AGM Minutes Nov 4, 2020
Strathcona Residents Association
Nov. 4, 2020. 7-9 PM
Held via Zoom
- President’s Report: What we’ve been doing in 2020: Dan
- Update on Camp KT: Katie
- Update on Calming Prior: Richard
- Update on Community Air Quality Monitoring Project: Trefor
- Financial Report: Dan
- Board Election: New Board Member Introductions: Maureen and Andrea
- Goals for 2021: Dan
- Open Discussion / Q&A
President’s Report: What we’ve been doing in 2020
Prior St.: We pushed hard to keep Prior from becoming an arterial. Our push to Calm Prior failed to move the overpass to another street, but did result in a City Council motion to reduce it to a local connector street. All day parking was permitted, and speed reduced along the park. The speed signs and art cars reduced traffic to one lane, which at least stopped cars passing on the right. There is still a long list of promised improvements, that have been held up by BC Hydro, but we’ve had regular meeting with engineering and holding a high level meeting with engineering and transportation next week to ensure that we have input into the design of the underpass and bike lane.
AQ Grant: Trefor applied for and received a $15,000 grant to create a vision for a community-based air quality monitoring project. Next week, we’re meeting with experts from Metro Vancouver, VCH, UBC and the ports environmental team to discuss what that might look like. The port seems open to the idea of funding AQ monitoring technology that would allow us to check AQ at a neighbourhood level.
Camp KT: We have pushed all levels of government with a consistent message that housing is needed and parks aren’t the place for encampments. The CoV agreed to put up $30M for emergency housing, which was matched by a Fed contribution of $50M. CoV is making a decision this week on purchasing shelter for 150 people. We continue to be frustrated by the inaction of the Province, in particular John Horgan, and the Park Board. We will shortly be recommending some actions we can take as a group and individually.
Port: We helped establish and sent a rep to the South Shore Community Liaison Committee and now have regular communication with a liaison from CN RR.
We supported several local improvement efforts, including Mira’s work with the Park Board to rearrange park benches and Noelle (and now Jennifer’s) Adopt-a-Street local clean-up campaigns.
CPC and VPD: We’ve worked with the Community Policing Centre and VPD on local safety concerns. The CPC is hosting another Women’s Personal Safety Workshop on Nov. 25. Details in the upcoming newsletter.
We are working with residents of Strathcona Village and others living near the port to cut down alarms bells at the Cordova Crossing and a persistent train whistle from construction near the sugar factory.
We have been putting out updates and newsletters regularly. We switched to a new e-mail system that has fewer hiccups, better security and the ability to target members only, which allows us to vote and do surveys electronically.
Camp KT Update
Katie Lewis gave a more detailed update on what’s happening with Camp K-T.
Lots of frustration with all levels of government. Not much action. The best place we can push now is to write letter to John Horgan and the Park Board. The province is still out of business due to the election. All we hear is that Horgan is the one not coming to the table. We want to push him to establish a ministry of homelessness, addiction and mental health. Those areas are not split between ministries, which is why there’s no coordinated response. Now is the time, as he’s forming government.
Q: what should be our message? A: That someone should be put in charge.
Once the city makes an announcement that housing is available, then its time to push the park board.
We will share any letters that we send out with members.
Prior Street Update
Richard Taplin gave a more detailed update on progress calming Prior St.
Richard has been working with Nelson Szeto from the city, who was recently replaced by Megan Pate. We’ve made some progress with parking cars 24/7, but BC Hydro has taken over the street since July, preventing the city from completely their to-do list. Now that winter is coming, weather is getting in the way, pushing everything out until next year, including jersey barriers, bumps outs, patching, painting, calming rat running, etc. Once BC Hydro is done (hopefully soon) 24/7 will be restored. The speed board were vandalized and have been removed by their owners.
Next week, we will be meeting with Sadhu and Lon LeClare about making sure we have input into the emerging design of the underpass, the great street treatment of Prior, the blocking of Hawks, and what happens on Raymur, Malkin and National to rout truck traffic.
Q: Will buses on Prior be impacted? A: There are no plans to disrupt existing bus traffic.
Q: Is there still a commitment for the city that the SRA will have substantial input into the design of the underpass. A: Technically yes, realistically, we sense resistance to sharing drawings, which is why we’re holding a meeting last night.
AQ Grant and Port Update
Trevor Smith gave a more detailed update on what’s happening with the AQ Grant and South Shore Community Liaison Committee.
The Centerm expansion will double the AQ emissions for that terminal. There was a commitment to have an AQ monitoring plan. The port invited us and two other neighbourhoods to form a quarterly SSCLC, which includes CN, CP, and terminal operators. That committee has focused on AQ and noise. The Centerm Community Fund awarded us with a $15,000 which will be use to hire a consultant to create a report reviewing our options for local air monitoring that should be done in March. The scientific literature now says that there is quite a bit of variability in AQ even within a small neighbourhood. The port has also engaged us in a much bigger budget project to actually purchase equipment that will provide us a baseline. (The closest AQ monitor now is at 11th and Clark). We want this process to be community driven. We’re meeting next week with the port environmental team, and experts from Metro Vancouver, UBC, and VCH. The SRA does have a AQ working group and we invite new members.
Q: If the numbers are off the chart, what will the port do?
A: Getting hard data does allow us to leverage public perception, which the ports and rail roads are sensitive to.
Dan presented the summary of the SRA’s finances below:
SRA 2020 FINANCIALS 1/11/19-1/11/20
Filming Fees 2,250.00
Centerm Grant 15,200.00
Website Grant 500.00
Income Total: 17,951.45
Annual Report fee 40.00
Comm. Consultant 900.00
Expenses Total: 1,487.05
Deferred Grants 15,700.00
Deferred Balance from 2019 3,664.01
GF Balance deferred to 2021 4,428.41
2020-21 BOARD ELECTIONS
Dan expressed thanks to Wilson Liang and Tom Cummins for serving on the Board last year and introduced two new candidates: Maureen Teahan and Andrea Kastanis
The election was held via e-vote. Here are the results (released after the meeting):
Dan Jackson, Katie Lewis, Richard Taplin, Trefor Smith, Ghazal Arefi, Andrea Kastanis, Maureen Teaham.
The preferred colour for the crosswalk was Turquoise
SRA GOALS FOR 2021 (Dan)
- Website: We’re in the process of rebuilding our website using WordPress. The goal is to make it much more user friendly and useful for getting updates, connecting to community groups, posting events, and accessing local resources. We could use volunteers who know WordPress and Elementor, who can contribute photos or even just build content for a page.
- DTES Working Group: Regardless of what happens to the camp in Strathcona Park, we would like to continue being part of the conversation about how best to address the combined and persistent issues of addiction/mental health and homelessness and propose setting up a working group to engage with the many groups wrestling with that issue.
- Strathcona Park Working Group: We would like to set up another working group to push to not just restore Strathcona Park, but to reimagine it as a park for residents, families, kids, seniors, dogs…
- Inclusiveness Initiative: We want to make a concerted effort to invite all residents to join the SRA so that we can better understand each other and offer the SRA as a tool for them to address their issues. We are looking for individuals to help us build bridges to individuals in those sub communities. Chinese speaking residents, residents of social housing, families, newcomers, refugees, drug users, even unhoused residents.
- We invite residents to join two active working groups: Air Quality and Prior St.
- We are always willing to help residents launch and lead projects that improve the community. If you have one, let us know.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The meeting adjourned at 8:10. Whew.