Appendix B, with respective backgrounders), be separately forwarded by the City of Vancouver for consideration by the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) at its May 6 to 8, 2020, Annual Conference and by the Union of B.C. Municipalities at its September 21 to 25, 2020, Convention.

WHEREAS Bill 55, the BC Passenger Transportation Amendment Act which took effect September 16, 2019, imposes a $0.30 fee for each non-accessible vehicle trip but otherwise does not oblige Passenger Directed Vehicles to a timeline or otherwise mandate a percentage of all fleet vehicles be accessible; 

AND WHEREAS According to statistics from the Passenger Transportation Board, about 14 per cent of taxis in the province and about 19 per cent in Metro Vancouver are accessible and in other jurisdictions Transportation Network Services (app-based ride hailing services) have demonstrated an ability to provide accessible vehicles as part of their fleet and business model:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the UBCM calls on the provincial government to work in consultation with the Passenger Directed Vehicle industry, disability community, and local government representatives in order to design and implement a Wheelchair Accessibility Guarantee for all Passenger Directed Vehicle fleets that support a minimum percent of all fleets are guaranteed to be wheelchair accessible, sufficient to ensure that transportation options for persons with disabilities are equal to those provided to non-disabled persons in all Passenger Directed Vehicle fleets;

WHEREAS Bill 55, the BC Passenger Transportation Amendment Act which took effect September 16, 2019, imposes a $0.30 fee for each non-accessible vehicle trip but otherwise does not determine how or when those funds will be deployed to support accessibility of Passenger Directed Vehicles (PDVs); 

AND WHEREAS the disability community has identified a number of PDV accessibility concerns, including but not limited to lack of accessible vehicles or central dispatch for accessible vehicles, accessible booking or payment processes or compulsory driver training.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the UBCM calls on the provincial government to work in consultation with the Passenger Directed Vehicle industry, disability community, and local government representatives in order to design and implement an Accessibility Funding Strategy for all Passenger Directed Vehicle fleets that ensures that transportation options for persons with disabilities are equal to those provided to non disabled persons in all Passenger Directed Vehicle fleets, and specifically that all fleets have sufficient numbers of wheelchair accessible vehicles, and accessible booking, dispatch and payment processes.

Reducing Truck Pollution in Clark-Knight Corridor and Other City Streets

WHEREAS

  1. On June 19, 2019, Council passed a resolution calling for significant strengthening of provincial and federal regulations restricting traffic pollution, particularly of the particulates (soot) emitted by heavy trucks as well as requiring fuel alternatives that significantly reduce pollution on major roads; and
  2. Council agreed to forward a resolution to the next Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) and Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) meetings taking place later this year.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Mayor and Council submit the resolution as attached as Appendix A of this motion as LMLGA and UBCM Resolutions: “Reducing Truck Pollution on residential-adjacent commercial transport (trucking) routes”.

WHEREAS the high number of older, heavy-duty diesel trucks travelling on residential-adjacent trucking routes exposes homes, schools, businesses and residents to significant traffic pollution linked to increased risk of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and heart disease. Of particular danger is soot, which is indicative of diesel exhaust, a carcinogen associated with lung cancer.  

AND WHEREAS according to a July 2018 study by University of Toronto professors in collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Metro Vancouver, elevated levels of traffic pollution can be detected as far as 250 metres from major roads, putting thousands of British Columbians at risk of suffering serious health issues from living on or near commercial transport (trucking) routes:  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) lobby the Provincial and Federal governments to significantly strengthen regulations restricting traffic pollution, particularly of the particulates (soot) emitted by heavy-duty vehicles as well as requiring fuel alternatives that significantly reduce pollution on residential-adjacent commercial transport routes. 

BC Clean Kilometre Act for Ride Hailing Fleets

WHEREAS:

  1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that limiting global warming to 1.5º C with no or limited overshoot would imply global net CO2 emissions dropping to between 50% and 58% below 2010 levels by 2030, and between 94% and 107% below 2010 levels by 2050 – requiring ever more bold GHG-reducing actions, including increasing the proportion of zero-emission vehicles on B.C. roads; and
  2.  As of January 31, 2020, thirty-one local governments in B.C. voted to recognize a global climate emergency and take local climate action, understanding the biggest sources of Greenhouse Gas emissions by far are buildings and transportation.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following motion and background information (attached as Appendix A), be forwarded by the City of Vancouver for consideration by the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) at its May 6-8, 2020, Annual Conference and by the Union of B.C. Municipalities at its September 21-25, 2020, Convention.

WHEREAS Clean BC states that the province will prioritize reducing climate pollution by shifting vehicles, homes, industry and business off burning fossil fuels and toward greater use of clean B.C. electricity and other renewable energies, with a target of a 40% reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions over 2007 levels by 2030; 

AND WHEREAS approximately 40% of GHG emissions in B.C. are due to vehicles, and shifting to zero-emission vehicles will not only help the provincial and local governments meet Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission-reduction targets but also strengthen the economy, improve air quality and public health, and reduce fuel costs for drivers:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the provincial government design and implement a BC Clean Kilometre Act for Ride Hailing fleets (Transportation Network Services) and taxi fleets (Passenger Directed Vehicles) that supports the targets set in Clean BC and the IPPC report and requires ride hailing fleets and taxi fleets to reduce their emissions accordingly and that this act be developed in consultation with the ride hailing industry and local government representatives, recognizing there may be differences in regional requirements based on availability of EV charging infrastructure.

Provincial Tools for Building Energy Benchmarking

WHEREAS

  1. The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) endorsed a resolution at its 2017 Convention requesting that the Province develop an energy benchmarking program requiring that buildings above a size threshold benchmark their energy performance and report this information to the province annually, and that the resulting data be available to local governments to inform their climate policy and programs;
  2. The Provincial response to the UBCM  was as follows;The Province of British Columbia recognized that energy efficiency is one of the lowest cost ways to reduce energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the five jurisdictions that make up the Pacific Coast Collaborative, and as a contributor to the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Province supports building energy benchmarking as an important tool to achieve energy efficiency and climate objectives for the built environment.

The Province continues to explore policy and program options in relation to energy benchmarking for commercial and large multi-unit residential buildings in BC

  1. While, to date, the Province has not established a Building Energy Benchmarking program, the urgency has grown as local governments in BC develop plans to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GhG) emissions in their jurisdictions in order to avoid the worst impacts of accelerating global warming, and the need for particular provincial tools has become clearer.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following motion (attached as Appendix A), be forwarded by the City of Vancouver for consideration by the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) at its May 6-8, 2020 Annual Conference and by the Union of B.C. Municipalities at its September 21-25, 2020 Convention and that this Council motion be attached as Background Information.

WHEREAS the Province of BC has communicated support for a 2017 UBCM motion requesting that the Province develop an energy benchmarking program requiring that buildings above a size threshold benchmark their energy performance and report this information to the province annually and that the resulting data be available to local governments to inform their climate policy and programs, but not yet acted on that motion—leaving room for additional direction;

AND WHEREAS the urgency to implement measures to help reduce Greenhouse Gas (GhG) emissions in the building sector has grown since the October 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report verified that drastic reductions in GhG emissions are needed by 2030 in order to avert catastrophic climate change impacts, and increasing numbers of local governments in BC (numbering 31 as of January 31, 2020) declare a global climate emergency and develop bolder plans to mitigate accelerating climate change:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) request that the Province act on the 2017 UBCM motion for a building energy benchmark program within a year and that the program include appropriate industry support tools to facilitate easy compliance, a benchmark data management system accessible by local governments to help inform their industry engagement and policy development, and plans and timelines for expanding the program to include other building types.   

Re-Examining Municipal Pension Plan Divestment

WHEREAS the motion: City of Vancouver Responsible Divestment From Fossil Fuels, passed unanimously by Council on January 21, 2020, directed staff to bring a motion to Council for the 2020 meetings of the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) and the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) to re-examine the 2016 UBCM Primer on Fossil Fuel Divestment and the Municipal Pension Plan report, in light of globally changing investment and divestment strategies.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following motion, attached as Appendix A, be forwarded by the City of Vancouver together with, as Background Information, the complete original motion of January 21, 2020, including the Whereas’s, for consideration by the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) at its May 6-8, 2020 Annual Conference and by the Union of B.C. Municipalities at its September 21-25, 2020 Convention.

WHEREAS since 2016, when the UBCM report, Primer on Fossil Fuel Divestment and the Municipal Pension Plan noted that “Divestment may compromise our investment strategy, increase risks and costs, and negatively affect our clients’ investment returns”, there have been major shifts in global climate science and investment strategies. 
The October 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report verified that global warming is accelerating, with a window of little more than a decade to drastically reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions to avert catastrophic climate change impacts. 
Since 2016, divestment has accelerated. In 2014, global funds committed to fossil fuel divestment was $52 billion. In 2018: $8 trillion. In 2019: $11 trillion, including pension funds such as Caisse, Quebec, Quebec’s equivalent to B.C.’s pension fund manager, whose CEO stated: “There are going to be stranded assets associated with climate change…we think it’s good risk management to, over time, exit those”;

AND WHEREAS evidence is growing that fossil fuel-free funds are outperforming fossil fuel investments. The 2019 return on the B.C. Government Employees Union’s fossil fuel-free investments, for example, was 21.7 percent:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) re-examine and update its 2016 Primer on Fossil Fuel Divestment and the Municipal Pension Plan report in light of globally changing investment and divestment strategies and inform B.C. Investment Management Corporation, as the provider of investment management services for B.C.’s Municipal Pension Plan, of the concerns of the UBCM regarding the growing financial risks related to investing in fossil fuels and its support for a plan, built on leading practices related to fossil fuel-free investment portfolios, to fully divest Municipal Pension Plan funds from fossil fuels. 

Provincial Enabling of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing by Local Governments

WHEREAS 

  1. Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan 2010-2020 recognizes existing buildings as the city’s single biggest source of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and includes energy retrofitting of existing buildings as a major priority; and
  2. In January of 2019, the City of Vancouver declared a Climate Emergency and, in April of 2019, approved both a Climate Emergency Response plan and a plan for Building Retrofits for Deep Carbon Reductions that identify the need for financial incentives to enable the needed deep emission retrofits of buildings in order to meet the city’s GHG reduction goals.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following motion and background information (attached as Appendix A), be forwarded by the City of Vancouver for consideration by the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) at its May 6-8, 2020 Annual Conference and by the Union of B.C. Municipalities at its September 21-25, 2020 Convention.

WHEREAS  local governments in British Columbia are considering how to most effectively support members of their communities in actions to mitigate climate change, especially to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from buildings, which  account for over 50% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in many communities, but are challenged by the fact that the vast majority of buildings are privately owned and most building owners face financial barriers to energy and emission-reducing retrofits.

AND WHEREAS there is reluctance by the Province to pursue public financing mechanisms for private buildings but rapidly growing interest by private investors to put their capital to work solving challenges such as climate change, while earning a reasonable return on investment – as evidenced by the $11 trillion in funds being divested globally from fossil fuels in 2019 and nearly a billion dollars of third party private investment in Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (C-PACE) in the United States in 2017 and 2018.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the UBCM request that the Province update the Vancouver and Community Charters to enable B.C. local or regional governments to establish Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing programs that include accessing third party private investment.

Discriminatory Covenants, Language and Encumbrances on Vancouver Land Titles

WHEREAS 

  1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Section 15 (1) states that “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability”;
  2. Land titles in the City of Vancouver are known to contain historical covenants, language, and encumbrances  that are now void, which previously restricted the sale, ownership, occupation or use of land on the basis of sex, race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry or place of origin of a person;
  3. Section 222 of British Columbia’s Land Title Act specifies that covenants that restrict the sale, ownership, occupation or use of land on account of sex, race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry or place of origin of a person are void and of no effect. Section 222 was enacted in 1978 and operates against any registered covenant that directly or indirectly has a discriminating effect, whenever registered and in whatever form created; 
  4. Although discriminatory clauses and covenants in land titles are void and of no effect, documents obtained during land title searches (e.g. as part of a property sale) often include discriminatory clauses and/or covenants registered prior to 1978; especially for properties that have not changed hands for several decades and consequently haven’t been updated by the land title office; 
  5. The following examples of discriminatory covenants and clauses from various British Columbia land titles are illustrative of the historical language and text that remains on many land titles:
    • “That no Oriental shall be allowed to purchase the within described property.” (Kitchener Street, Vancouver East Side: placed on the land in 1931); 
    • AND WHEREAS the Grantor and Grantee have agreed that as a term of such sale, no Asiatic, Negro or Indian shall have the right or be allowed to own, become tenant of or occupy any part of [the property].” (South Vancouver, in close proximity to Point Grey Golf and Country Club);  
    • “that the Grantee or his heirs, administrators, executor, successors or assigns will not sell to, agree to sell to, rent to, lease to, or permit or allow to occupy, the said lands and premises, or any part thereof, any person of the Chinese, Japanese or other Asiatic race or to any Indian or Negro.” (Vancouver, B.C.); 
  6. Property owners can submit requests to the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) registrar in New Westminster to have discriminatory covenants removed. The registrar is authorized to take action with respect to Section 222 of the Land Title Act and will amend the register and records to reflect that the covenants are not valid. The registrar will indicate on the original document that the covenant has been cancelled as per the Land Title Act, s. 222. There is no customer fee for cancellation of a discriminating covenant; 
  7. Although covenants that restrict the sale, ownership, occupation or use of land on account of sex, race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry or place of origin of a person are void and of no effect, these restrictive covenants are not and have not been, automatically, routinely, or systematically removed from land titles. Typically, these discriminatory covenants are only removed from a land title record when they are brought to the attention of the land title office by a property owner;  

Note: Removal of a racist covenant does not rewrite history. For example, three students from the Alberni School District recently worked with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia to remove a discriminatory covenant on a local property dating from 1909 (pursuant to S.222 of the Land Title Act). On the original document, lines were drawn by the registrar through the racial covenant and a statement was added stating that the covenant has been removed, along with the date of its removal, to advise future owners; 

  1. In recent decades, all orders of government in Canada (federal, provincial, and municipal) have taken steps to formally apologize for past discrimination against various groups and have embarked upon a number of processes and actions in support of reconciliation. The following are illustrative examples:
    1. In 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper on behalf of the Government of Canada, issued a formal apology to Chinese Canadians for the race-based Chinese Head Tax and for the exclusion of Chinese immigrants to Canada from 1923 to 1947.
    2. In 2008, Prime Minister Harper apologized to former students of Indian residential schools for Canada’s role in the system, which separated over 150,000 Aboriginal children from their families and communities. 
    3. In 2010, the City of New Westminster was the first municipality in Canada to formally acknowledge and apologize to the Chinese community for past practices which resulted in discrimination and exclusion. This acknowledgement and apology was part of ten steps and actions in support of reconciliation, which were based on a process of comprehensive research and consultation.
    4. On May 15, 2014, Premier Christy Clark issued a formal apology to Chinese Canadians on behalf the entire B.C. Legislature for the historical wrongs imposed on them by past provincial governments. 
    5. On May 18, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized in the House of Commons for the Komagata Maru incident in 1914 in which hundreds of Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu passengers were denied entry to Canada and forced to return to an uncertain and ultimately violent fate in India. 
  2. On November 1, 2017, Vancouver City Council received a report summarizing historical discrimination against Chinese people in Vancouver and unanimously supported the recommendations contained therein. The report noted that “The key learning from the initiative is to ensure that this history will not repeat and we remain vigilant in upholding the values of equity, justice and well-being for all”;

Note: in 1941, when a young Chinese Canadian couple tried to buy property in West Point Grey, various white community leaders and associations reportedly mobilized and canvassed hard to prohibit the sale. Aldermen Halford Wilson and Henry DeGreaves are said to have headed a proposal that “Council appoint a special committee to draft a by-law that would prevent ‘Orientals’ from being either tenants or owners in areas other than ‘their own localities”; 

  1. As noted in the November 2017, Council Report, the preliminary research summarizing historical discrimination against Chinese people in Vancouver identified four thematic areas, one of which was “segregation in housing and public space”;
  2. In April 2018, the City of Vancouver formally apologized to Chinese Canadians for historical discriminatory legislation, regulations, and policies that discriminated against residents of Chinese descent, and noted that “Through the process of reconciliation we consolidate and embrace our firm beliefs and values of being an inclusive community; one that embraces our collective human rights and prepares us to be proactive in preventing discrimination”; and
  3. Vancouver City Council and the City of Vancouver continue to embrace collective human rights and the values of an inclusive community and are committed to remaining vigilant in upholding the values of equity, justice, and well-being for all to ensure that we learn from the past, and that we remain proactive in preventing discrimination.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED 

  1. THAT Council affirms that covenants, or portion of covenants, language, clauses, and other encumbrances that historically restricted the sale, ownership, occupation, or use of land based on the sex, race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry, or place of origin of a person are void and of no effect in the City of Vancouver; 

FURTHER THAT Council affirms the City’s commitment to collective human rights and the values of an inclusive community that supports the values of equity, justice, and well-being for all, and to ensuring we learn from the past and remain proactive in preventing incidents of discrimination.

  1. THAT Council direct staff to report back on past and current actions the City of Vancouver has taken to address the question of discriminatory covenants and language recorded in land titles for properties within the boundaries of the City of Vancouver, and to identify and bring forward recommendations for any additional work that should be taken including working with the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC to explore options to systematically and proactively identify and strike discriminatory covenants and language from Vancouver land titles (including appropriate indications on original / historical documents that a discriminatory covenant or encumbrance has been cancelled as per Section 222 of the Land Title Act).
  2. THAT Vancouver City Council intends to address the issue of discriminatory covenants and language in land titles, including a call for senior orders of government to examine the history of discriminatory covenants in the Province with the cooperation of academics and non-profit organizations active in this area;
  3. FURTHER THAT the Mayor convey Council’s intention to the Mayor and Council of West Vancouver by letter, with copies to be sent to the Mayors and Councils of all 21 municipalities, one Electoral Area, and one Treaty First Nation that make up Metro Vancouver and a further copy to the Union of BC Municipalities.

Toward Best Practices in Civic Governance: Clarifying Council’s Role as an Elected Board

WHEREAS

  1. Section 6 of the Vancouver Charter states that the inhabitants within the defined physical boundaries of Vancouver are “a corporation and a municipality with the name of City of Vancouver.”; 
  2. Municipalities and regional districts in British Columbia (B.C.) are represented by elected officials who exercise the powers and perform the obligations of the local government with input from staff and citizens; 
  3. A board of directors is a governing body typically defined as an elected group of individuals who variously represent the shareholders, members, or constituents of a defined group and meet at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight;
  4. Boards make decisions of a fiduciary nature on behalf of their shareholders, members, or constituents. Responsibilities that generally fall under a board's purview typically include the setting executive compensation, setting policies and broad goals, and ensuring the company or organization has adequate, well-managed resources at its disposal; 
  5. Governance systems set the parameters under which management and administrative systems operate;  
  6. In B.C., local government decisions are the responsibility of the local government’s governing body – for municipalities, a council comprising a mayor and councillors and for regional districts, a board comprising electoral area directors and directors from member municipalities and, in some cases, Treaty First Nations; 
  7. Under the definitions in Chapter 1 of the Local Government Act, “local government” means (a) the council of a municipality, and (b) the board of a regional district; 
  8. Municipalities and regional districts in B.C. are empowered by provincial legislation to govern in a wide range of areas. Local government governance and powers focus specifically on how municipal councils and regional district board of directors organize, operate, provide services and make themselves accountable to their communities; 
  9. Local government administration in B.C. refers to the staff and other resources needed to provide these functions. Local government administrative staff implement the direction and decisions set by municipal councils and regional district boards;
  10. Based on the definitions in Chapter 1 of the Local Government Act, which states that “local government” means (a) the council of a municipality and (b) the board of a regional district, a reasonably minded person would commonly understand that the Council of a municipality and the Board of a regional district are cognates and that, for all intents and purposes, the Council of a municipality serves the same purposes and functions of a Board; 
  11. Various occupations and professions have professional and other practice standards and/or a code of ethics they must adhere to which may require practitioners to report to an organization’s Senior Management and/or its Board. For example, the Institute of Internal Auditors – an international professional association serving the internal audit profession – has a Performance Standard 2060 (i.e., Reporting to Senior Management and the Board) which requires a chief audit executive to report periodically to senior management and the board regarding the internal audit activity’s purpose, authority, responsibility, and performance relative to its plan as well as its conformance with the association’s Code of Ethics and the Standards. 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Vancouver City Council refer this work to the yet to be formed office of the Auditor General to clarify Council’s role as an Elected Board for those areas, circumstances, and situations where Elected Board status might naturally or potentially apply, such as for City employees or employee groups whose employment with the City falls within an occupational or professional group category that carries with it Practice Standards and/or a Code of Ethics requiring periodic reporting to the Board of the organization they serve, and for staff to report back to Council as part of its work plan; 

FURTHER THAT staff be directed to compile and include – as part of their report back to Council – a list of occupational and professional groups employed and/or working within the City of Vancouver that have, or may potentially have, Practice Standards and/or a Code of Ethics requiring, or potentially requiring, periodic reporting to the Board of the organization they serve, including information regarding any corresponding duties and obligations of a Board for each occupational or professional group category so noted.

Declaring a Homelessness Emergency: Making an Emergency Plan to Drastically Reduce Homelessness

WHEREAS

  1. At least 2,223 people were counted as homeless across Vancouver in 2019;
  2. At least 7,655 were counted as homeless across British Columbia;
  3. At least 30,000 are homeless in Canada in any one day with 235,000 experiencing homelessness in a year;
  4. Homelessness robs people of their security, dignity, rights and lives – homeless people have about half the life expectancy as housed people;
  5. Canadians are upset by the fact that we have homelessness in a rich country, and that people have to live on the streets. On June 21, 2019, the Governor General of Canada signed into law Bill C-97, which contained the National Housing Strategy Act, and the federal right to housing legislation - which enshrines “adequate housing as a fundamental human right;
  6. Numerous academic studies have established that providing secure housing is a more cost-effective solution to homelessness than maintaining temporary shelters and incurring additional policing, mental health service, and health care costs;
  7. The full continuum of housing needs far outweigh local government’s available resources and funding required to effectively address this issue, and desperately needs the support of both the Provincial and Federal governments;
  8. BC Housing and other social housing providers have long wait lists and a lack of available housing, while:
    1. Low rent housing is being lost to rent increases when tenants move out;
    2. Not enough social housing at welfare rate is coming on-stream to make up for the loss of low rent housing; and
    3. Modular housing works well to house people who have been homeless, but the province isn’t funding enough of them to meet the demand;
  9. Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels are often the last resort before homelessness. SROs are being bought by investors who are evicting current low income tenants by renovating and increasing the rents. Vancouver could lose hundreds of SRO rooms to this practice;
  10. Welfare and disability shelter rates as determined by the province are too low at $375 per month to even cover operating costs for an SRO room;
  11. Skyrocketing prices for housing and land over the past 10 years, spurred by low interest rates and financial speculation, have turned Vancouver into one of the most 2 expensive housing markets in the world, far out of reach of most local incomes;
  12. On January 29, 2020, following a unanimous council vote, Ottawa became the first city in Canada to declare a housing and homelessness emergency; and
  13. The circumstances and extent of homelessness in Vancouver constitute a crisis and emergency situation.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

  1. THAT Vancouver City Council declares a Homelessness Emergency.
  2. THAT Council urge the federal and provincial governments as well as regional and local governments along with other partners, to make a Homelessness Emergency plan to build or find dignified, affordable housing for at least 80 percent of counted homeless people within three years.
  3. THAT this Homelessness Emergency plan includes raising social assistance shelter rates so people can afford to pay rent.
  4. THAT this Homelessness Emergency plan include recommendations for implementing targeted vacancy control as a tool to preserve existing lower rent accommodation.
  5. THAT Council direct staff to prepare and submit the following Homelessness Emergency declaration and request for a plan, along with the attached backgrounder as a resolution to the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM): 

WHEREAS British Columbia has at least 7,655 homeless people, and homelessness robs people of their security, dignity, rights and lives, as homeless people have about half the life expectancy as housed people

AND WHEREAS Bill C-97 (June 21, 2019) containing the National Housing Strategy Act, and the federal right to housing legislation enshrines “adequate housing as a fundamental human right.”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED 

THAT the UBCM call upon the Province to declare a Homelessness Emergency and work with all orders of governments, BC Housing and other partners on a Homelessness Emergency Plan to build or find dignified, affordable housing for at least 80 percent of counted homeless people within three years.

F. THAT Council direct staff to prepare and submit this Homelessness Emergency declaration and request for a plan along with the attached backgrounder, as a 
resolution to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM): 

WHEREAS Canada has at least 30,000 people who are homeless on any one day with 235,000 experiencing homelessness in a year, and homelessness robs people of their security, dignity, rights and lives, as homeless people have about half the life expectancy as housed people

AND WHEREAS Bill C-97 (June 21, 2019) containing the National Housing Strategy Act, and the federal right to housing legislation enshrines “adequate housing as a fundamental human right.” 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

THAT the FCM call upon the Federal Government to declare a Homelessness Emergency and work with all orders of governments, and other partners on a Homelessness Emergency Plan to build or find dignified, affordable housing for at least 80 percent of counted homeless people within three years.