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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Wednesday Oct 4    7-9 PM    Strathcona Community Centre

Our October meeting will be focused on creating a community vision for the soon-to-open Strathcona Policing Centre. We’ve invited members from some of the many diverse groups living in Strathcona - including the Sugar Mountain homeless camp, the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and Spikes on Bikes -  to join us in a conversation with organizers of the SPC about how we can make Strathcona a safer place for everyone. 

On other fronts, the SRA has sent a letter to provincial authorities expressing our concern about the Centerm Port expansion moving forward without a provincial environmental assessment.  This project will have a significant noise and air quality impact on our area that we feel we deserve an objective, arms-length analysis and realistic mitigations.  See the website for full text.




Minutes From Sept 6, 2017 AGM

Strathcona Residents Association – AGM 


Strathcona Community Centre

September 6th, 2017




  • Executive Council Election: 
    • Introductions to community members running for Executive Council: 
      • Dan Jackson
      • Wilson Liang
      • Jeff Murton
      • Trefor Smith
      • Charis Walko
    • Inquiry about anyone else present who would like to join the Executive Council? - No.  
    • Motion put forward by Dan to vote on five community members running for Executive Council. Second – Wilson. Motion passed – Everybody in favour of proposed Executive Council members. Nobody opposed. 
  • Treasury Report: 
    • Film Committee Report (Caroline): Gained $2000 through filming over the summer
    • Treasury Report (Dan): 
      • $4000 donated to Backpack Program
      • $6574 in our bank account now
  • Bylaws Update: 
    • The new Provincial Societies Act requires certain modifications to our existing bylaws. These require approval by members. The bylaw will be added to or amended as noted below: 

23 (4): For a special resolution to pass, it must receive at least 2/3 of the votes of all eligible voting members attending a general or regular meeting.

28 (2): All directors shall be elected for a term of one year. A director’s term of office is until the end of the next AGM after his or her election or appointment, unless they resign, cease to be a qualified member, or are removed by the Executive Council beforehand. 

    • Motion put forward by Dan to update bylaws. Second – Wilson. Motion passed – Everybody in favour of proposed changes. Nobody opposed. 
  • Update on Strathcona Park/William Street: 
    • In order to assess the impact of a road through Strathcona Park to connect the Downtown arterials to William Street, the Park Board needs plans for these designs from the City Engineering Department. However, they are going off-radar until the October by-election is completed. Park Board cannot act until City Engineers have acted. 
    • The city’s work yards which would be impacted in “The 4th Way” is important to the city’s function. Putting a road through it results in resistance from the city, too. However, to us it is an option still on the table. 
    • Jan Marie: “SPARKS” petition to save Strathcona Park started at the Block Party in July. She spent time researching the impacts and initiated a website ( Park is owned by the city but managed by the Park Board. They are elected to be stewards of the park. The Park Board needs to study the impact assessment report and educate the city about these – there will be adverse impacts on the environment, community, health, local businesses, etc. The Park Board intended to consult only with the SRA, however, there is a diverse groups of people using the park who are not associated with Strathcona. Although petitions are helpful, we need to write letters – physical evidence that manifests our standpoint with the city council, regardless of the Park Board’s evaluation and decision. It is best to have a trickle of letters, to follow up if there is no reply and to send a letter to each commissioner. Letters should be written throughout the fall and into the winter. Jan Marie prepared kits that help community members learn about the issues associated with a construction of a road through Strathcona Park and how to initiate conversations. Jan Marie requested volunteer help with this petition and to contact her. 
    • Request for a media relations campaign to draw attention to this issue. Media attention influences public servant decisions. 
    • Reconciliation Walk on Sep 24th will conclude with public fare event into Strathcona Park. Lots of people will gather. What consideration can be taken to take advantage of this event? We made an application to have a booth, but our petition might not support this important cause. Don’t want our cause to distract from the purpose of this event. Perhaps we can set up posters around the park? Want to get Squamish/Co-Salish be informed about petition. Want to give a gift to the Squamish Band as a thank you for hosting us on their land. Ricki and Steve to take this on. 
  • Union Street Bikeway:
    • City has closed off vehicle traffic at Vernon to extend bikeway from Union to Adanac. 
    • City is finalising plans for the rest of Union with bump-outs and one-way at the end of Union toward Gore. 
    • City want to come to the November SRA meeting to present their ideas and ask for our feedback. 
    • Request for us to get plans ahead of the meeting. 
    • Park Board is getting cutbacks from the City and cannot keep up planters and landscaping of Strathcona’s greenspace. The Park Board spends resources with picking up needles. Can we as a community full together to upkeep our public spaces – including those that will be created with the new bike route designs? 
  • Centerm Port Expansion/Railroad Traffic:

Centerm is at the end of their environmental assessment study of their expansion project. They are both, the proponent and assessor of the study – a clear conflict of interest. The rail capacity will be expanded by 73% with this expansion, i.e. the transport of 750,000 to 1.3 million units per year. Most of them will go on rail to minimize truck traffic. The amount of rail traffic North-South, East-West will increase. They haven’t quantified the impact of trains: noise issues, health impacts, compromised safety for our community. This should trigger a Provincial Environmental Assessment. We need to write a letter with support of the City to request this of the new Minister of Environment. We need air quality measurements, however, there is no accountability and no visibility into their methods of analysis. Our goal is to involve media and send letters requesting a Provincial Environmental Assessment. Melanie Mark, George Heyman, Jenny Kwon need to be involved. We should send out a Newsletter inviting community members to send their anecdotal evidence of the impacts to the above contacts. We need to highlight with media the public health impacts of cumulative effects (ships, enhanced truck traffic, rail traffic, enhanced idling of waiting cars and rat-running cars through our neighbourhood). Can we hire a media relations staff? Andrea Reimer needs to be our champion at city hall. We need more community members who can volunteer some of their time to represent us. Metro Vancouver Alliance has resources and Wilson is on the board. Wilson agreed to own this. Grandview Woodlands might be a good community to join forces on lots of these local issues that spread across communities.

  • Chinatown: 

Controversial condo development on Keefer Street received community push-back. SRA hosted community forum and it was well received from Chinatown Community groups. SRA voted against this condo development. City staff now need to decide whether to give approval to this development, even with lower height. Historically Chinatown and Strathcona are closely linked. We need to support our family and friends in Chinatown. 12 stories were reduced to 9 stories. City council cannot stop the development at this stage as the decision is with planners. Vancouver is reviewing San Francisco’s Chinatown to learn what types of businesses are thriving and create incentives for such businesses here. Chinatown is researching feasibility and regulations to keep current Chinatown businesses. 

  • Community Policing Station and Homeless Camp at Sugar Mountain 
    • Community members have reported increased garbage and littering on East Pender and expressed request to control activity of the homeless. Homeless community has been evicted from Belmore. More people living in their vehicles and tents and move around in Strathcona and people sleeping in the open. Homeless people have always been in Strathcona. People organised in camps feel safer. We need to talk more about social and affordable housing. Maybe with the increase in welfare payments this month, we hope more people can find housing. Can we increase police control in Strathcona? Community Policing Centre has found a site on Hastings and the Executive will join our SRA in October to talk to us about their mission. Strathcona does not receive lots of patrolling of VPD. We don’t want to get used to shit happening to us. Can we invite homeless and residents from Sugar Mountain and enter into dialogue and talk about the different needs we have? How can we support each other? What are the problems, who or what is causing problems? Homelessness and crime are not the same nor are they related. How can we share space peacefully and live in the same community? Strathcona has the highest rate of child poverty in Canada. We cannot do much about this. Disagreed – we might not solve childhood poverty, but we need to talk to each other and see each others’ problems. This is such a diverse neighbourhood. We want to keep it diverse. We don’t want to it to succumb to gentrification. We want the local community to maintain the pulse of this neighbourhood rather than corporate groups dictating our brand. October SRA Meeting will highlight this. 
  • Social Media Presence of the SRA
    • Laurel has ceates social media presence for Strathcona on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Important meetings will be announced and information is disseminated quickly. Meetings and letters are more powerful, but this is an additional avenue to engage. Wants to include history of Strathcona, dogs of Strathcona. We also follow local communities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We can strategically use hashtags (e.g. Strathcona Park) an can include public influencers. Laurel will send us details how to contribute posts. Suggestion to use StrathconaVYR as hashtag.  
  • Other Priorities for 2017-2018 - No.