Topic: metro matters: on the road

Point of View

Four months, 40 municipalities, 12,000 kilometres: what I learned travelling across B.C. for local politics

When you travel this province for 16 weeks, you learn a few things along the way — and not just to always keep a spare phone charger ready at all times.
Metro Matters

Gibsons grapples with both a housing crunch and prices that continue to rise

Like all of southwest B.C., booming home prices have caused political tension in Gibsons, a community of 4,600 that's a 40-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver.
Metro Matters

Sechelt: the B.C. community where water dominates both the geography and the political culture

The combination of warm summers, dry winters and population growth have resulted in water restrictions that are longer and more severe than the rest of southwest B.C. 
Metro Matters

No longer mistaken for wait staff: B.C.'s youngest mayors share early experiences on job

"They don't administer an IQ test before you become an elected official. And so people should know that their experiences in life, whether that's swinging a hammer for a living, or being a student, or running a business: they're all valid."

B.C. government calls Maple Ridge's bluff in unending homeless camp conflict

The B.C. government seems to have both solved a housing problem and escalated a dispute with the City of Maple Ridge. 
Metro Matters

What B.C. municipalities can learn from reconciliation on Haida Gwaii

On Haida Gwaii, signs of reconciliation can be as small as the Indigenous artwork seen on Kris Olsen's eyepatch.
Metro Matters

Haida Gwaii is a crown jewel of biodiversity — and still fuelled by diesel in 2019

Across the world, Haida Gwaii is described as a place with "reverence for the environment" and "Canada's answer to the Galapagos." Yet every year it burns 10 million litres of diesel. 
Metro Matters

Tentacles of housing crisis reach to remote Haida Gwaii where building costs are high

Demand is strong during summer months for short-term tourist rentals that displace local tenants.
Metro Matters

Port Moody's new mayor has an agenda. Now he just needs the votes

Port Moody is among several mid-sized municipalities in Metro Vancouver where voters chose a mayor largely on development issues.
Metro Matters

Local leader, national issues: Why Port Coquitlam's Brad West has quickly made a name for himself

Brad West's advocacy shows how a new mayor can make a name for themselves in a short period of time. But there are reasons why most municipal leaders don't make a name for themselves on provincial issues.

West Vancouver's B-Line debate shows why some projects stop at the drawing board

Backlash to the project has become so overwhelming that council seems likely on Monday to ask TransLink to end the proposed North Shore bus line right at the West Vancouver border.
Metro Matters

District of North Vancouver goes back to residents for direction on long-debated piece of land

Mayor Mike Little believes the process can be improved with a greater focus on the desires of local residents.
Metro Matters

Oak Bay's desire for revitalization clashes with neighbourhood opposed to a 4-storey apartment

At issue is a proposed 96 units of purpose-built rental housing by the Oak Bay United Church. It would be on the land it owns adjacent to the church, with most units priced below market rates, with a plan formally submitted in August 2018.
Metro Matters

Why work camps in northern B.C. don't always work for local economies

The one community where work camps lie within municipal boundaries is the District of Chetwynd — but last month its council voted against allowing one of them to expand following protests from local hotel operators.
Metro Matters

Northern B.C. communities on edge as they await decision on caribou protection plan

Forget about Tuesday's provincial budget: in northern B.C., the biggest source of political speculation is what a draft plan to protect the caribou population will look like.
Metro Matters

B.C.'s northernmost municipality hopes community ownership of forest can bring a community revival

Work on the application has taken two years, and shows the creative ways local governments can try and reboot traditional industries in the 21st century.
Metro Matters

City of Burnaby wants a better brand than just being next to Vancouver

The biggest development under construction in Burnaby doesn't seem to want anyone to know it's actually in Burnaby.
Metro Matters

Nelson has the highest homeless rate in B.C. — but not everyone agrees why

Nelson's debate over how to approach its growing homeless community shows the inevitable strains when mid-sized communities grow.
Metro Matters

Castlegar's airport: a punchline, strategic hub — and top priority for the new mayor

For those outside the West Kootenay, it might seem like a Sisyphean quest. But there are around 100,000 British Columbians for whom the airport is their main aviation option — and increased reliability could be a gamechanger.

B.C.'s biggest housing spike is happening in a city 6 hours from the Lower Mainland

Thanks in large part to the creation of a ski hill a decade ago, the demographics of Revelstoke have changed — and the issues new councillors have to deal with have a big-city feel to them.
Metro Matters

As booming Squamish grows into mid-sized city, council aims to preserve community

The combination of the new Sea-to-Sky Highway, glowing reviews from provincial magazines and the New York Times, and the spillover effect of affordability challenges in Metro Vancouver has created a unique political dynamic.
Metro Matters

Whistler's affordable housing model is below-market and free of speculation. Why isn't it used elsewhere?

The new mayor says municipalities around B.C. ask him about it, but change hasn't come — yet

How Surrey's infrastructure gap is a product of political culture

"I think you need to slow it down and you need to make sure there's infrastructure to take care of the people that are there," says Liz Walker, who chairs the Newton Community Association.

Extensive public transit: the missing piece in Delta's ambitions

A new mayor always brings new optimism to solving old problems. But when it comes to transportation, Delta faces many challenges out of their immediate control.

White Rock's new council aims to preserve its character, even with towers on the way

In local elections in Metro Vancouver last year, several mayors were elected after promising to stop the spread of condos in their community. None moved faster than White Rock's Darryl Walker.
Metro Matters

'More than just a pit stop': Town of Hope, B.C., wants drivers to stick around a while

For most, it's a town of mountain views and Dairy Queen stops, of punchlines about the divide between Vancouver and the Interior, of fuelling up before arriving in or departing the Lower Mainland. Many in Hope would like it to be something greater.
Metro Matters

City of Merritt hopes to avoid 3rd straight season of flooding

Flood mitigation was the top priority in Linda Brown's platform when she ran for mayor of Merritt in October, defeating incumbent Neil Menard.

Mission looks to become more than a bedroom community

In October's municipal elections, voters chose plenty of politicians who promised to slow down growth. Not so in Mission.

Vancouver's real divide isn't West vs. East. It's North vs. South

But if you look at the data — in public amenities, in demographics, in political representation — the more significant difference is between north and south.

Ucluelet on edge as Ottawa decides extent of fishing restrictions

The municipality is waiting to hear what fishing restrictions might be coming from the federal government, which is attempting to protect the southern resident killer whale population.

After years as B.C.'s most dysfunctional city government, Nanaimo starts to turn page

"We have an amazing town. And a town that feels like it's right on the cusp of major change. And it was really embarrassing that our leaders were not kind of taking the reins."
Metro Matters

Canada's most elderly city has a 20-year-old on council — and he wants housing his age group can afford

When you're young enough to be the grandson of most voters, you get a few quips on the campaign trail.

Bowen Island contemplates whether a bylaw can solve never-ending ferry lineup drama

'It's important to find that balance during those months to be able to ride to a place where tourism can can flourish without it being too disruptive to the locals,' says local businessman.

Belcarra's first new mayor in 35 years wants change — but a Belcarra-sized amount

Allowing city staff to be in charge of the website is the most extensive thing new mayor Neil Belenkie has planned at this point.