Letter to Mayor and Council re: Grandview-Woodland Citizens' Assembly Report

June 23, 2015

Mayor Robertson and Council
453 W 12th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4

Delivered via email to mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca

June 23, 2015


Dear Mayor Robertson and Council,

I am writing regarding the process that will now unfold following the release of the Grandview-Woodland Citizen's Assembly report.

I want to thank the members of the assembly, and staff supporting the process, for their efforts. Volunteering with the assembly was a significant commitment for its members, and I believe participants took their task seriously, and acted with integrity in their efforts. 

I appreciate council’s innovative decision to implement the assembly. While I have heard both positive and negative views about the process, I believe the assembly’s composition was generally representative, both in terms of demographic and community views.

Over the coming months, there will be much discussion around the assembly’s report and, more importantly, the response of city staff and, ultimately, city council. I look forward to listening to and being involved in those deliberations.

I anticipate council will send the assembly’s report to city staff to report back on, to be followed by council’s consideration, and a decision by early 2016 on how to proceed.

The critical decisions at this point relate to process. It is essential that the staff report, in addition to staff views, be a result of thoughtful discussions with numerous legitimate community stakeholders. I believe the difficulties that generated public opposition to the original Grandview-Woodland Community Plan stemmed largely from staff recommendations that did not reflect the input of residents or local organizations gathered during the initial community planning process.

I urge you to ensure that the staff response to the assembly report not face a similar response.

More importantly, I urge council to continue to engage the community in a comprehensive and meaningful way during the remainder of the planning process. Part of that engagement should include a council meeting in the community, at a location that is easily accessible to Grandview Woodland residents (such as Britannia Community Centre). I am sure council agrees that whatever the result of this process it is critical that the community be confident that they have been consulted and heard.

Answering these critical engagement questions is the next step in this process. I look forward to council ensuring and championing this process over the coming months.

Thank you for your consideration.  


Shane Simpson, MLA




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