For immediate release
April 13th, 2021
VANCOUVER, BC - Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr’s motion for the city to create a joint Vancouver City Council-Vancouver School Board committee to collaborate on capital projects will be introduced at city council tonight and debated after hearing from speakers at the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities tomorrow. This is following a request from the Vancouver School Board for the establishment of such a committee.
“City Council makes land use decisions that determine housing and population density,” said Councillor Carr. “Currently we don’t confer with the School Board, but we often hear concerns from residents at public hearings about why we are considering adding family housing in areas where schools are already at capacity. We also hear from the School Board about why are we not adding family housing density into 'empty-nester' neighbourhoods where schools are under-enrolled. This motion could contribute to much better land use and facilities planning,” said Carr.
“This motion also provides opportunity for collaborative governance in the face of the climate emergency,” continued Carr. “Both the city and Metro Vancouver are pursuing resilient communities that include public buildings that can serve as safe spaces for people at times of environmental stress - such as heat waves and air quality crises that we have recently faced with wildfire smoke that threatens many peoples' health. Schools could be some of the safe centres we need in our city.”
Other potential outcomes outlined in the motion include planning for community partnerships for out-of-school hours, opportunities to expand childcare and affordable housing initiatives for education workers. “This collaboration can help address a common theme in our city-wide Vancouver Plan, which is the need for complete and resilient neighbourhoods,” said Carr.
“I am hopeful that Council will support this reach out from the school board as Vancouver needs to have seamless planning for neighbourhood communities and families,” said Green Trustee Janet Fraser. “Families deserve to attend a local school and Council approved developments need to move in parallel with the Ministry of Education approvals for school expansions. It is especially important that there is close collaboration on jointly owned sites such as Britannia, where a renewal is underway, and King George Secondary and the West End Community Centre, where a renewal is envisioned.”
If passed, this motion calls for an implementation plan with an expedited timeline to enable this pilot collaboration to be incorporated into the City’s 2022 Operating Budget. The committee would consist of three Trustees and three councillors and would meet bi-annually until the end of November 2022.