BC Municipal Election 2018

October 10, 2018 5:44 pm
Updated: October 10, 2018 10:17 pm

Burnaby mayoral candidates have their say on rapid growth, demovictions

WATCH: Aaron McArthur zeroes in on some of the big issues facing Burnaby as we head towards the municipal election.

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The City of Burnaby is experiencing a period of rapid growth.

But with this growth comes “demovictions” and challenges in attracting lower-income residents to the city.

Longtime Mayor Derek Corrigan is running again for the seat but is the city in need of a change?

READ MORE: Live B.C. election results 2018: Find your riding and candidates


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Global News asked all mayoral candidates running for election in the City of Burnaby, four questions about rapid growth, the rental market, the Trans Mountain pipeline and any other important issue they think should be addressed.

The responses are posted below, unedited from the candidates who replied and also identify those who are running but did not respond to the questions before deadline. Candidates were asked to answer each question in less than 100 words.

READ MORE: Vancouver mayoral candidates have their say on housing

Sylvia Gung

1) Burnaby is experiencing a period of rapid growth, the large-scale developments along the Lougheed corridor and Metrotown are examples, and with these new developments come “demovictions.” How do you balance growth with ensuring lower-income residents aren’t pushed out?

If not manipulated by authority, humans are graceful beings. The city has to learn not to trample its citizens’ wishes and let them design their own community and talk directly to developers, too. Abolishing election campaigns can help the council sincerely face the balancing duty every meeting. Burnaby has two publications, BurnabyNow and InfoBurnaby, the latter being redundant and giving the council a term-head start against other candidates, even disregarding the merit of the council’s good deeds during the term. The InfoBurnaby, debate formats, candidate profiles (delivered with the vote cards) can replace election campaigns, dissolving corruption from the core.

2) Burnaby was the first Metro Vancouver municipality to enact rental only zoning. How else do you plan on tackling affordability in Burnaby?

Keep building is not the best choice. What do we do when finally there is no space left, especially in this materialistic country? I would start with inward densification that requires love and spirituality, not personal boundaries or space to fight. And observe to see what better or more can be done. In the meantime fix the public education to foster humanity. Turn over the job training to the city and replace the gap with singing and dancing. Let children be children. Give them time to ponder over the life of themselves and their parents’ and let them enjoy themselves.

3) The Trans Mountain pipeline runs right through your municipality. Do you support the expansion of this project? And how are you going to work with the provincial and federal governments to ensure the concerns of Burnaby residents are heard?

Do not expand. Instead, finally start working on fixing public education so that the education can raise citizens with a strong sense of responsibility and loving, spiritual human beings, not people of disability or cyborg-like agencies that continuously looking for better well-paying good jobs against other fellow human beings or friends that all need to go to mental hospitals for treatments. When it comes to this point, those upper government cannot insist what they want which is nothing but a part of strategy to secure votes and keep holding the power to do whatever they like to do.

4) What issue – not covered above – are you hoping to address in your community?

Implement Volunteer Job Pool Program, to move job training public schools to the city and give physicians opportunity to create MSP for the pets (and their owners and others who otherwise have no access to the family doctors) and private health care system. With these, a wholesome government with a good public education, empowered by the Volunteer Job Pool Program, there must be a set of different politics that will settle the taxes and the prices of goods and services. With this different way of running the government, Burnaby will become the model city for the world to learn from.

READ MORE: Race to watch: Demoviction debate animates the battle for Burnaby

Derek Corrigan

1) Burnaby is experiencing a period of rapid growth, the large-scale developments along the Lougheed corridor and Metrotown are examples, and with these new developments come “demovictions.” How do you balance growth with ensuring lower-income residents aren’t pushed out? 

Burnaby is meeting its regional growth targets and the first to implement the new rental zoning powers recently granted by the provincial government. With provincial government support, more than 16 affordable housing projects are built or under way with plans to allocate $200 million of non-taxpayers funds to support the building of more new affordable rentals and co-operatives. As the first and most proactive on rental zoning powers, we have demanded for decades, we can make sure there is replacement of current purpose built rental units, available to current tenants, at regulated, affordable rates.

2) Burnaby was the first Metro Vancouver municipality to enact rental-only zoning. How else do you plan on tackling affordability in Burnaby? 

16 current housing projects: 1,100 units for families, seniors, individuals with disabilities, low-income residents. 1,600 market-rental units. $200 million towards building more affordable rentals and co-operatives by partnering with citizens, advocacy groups and NGOs, regional, federal and provincial governments. Future options we will look at: secondary suites in duplexes; laneway homes; vacant homes tax to encourage rentals, with funds going to housing fund; review short term rentals to regulate or license, to provide more long term rental accommodation. Click here to review our rent housing policy announcement. Or go to: burnabycitizens.ca/housing_campaign.

3) The Trans Mountain pipeline runs right through your municipality. Do you support the expansion of this project? And how are you going to work with the provincial and federal governments to ensure the concerns of Burnaby residents are heard?  

On February 3, 2014, because of the significant negative impacts that its construction and operation would have on our city, region and marine environment – and after polling Burnaby citizens to ensure representation of their views – with the full support of Mayor and Council the City applied for official intervener status to oppose the project.  Since then, Burnaby’s BCA Council has continued to fully support the City’s fight against the pipeline.  We are committed to leaving no potential remedy to this pipeline threat untried.  We’ll continue to work with citizens, governments and First Nations to ensure this project never gets built.

4) What issue – not covered above – are you hoping to address in your community?

Having completed comprehensive citizen-driven Social and Environmental sustainability strategies, an Economic Development Strategy and most-recently, a new Corporate Strategic Plan, Burnaby is working with business and hundreds of citizens to update its Transportation Plan.  The work focuses on improving mobility – for cars and public transit, and also for walkers and cyclists.  We recently opened Willingdon Linear Park, a beautiful path that links Brentwood to the Heights.  Our Rumble Street urban trail is nearing completion and the latest phase of the Central Park Perimeter Trail is complete, all adding to our vast network of urban trails.

WATCH: Coverage of elections in Burnaby on Globalnews.ca

Helen Chang

1) Burnaby is experiencing a period of rapid growth, the large-scale developments along the Lougheed corridor and Metrotown are examples, and with these new developments come “demovictions.” How do you balance growth with ensuring lower-income residents aren’t pushed out?

I would maintain the designated purpose-built rental building as is, so, regarding re-development initiated by the owner(s), the designated zoning would remain the same. Furthermore, I would give the tenants of the designated purpose-built rental building priority to re-occupy the rental unit when the building is to be re-developed. In this way, we can prevent demoviction. I also provide land of our city to build affordable housing for lower income residents and request our senior governments provide fund for construction. I also plan to establish a foundation similar to Steettohouse to accommodate housing for homeless and people with disabilities.

2) Burnaby was the first Metro Vancouver municipality to enact rental-only zoning. How else do you plan on tackling affordability in Burnaby?

I would allow a lane house, a duplex to a single detached home lot.  I would also request the provincial and federal governments implement a long-term housing plan where each local government’s needs and opinions is reflected in the process of compiling and finalizing the plan. Once a long-term housing plan is established, I will request our senior governments implement a mandatory funding for the long-term plan as part of an annual national or provincial budget, to guarantee its materialization due on the time frame to prevent any interruption caused by election results every four or five years.

3) The Trans Mountain pipeline runs right through your municipality. Do you support the expansion of this project? And how are you going to work with the provincial and federal governments to ensure the concerns of Burnaby residents are heard?

Personally, I do not support it, but the Trans Mountain pipeline has been in Burnaby for more than 60 years, so I will manage it as part of Burnaby by installing a committee comprised of Burnaby residents who are living next to the pipeline expansion project, staff of the Burnaby Fire Department, and the City to regularly review any concerns or problems, to install a protocol to deal with any emergency situation such as oil spill and to manage any updated projects. Also, we can regularly communicate with people in other jurisdiction to discuss their concerns regarding the pipeline

In this way, we can deal with any problems and any concerns including the current expansion project with our senior governments because we have updated data and input from Burnaby residents.

4) What issue – not covered above – are you hoping to address in your community?

Crime and safety.

For the last 20 years, I have been doing victimology research. Victimization of innocent new immigrants is alarming and detrimental to the integrity of our multicultural society. We need an overhaul in the criminal justice system and an implementation of a Hate Crime statistics Act to protect visible minority from comprehensive criminal exploitation operations where white-collar criminals affiliated with criminal organizations defraud innocent victims and corrupt their ethnic community beyond description. In Burnaby, there is a robust evidence that the first line law enforcement officers involved in victimization of innocent victims.

Mike Hurley

1) Burnaby is experiencing a period of rapid growth, the large-scale developments along the Lougheed corridor and Metrotown are examples, and with these new developments come “demovictions.” How do you balance growth with ensuring lower-income residents aren’t pushed out?

Burnaby’s rapid growth has come at the expense of its most vulnerable residents. Hundreds of families have been demovicted since 2010 with 712 rental units destroyed to make room for high-rises. Burnaby is the only city in the Lower Mainland to see such a decrease in rental units. With the average household income at $47,500 in Metrotown, these developments are out of reach for many.
My plan will focus on the needs of Burnaby’s residents over the needs of developers. Listening to residents, housing experts and city planners is a start in working towards balancing density and affordability.

2) Burnaby was the first Metro Vancouver municipality to enact rental-only zoning. How else do you plan on tackling affordability in Burnaby?

Burnaby was the first Metro Vancouver municipality to enact rental only zoning, three months before an election. The Mayor always had the power to prevent demovictions.

My Housing and Affordability Action Plan calls for a moratorium on demovictions until accommodation can be found for these residents at the same rent levels. I will also assemble a task force of experts and planners to analyze housing issues and report back with solutions six months after taking office. Proper public consultation will be key, opening the conversation to include laneway and other models of affordable housing.

3) The Trans Mountain pipeline runs right through your municipality. Do you support the expansion of this project? And how are you going to work with the provincial and federal governments to ensure the concerns of Burnaby residents are heard?

My position on the pipeline has always been that I oppose it. The risk for Burnaby is just too great. I was on site of the 2007 oil spill joining firefighters and City workers, I saw firsthand that the emergency response plan prepared by our City and industry was inadequate. However, the outcome of the pipeline will not be determined by the Mayor.
In my career I have worked with all levels of government, regardless of party lines, to get necessary results. I will ensure residents’ concerns are heard by taking a cooperative approach which prioritizes safety moving forward.

4) What issue – not covered above – are you hoping to address in your community?

Safety is a major concern. As a former first responder and as a father of four, I’m disappointed by the lack of consideration safety has had in Burnaby. It wasn’t until a pedestrian was killed at a crosswalk and the death of a young girl in Central Park that the City took any steps towards action. Even then, the response – less than a month before the election – is inadequate.
We need to hire more RCMP officers and follow their advice when it comes to patrols. We need more pedestrian controlled crosswalks across the city. We need to start prioritizing safety.

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