A belated wrap up post on the 2023 year and a highlight reel of the impact that my BCA colleagues and I have been able to accomplish:
Decarbonizing all new buildings by Jan 1, 2024 - my amendment was passed initially in May to go to consultation with more aggressive timelines (for space and water heating, and cooking to be all electric for all buildings 3 storeys+ by Jan. 1, 2024; and for space and water heating for buildings under 3 storeys by Jan. 1, 2024, and cooking to be included by Jan. 1, 2025). This timeline was re-affirmed by Burnaby City Council unanimously in December. Importantly, being more aggressive on the timelines of the fuel source not only makes a more significant climate impact, but also limits the impact on housing affordability (as opposed to increasing insulation and design changes) while ensuring that health and equity are maximized (includes cooling, and can limit the health impacts of burning gas to cook.) This change represents 10% of our community emissions -- and is incredibly significant.
At Social Planning Committee, BCA Councillor Maita Santiago and I moved and passed a motion to bring forward a Gender Based Analysis Plus lens to the Edmonds Town Centre with a focus on supporting immigrants and refugees. This motion triggered significant training for Planning staff, and the framework is now also going to be used for all other Planning documents to ensure that equity is integrated throughout our community planning.
My amendment to a motion on a translation policy passed unanimously: THAT staff begin work on a robust and equitable translation policy, starting with consultation with language groups and community stakeholders, and a review of best practices for translation policy. Rather than require all documents be translated to an arbitrary top 6 languages (the original motion), best practices of translation policy tend to be separate categories of documents (e.g. urgent/important, informational, etc.) which would necessitate varying access of translations. This ensures staff and physical resources are optimized, while ensuring that everyone has the right to understand, and be understood.
Gilmore bike route improvements: My motion for staff to explore physical infrastructure improvements to support the safety of the cycling route of Gilmore Ave passed unanimously. This route is extremely important as one of only a couple North-South connectors.
Work on the Urban Forestry Plan through Environment Committee and Planning & Development Committee to ensure that we are effective, efficient with limited resources, and ensuring that there is a clear mechanism for decision-making to maximize success and implementation.
Motion passed to ensure that the Metrotown to Park Royal Bus Rapid Transit route of Willingdon-Hastings is considered alongside the proposed change of Willingdon-Lougheed-Boundary so that Burnaby Council is able to make an evidence-based decision that maximizes benefit to Burnaby residents, transit riders, and Burnaby businesses.
Proposed a motion alongside BCA Councillor Maita Santiago to ask the provincial government to install motion cameras at Burnaby intersections that had 50 or more crashes that resulted in injuries or fatalities from 2018-2022, and for any revenue from these cameras to be reinvested in traffic safety infrastructure. It also asked for staff to implement a "no right turn on red" at intersections with 5 or more pedestrian injuries or fatalities between 2018-2022. The motion was referred to Transportation Committee, who will be discussing the motion on January 25, 2024.
Advocated for the inclusion and consideration of at least two new libraries in the OCP planning. If we had the libraries per 1000 people that Vancouver does, we would have 8 libraries right now! It is crucial that as we develop an OCP for the next 25 years, and considering the new provincial legislation that requires amenities to be adequately planned in order to be financed through the Amenity Cost Charges, we need to be starting to think about where, when, and how we will add new libraries now.
Considering so much of the work in 2023 was related to active transportation, here's a photo of light rail transit taken during my recent travels to France -- where I was completing important market research to better serve the residents of Burnaby (funded on a personal dime).