His Worship, Mayor Mike Hurley delivered the following
“As this phase of work comes to a
close, I want to thank you all again for what you have done.
You have heard me say this before,
but it bears repeating – housing is the single most critical issue for our
city and this region. How we address our challenges will define us today,
and in decades to come.
The recommendations this Task Force
puts forward to Burnaby City Council represent more than six months work, 10
meetings, two public workshops, online and face-to-face public sentiment
research. The recommendations represent the way Burnaby is making decisions
today, and it is a big departure from past approaches.
You were invited to join this Task
Force because of the perspective you bring and because of your willingness to
listen to other ideas and work towards innovative solutions that can work in
this city. We may have started this journey as individuals representing different
interests, but through this valuable and effective process we have broadened
our understanding of the roles each of us play in identifying solutions to
the current housing crisis.
On July 29 when the Task Force
recommendations and the staff report go before City Council, I would like you
to be there. Council and the public will benefit from seeing who you are, and
having the opportunity to recognize you for the work you’ve done.
You committed your time and
intelligence to this Task Force willingly and fully. My commitment to you is
to respect the work you have done and to let you know what decisions are made
by Council and what actions we take.
I have been so impressed by the
group around the table and your ability to respect each other even when in
disagreement. I can’t thank you enough for the work you have done on this
Council will receive this report on
July 29, and I expect there will be differences of opinion on how we proceed.
I intend to keep the lines of communications between us open as the City
moves forward to close the gap between the housing we need and the housing we
Communities are strongest and most
resilient when they make room for everyone regardless of income, age, family
status or abilities. We need to continue to be a diverse, vibrant city.
Protecting Burnaby residents is the reason I ran for office.
I believe that the ideas and
recommendations arising from the work of this task force and from the
thousands of people who submitted ideas and shared their thoughts will make
us a better city. We will have a safer city, a city that is home to the
people who live here now, and that welcomes the many, many people who are
eager to move here.”