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Burnaby Greens promise moratorium on Metrotown demovictions

Civic party led by punk rocker Joe Keithley released its housing platform
Metrotown condos

The Burnaby Civic Green Party is promising a moratorium on demovictions in Metrotown.

“Burnaby is facing a major crisis, as our Metrotown area is being ripped apart by Mayor Derek Corrigan and his heartless BCA council,” Green Mayoral candidate Joe Keithley said in an email.

The Greens have previously said they hope to run a full slate of eight councillors and a mayoral candidate in the Oct. 20 local election. So far teacher Rick McGowan and accountant Carrie McLaren have been declared as Green council candidates. (Valentine Wu was previously named a council candidate but has has since pulled out.)

The announcement comes with just under four months until the election, as the current council made up entirely of Burnaby Citizens Association members continues to approve and consider rezoning applications to raze aging apartment buildings and replace them with high-rise towers.

The moratorium would also apply to other unspecified “vulnerable neighbourhoods,” according to a Green Party news release.

“This new plan would include protecting the existing rental stock and the aspects of the neighbourhood that contribute to its character and vibrancy,” the release reads. “It would also involve working with developers to provide comparable, truly affordable one for one rental replacement homes.”

The proposal is part of a three-pronged housing platform released by the party on Monday, which also promises to invest $10 million a year to “create truly affordable housing for families and seniors” and to better engage citizens before embarking on a plan to densify existing neighbourhoods.

A Green-controlled council would try to get both the province and federal government to match its annual $10 million investment, according to the release. The city’s share would come in the form of cash and land. The release does not elaborate on how that money would be spent to create affordable housing. 

The Greens say they would make way for new housing in existing neighbourhoods by allowing in-fill development.

“This would be done in a sensitive way, and only done with neighbourhood consent,” the release says. “A Green led council will give the community the means to re-imagine our city, enhancing neighbourhood vibrancy, connectedness and inclusivity.”

Keithley will hold a press conference on Monday evening.