Charles is a strong supporter of community-based democracy. As the chair of the Schools Action Committee of the University Neighbourhoods Association at UBC Charles has advocated on behalf of his community for appropriate school and community facilities. Many of our children are forced to bus away from their neighbourhoods. Many others are turned away with little consideration. Development pressure at UBC is impacting upon public green spaces, such as the UBC Farm, increasing pressure on social amenities, and contributing to the lack of public school spaces for our children.
It’s time for real political leadership and real local government. The status quo might work for a few, but not for the rest of us.
The current Metro Vancouver system cannot deal with local issues in the same manner that a 'real' municipal government might be able to. For some of us living west of Blanca in Metro Vancouver local associations have provided some redress; but our local associations don't have the legal authority to deal with many of the issues that we must face as our community west of Blanca grows into a medium-sized city of several thousand residents.
Over the past several years increasing development by UBC and in the UEL has placed increasing pressure on local facilities such as schools and community centres. As a result of our lack of real political power and our lack of our own local government very little gets done to meet our needs and our concerns.
The University Neighbourhoods Association and the local council in the UEL do have some capacity to intervene and advocate for local needs. However, UBC, Metro Vancouver, the province, and the Vancouver Board of Education only seem to listen to us as a measure of last recourse.
One way to deal with this is to make certain that we have real local government. However, achieving local government will take several years. In the meantime we need to make certain that we involve ourselves in the local elections that we have involvement in: Metro Vancouver Board of Directors and the Vancouver Board of Education.
I am running for the position of Electoral Area A, which includes Metro Vancouver west of Blanca (UEL/UBC/UNA), Bowyer, Passage, and Barnston Island, and a large swath of unincorporated lands to the north of Metro Vancouver.
I am also urging UBC/UEL residents to vote for school trustees who care about working with our community to deal with inadequate educational facilities. In future posts I will be listing the trustees that I plan to endorse as candidates who care about the needs of our local children.