His Worship, Mayor Mike Hurley delivered the following
to the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and the launch of the Mayor’s Task Force
on Community Housing.
You are each here because
of your experience and expertise, and because you are known for getting
need homes now, and there is no time to lose.
addition to the expertise around the table, we will also seek out the
expertise and experience of Burnaby residents from all parts of our city and
all walks of life.
Burnaby, this approach to public engagement is somewhat new because we are
putting the voices of the people whose needs we are trying to meet right at
the centre of things.
are also doing everything we can to remove barriers so that voices we do not
often hear are at the table.
are asking the community for their thoughts through Your Home, Your Voice,
the public engagement program running over the next four months starting with
the survey we launched on 2019 February 21.
and input from the public that we gather through the Survey and the Public
Ideas Workshop on March 6 will be forwarded to you.
in the process we will ask the public for their recommendations on trade-offs
and solutions, and those will also be given to you. When you have heard from
the public, considered the best practices of other local communities, and
deliberated amongst yourselves, your recommendations will come to Council.
the process I want to make sure we are open and transparent so people can see
how their input is used and know that we are listening.
designing the public engagement process, we approached one of our partners in
Burnaby, Simon Fraser University (SFU). SFU hosts the only centre for
dialogue and engagement in the world and they are leaders in designing and
delivering authentic public engagement processes. This team, which is led by
Robin Prest, has worked with me and our staff in co-designing Your Voice,
Your Home. I’m pleased that they are with us tonight.
have made a personal commitment to address the housing crisis and to do it in
a way that puts people and their needs first. My commitment to Burnaby is to
build a community for all residents.
the past decade or more, Burnaby has seen a lot of development. We built a
lot of bedrooms over the years, but is it the right mix for the community?
Does it meet the needs of all our residents through all the stages of life
throughout the community? Will it help make Burnaby the best place in BC for
need to make sure that as we continue to grow, we have the right kinds of
housing for all of us. And we need to ensure that we build a community, not
just condos and houses. We will succeed if we are able to innovate and find
solutions that work here, for us.
know this is a big job and a lot to ask of you. That’s why we put together a
made-in-Burnaby “Care Package” with some practical items to support you
through this process, and a few sweets to remind you that we care about all
the hard work you are doing for us. And it all fits nicely in your new
I hand things over to Councillor Calendino to chair this meeting, I want to
ensure you know how much I appreciate your commitment, your time and your
you for serving the people of Burnaby through this Task Force. I do not
expect this to be easy, but I do expect you to find new ways forward that
will be truly innovative.
look forward to seeing results, and I know a lot of other people are looking
for that too.
Councillor Pietro Calendino delivered the following
“Thank you Mayor Hurley for your
vision and leadership on this subject and thank you for appointing me to chair
this Task Force. I am truly honoured.
Like the Mayor, I wish to welcome
all of you to this Task Force and thank you for the commitment you are making
to serve the people of Burnaby.
I am pleased to see many familiar
faces and some not so familiar. And I am confident that we can all work
together to arrive at a made in Burnaby solution to the housing crisis that
is facing us.
We are at a unique time in history.
We all know that this housing situation is not unique to Burnaby or to Metro
Vancouver, and that it is, indeed, a worldwide phenomenon.
It used to be that people moved from
Vancouver to Burnaby to find an affordable place to buy or rent.
Unfortunately, it is no longer so.
Today working people, and people
with modest means, are being squeezed out of the housing market, be it
ownership or rental. This has a negative impact on families, children,
seniors, people with disabilities, and businesses who are finding it
difficult to fill vacancies because potential workers can’t find an
affordable place to live.
Therefore, I think that a full
spectrum of housing types and affordability must be essential components of
the new framework.
Burnaby Council, and most of all
Burnaby residents, are looking at this group of experts to assist us to come
up with creative and innovative ways of alleviating the housing crisis that
we face today and hopefully in the short term.
And I am confident that we can do it!
Because I believe that working together in a respectful environment, we have
a unique opportunity to demonstrate that it is possible to come up with solutions
that will meet the housing needs of all the people in Burnaby.
We already have positive signs of
cooperation from the development community and promising commitments from
senior levels of government, and that works in our favour.
In order to ensure that each of us
can participate and bring our best thinking and ideas to the table, we’ve
moved out of our conventional committee approach and asked Shauna Sylvester
to serve as our Task Force Facilitator.
Shauna is the Executive Director of
the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and has been facilitating for over 30
years, working with local governments on housing, transportation, energy and
Shauna knows Burnaby well. She
was a student here from Grade 2 to Grade 9 and graduated from SFU. I will
stop here and inform you that to assist us in navigating the array of housing
options, we have engaged members of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue to
be with us.
I will maintain order and give a
summary of the main points of the discussion at the conclusion of each
Thank you for your attention!”