The doors of City Hall in Vancouver

Events, decisions, and reports at City Council this week

October 23 2020 –

Vancouver City Council met electronically this week to hear and discuss a variety of topics during Council and Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meetings.​​​​​​​

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Council began with a proclamation recognizing this week as Waste Reduction Week.

Staff presented on Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Update (4 MB) for Council’s information and answered questions.

Council then dealt with unfinished business from October 13, Modification of Lease for Supporting Women’s Alternatives Network (SWAN Vancouver) Society, and Lease for RainCity Housing and Support Society for Overdose Prevention Site, both at 1101 Seymour Street (723 KB). After asking questions of staff and Council debate, this was approved with amendments.

The 2021 Council Meetings Schedule (83 KB) was also approved with amendments.

Next, staff presented (2 MB) on Cannabis as an Alternative to Opiates and More Dangerous Drugs on the Downtown Eastside (710 KB) for Council’s information and answered questions.

Several reports, referral reports, by-laws, and administrative motions were approved:

Council also approved the motion Replacing Gendered and Patriarchal Language in the Vancouver Charter (24 KB).

The motion Mandatory Mask Policy at Vancouver Civic Facilities (45 KB) was referred to the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting on Thursday, October 22.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Council reconvened on Wednesday to deal with unfinished business from Council meetings on October 6 and 13.

After asking questions of staff, Short Term Actions to Preserve and Expand Access to Mental Health Resources and Housing in Grandview-Woodlands (54 KB) was not approved.

The reports on 2020 Animal Welfare Grant  (69 KB) and Downtown Eastside (DTES) Plan Implementation Grant Allocation - 2020 (1.5 MB) were approved.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting began with the approval of Vancouver Community Sport Hosting Grant – Fall 2020 Intake (202 KB).

Council then heard from 16 speakers on Year-Round Free Parking for Veterans and Current Serving Members of the Forces (105 KB). After asking questions of staff and debate, an amended motion was approved.

Staff presented  (2 MB) on Employment Lands & Economy Review Phase 2 Report: Emerging Directions for Consideration Through Vancouver Plan (4 MB), and answered questions. After hearing from 15 speakers, this was approved with amendments.

The meeting then turned to the motion Mandatory Mask Policy at Vancouver Civic Facilities (45 KB), which had been referred from Tuesday’s Council meeting. After hearing from 17 speakers and debate, an amended motion was approved.

A By-law (121 KB) to amend Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 to rezone an area to CD-1 regarding 631-635 Commercial Drive was also approved.

Quotes

Councillor Melissa De Genova

Regarding Year-Round Free Parking for Veterans and Current Serving Members of the Forces:

“Our democracy, rights and freedoms were built on the backs of veterans. A few hours of free parking is the least we can do to say thank you. Council made the right decision.”​​​​​​​

Councillor Pete Fry

Regarding Modification of Lease for Supporting Women’s Alternatives Network (SWAN Vancouver) Society, and Lease for RainCity Housing and Support Society for Overdose Prevention Site, both at 1101 Seymour Street:

“We know that this new overdose prevention site will save lives. As part of a harm reduction approach, we know this has the potential to improve outcomes for people who use drugs, but also outcomes for the neighbourhood – who have legitimate concerns around the obvious increase in drug use and  perceptions around public safety and street cleanliness in the area. As landlords, the City will have a direct role in ensuring the standards of operation and community concerns are appropriately addressed by our leaseholders the health authority.”

Regarding Replacing Gendered and Patriarchal Language in the Vancouver Charter:

“Removing  some of the 1953-era patriarchal language of our Vancouver Charter seems a relatively minor edit, but language matters and as a city its important that our governing legislation reflect the progressive values and aspirations of all Vancouverites, regardless of gender.”

Regarding Year-Round Free Parking for Veterans and Current Serving Members of the Forces:

“Council’s decision to allow free parking for veterans reflects our respective respect for those who served our country. Staff had rightly summarized that at face value: free parking is inconsistent with our council directed policy goals around climate change, traffic and congestion, parking minimums and active transportation. In the end however, we were all given a thoughtful lesson that challenged some assumptions and led to the best outcome. I’m personally sorry for the stress and pain this caused for veterans and the people who care for them, and our staff that had work on this report, and face an unfair amount of public criticism in identifying our existing policies.”