During an event meant to highlight the different visions local candidates have for Burnaby, there was near-consensus on one issue.
The people challenging the Burnaby Citizens Association’s monopoly on council seats all agree – displacement by demoviction must stop in Metrotown.
They made their position clear during an all-candidates event at Gilmore Elementary School Wednesday evening.
Independent mayoral candidates Mike Hurley and Helen H. S. Chang both called for an end to displacement, as did independent hopeful councillors Claire Preston, Janice Beecroft and Lee Rankin. They were joined by the Greens’ Carrie McLaren and Linda Hancott of Burnaby First Coalition in calling for some form of moratorium on demovictions.
The BCA was accused of putting developers over people, favouring newcomers over existing renters in what Beecroft called its “shameless” record on housing.
But incumbent Mayor Derek Corrigan took his turn at the microphone to defend his party’s record.
“I can tell you this is one of the issues that our council has struggled with over a number of years,” he said.
Corrigan said developers would have demolished affordable rental buildings in Metrotown whether the city had upzoned their properties or not. By rezoning, Burnaby was able to ensure tenants got more notice before evictions. It was also able to capture hundreds of millions of dollars from developers through density bonuses – money the city is now spending to create affordable housing, he said.
There were few fireworks at the Q&A, which featured mayoral, council and trustee candidates. On transportation, Hurley blamed poor planning for increasing congestion, but the BCA’s Coun. Dan Johnston said the city has comprehensive plans and the city has already implemented a lot of traffic calming measures in residential areas.
For more from the event, click through to read this Twitter thread:
I’m at Gilmore Community School for an all-candidates meeting for Burnaby school board, council and mayoral candidates. pic.twitter.com/yXuOnJLlas— Kelvin🐙Gawley (@KelvinGawley) October 11, 2018