Vision Vancouver City Hall updates: 2011-02-26

Post by Mike Klassen in


Capt. Vancouver under the scaffolding – Flickr photo: jmv

Stories we continue to follow here at reported by other media sources we thought we'd share...

Plan to rent Olympic Village waterfront homes to teachers and cops a huge flop

With the possible exception of Frances Bula, no other reporter than Cheryl Rossi at the Vancouver Courier has done a better job of documenting what has been happening at the Olympic Athlete's Village on Southeast False Creek in recent months around the rental housing issue. Rossi broke the story last August that the City's rental plan had stalled (because council had delayed their decision until after the Olympics), triggering a whole series of political earthquakes at the Village.

Ultimately the Village went into receivership, and the public was figuring out that Gregor "train wreck" Robertson's running down of the project for political purposes had cost Vancouver taxpayers $150 million.

On Friday Rossi's latest report titled Plan favouring 'essential' workers as tenants for Olympic Village flops shows that the plan moved by Coun. Geoff Meggs, seconded by Raymond Louie during an overnight city council meeting, has been a costly bust. Meggs is unrepentent however, stating:

"I'm very proud that we said that we should try to put first responders in city facilities, if possible, without subsidy because it's good to have them close to the job, if we can do it."

Every single one of those units is heavily subsidized by Vancouver taxpayers, who are paying interest on the loan, and have of course covered all costs of construction to date. Even at market rental rates the units will still be subsidized by taxpayers.

In an added twist, the VANACT folks are setting up tents in the frosty weather today to begin their protests, demanding that the City "give back" the 66-percent subsidized housing originally promised on the site under the COPE/Vision council, and later advocated for by MLA Gregor Robertson.

Carlene Robbins is suing the City of Vancouver, says she took the fall for Pandora Street

CKNW News broke the news last night that court documents filed prove that Carlene Robbins is suing the City.

Carlene Robbins, 55, claims she was fired after a house fire that killed three men. In documents filed in BC Supreme Court Robbins says her employer created a work environment of "hostility, embarrassment, and humiliation" in the weeks following the fire.

Robbins says in her notice of civil claim she was in charge of a program to enforce city bylaws for 12 years. But three weeks after three men died in a problem property on Pandora Street in December, she was removed from any involvement in the program.

She says that dismissal effectively ended her job and her $105,000 annual salary.

And here's the kicker:

The city has previously claimed Robbins was not dismissed and changes in her job were not related to the fire.

Geez, you're not suggesting that Dave McLennan, Sadhu Johnson, Kerry Jang, Gregor Robertson and Penny Ballem were not being straight up with us? The original story about Robbins taking a fall for the Pandora Street fire was broken by in January.

I hear that the City of Vancouver was not happy about a column I wrote weeks ago on this story. This suggests to me that the City is feeling vulnerable in the matter of lawsuit from a 38-year employee. Rumour has it she is going to take a stand on behalf her own reputation, and in doing so represent other senior managers who feel hard done by under Vision's watch.

George Chow thinks that CSIS are coming to get him

Coun. George Chow is in the news again about CSIS. The notion that Richard Fadden was talking about China when he said that "BC municipal politicians" were actively serving the interests of a foreign government was carelessly propagated by a Toronto-based Globe and Mail reporter. The idea, never challenged by other MSM, caught fire. Everyone wanted to interview the three Chinese heritage city councillors at Vancouver City Hall, to find out if they were taking their marching orders from Beijing.

For those who've watched Jang, Louie and Chow up close, you pretty much figure out that:

  1. They have virtually no influence upon the plans for systemic social change by the Magee/Robertson/Solomon triumvirate, and;
  2. None of them would probably be a very good spy.

Those are the stories that came in last week we'd thought we'd share with our readers.

- post by Mike


How many of the social housing units at the Oly Village have been filled?

According an article taken from the New York Times, (Feb 22) and now posted on Micheal Geller's blog, they are not close to being filled, which beggs the question as to why:

'About 30 residents have also moved into the project’s 252 subsidized rental units, which are located in three buildings managed by the Co-op Housing Federation of B.C.. Half of those units are set aside for middle-income workers like police officers; the other half are for low-income residents.'

...Dave McLennan, Sadhu Johnson, Kerry Jang, Gregor Robertson and Penny can look them up under 'what a bunch of incompetent bullies' in the Dictionary. This charade must end. I'm moving this motion: ' To Fire on sight, all of the above, with cause...irreconcilable differences (read: a bunch of conniving politrucks, sponsored by US charities, hired with no contest, no qualifications and previous experience)Damage's been done. Who's seconding me?

I second that emotion....

$1600 for a one bedroom with no dishwasher and no in-suite laundry? No wonder it's taking so long to fill it. I moved about a year ago and did quite a bit of research to see what was out there for what price. Newer suites in the same area, and without those two amenities, were closer to $1400 or $1450. And, in older buildings were going for $1100 - $1200.

We have a seconder on the motion by WestEndGal.

Vancouverites must now vote on the motion.

All in favor? Aye!!!!

Worried staff asking for dismissal-

Ballem: Lying, bullying, hated schizo.
Sadhu Johnson: Non performing fake.
McLellan: On camera liar!
Brenda Prosken:Verbal abuse,incompetent
Add also: Some recent hired puppets of Ballem and Robertson. You know who you are.

Coco, your confirmation of the notion of 'supply and demand's' relationship to pricing in the marketplace is noteworthy not only in this discussion but, relative to the mis-guided, it will fail on execution STIR programme as well. Why pay top dollar for an inferior product in either case? Do you really think people are going to pay +/-$1,000 / month for a 390 sf. substandard hotel room in a STIR building when there are lots of 1 bedrooms out there for the same price?

I predict the STIR developers will all be back at Council in 2 to 3 years crying the blues that they are going to be forced into bankruptcy if Council doesn't release them from their terribly onerous STIR obligations, or they will just illegally rent these units as hotel rooms and the City will once again be in the business of cops and robbers trying to enforce the STIR agreements.

Hi Bill,

I don't know what the future of STIR will be but what I discovered in my research was that there are many condo/apts out there that have been purchased as investment properties. I had quite a good variety of choice. In addition, low interest rates have made purchasing property much easier for the very group that the OV was targeting. In the (brand new/high end) building I settled in (not far from the OV) there are 3 teachers and a policeman living on my floor alone. Only 1 of them is a renter, the rest own. It feels like there hasn't been enough homework done on what's really going on in the marketplace. Oh, and before some other commenter demands facts, I should mention that I have some. When I sold my last place, I decided not to re-buy immediately but I hadn't rented in years and wanted a really good understanding of what that would mean in today's market. I looked at 36 apartments in a number of neighborhoods, building types and price ranges so I think I'm quite up to speed on what's out there.

no dishwasher and shared laundry! For $2000/month!
Shared laundry in what is really social housing?


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