Sunday, November 16, 2008

Repurposing of Blog

With the end of the election this blog is being 'repurposed' to focus on issues and news within University Town.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thank you!

Dear Neighbours,

The results are in and our new Director for Electoral Area 'A' is UEL resident, Maria Harris.
I look forward to working Maria and other community members to make certain that the diversity of voices our our communities are heard. As is often the case with first past the post systems Maria has won with 29%, significantly less than a plurality. This places a heavy burden upon our new Director to make certain that she can indeed reach out and include the diversity of voices within our communitites. I pledge to work with Maria to ensure that all our voices are heard.

With warm regards and thanks,

Charles Menzies
  • Maria Harris - 219 votes
  • Charles Menzies - 125 votes
  • Matthew Naylor - 66 votes
  • Fred Pritchard - 124 votes
  • Ben West - 209 votes

Friends of the UBC Farm blog on West and Menzies (#2)

Live on campus or in the UEL? How to vote!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Straight covers Electoral Area 'A' election

Candidates fear low voter turnout for UBC |

Two candidates for regional office have slammed Metro Vancouver for failing to inform UBC students and other residents of the vast Electoral Area A that there’s an election going on. Green party activist Ben West and education advocate Charles Menzies both told the Straight that extremely low voter turnout in former elections is related to shoddy communications.

“We have no real, effective government,” Menzies, who is a UBC associate professor of anthropology, said.
Charles' opening and closing remarks from the November 12th All Candidates' Meeting at Acadia Commons Block can be listened to here.
Candidates spar in an empty room | Ubyssey Online

“This isn’t quite a dead community,” Charles Menzies said at one point during Wednesday night’s Electoral Area A debate. The comment was somewhat ironic, coming out in front of no more than 20 people. Nonetheless, the five people vying to become the only elected municipal representative for the UBC area energetically debated their ideas at the Acadia Park Commonsblock in their final encounter before voters cast their ballots this Saturday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Q&A from first all candidate's meeting.

Director, Metro Vancouver Electoral Area A all candidates meeting, Oct. 29, 2008.

The University Neighbourhoods Association hosted an all candidates forum electoral area A candidates on Oct. 29, 2008 at the Old Barn Community Centre in Hawthorn Place.

All five candidates, Maria Harris, Charles Menzies, Mathew Naylor, Fred Pritchard, and Ben West, attended.

The filming and video streaming of this event was volunteered by the Ethnographic Film Unit at UBC.

Charles' speaking notes for the Oct. 29th all candidate's forum can be found here.
An audio version of Charles' opening comments for the Nov. 6th all candidate's forum can be found here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Action Now!

It’s time that we addressed the democratic deficit in Electoral Area ‘A’ by:
  • Creating a separate elected Director for the Islands.
  • Establishing representative local democracy for West Point Grey that respects the unique histories of the UEL and the University Town and includes students.
  • Creating a permanent voters’ list.
  • Turning taxes into real services for all electoral area ‘A’ residents.
We must maintain and enhance our greenspaces, agricultural and woodland areas. This must be done in a manner that respects our local voices.
  • At UBC this means that the UBC Farm must remain as it is and be designated agricultural and academic research reserve. No housing on the farm.
Development without proper schools, community centres, or adequate green and open spaces is socially and ecologically unsound. University Town is an exciting and safe place to raise a family. Let’s keep it that way! Community plans are fine but what we need is action. We need schools, community centres, and safe open spaces today. The Director of Electoral Area 'A' has a critical role to play in ensuring that words become actions.

If elected I will hold public town hall meetings in our communities in Electoral Area ‘A.’. I will be available for you in person and online. I will work with the UEL, UNA, Katzie Nation, and the Island Residents’ Associations to ensure that local issues are dealt with in a manner that respects our unique histories. As director I will build upon my history of working with a diversity of people to ensure that our voices are heard and our needs are met.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

News Coverage of Electoral Area 'A' Campaign

Electoral A candidates talk for the first time | Ubyssey Online

The race heated up in Electoral Area A last week, as the five candidates for Director duked it out at a debate in the Old Barn Community Centre.

The University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA), which hosted the debate, asked candidates to discuss their positions on governance, transit and the futures of Pacific Spirit Regional Park and the UBC Farm. It was the first time candidates met to debate the issues publicly.

This year’s race gives voters a choice of five candidates:
• Maria Harris, an economist and member of the ratepayer’s Association;
• Charles Menzies, a UBC professor of anthropology and member of the University Neighbourhoods Association;
• Matthew Naylor, a fourth-year political science student and resident of UBC;
• Fred Pritchard, former associate vice-president of Campus and Community Planning at UBC and resident of University Town;
• Ben West, a Vancouver resident and a Healthy Communities campaigner for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee;