Mayor's Update: April 2022
Mayor's Update: April 2022 April 12, 2022 Hello everyone, Spring is officially here, and even with a pause in Council meetings for Spring Break, there was a lot going on this past month. Local Economy It’s worth noting that the West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce is celebrating 70 years of business excellence. Founded in 1952, the Chamber was created when 30 business leaders came together to establish a professional network focused on local business success. Almost exactly 70 years later, this Council held a public hearing to implement a suite of bylaw amendments to support our local economy.
These changes will encourage a better mix of businesses, and allow breweries, distilleries, and wineries back into West Vancouver; while limiting the number of financial services, beauty and wellness centres, and real estate offices on the ground floor in all our commercial centres. At the same time, we are opening the door for beauty salons, barbershops, real estate businesses, and artist studios to operate home-based businesses, and removing some barriers for in-home child care providers. We are also expanding the number of public places on the waterfront where residents and visitors can enjoy their favourite alcoholic beverages to include Ambleside Landing, Dundarave Beach, and parts of John Lawson Park. Many of these proposed changes were ideas promoted by the Ambleside Dundarave Business Improvement Association, and I’m committed to continuing to work with our business organizations to strengthen our local economy and enhance community vibrancy. West Vancouver Police Department One of the very rewarding privileges afforded me in my role as Mayor is my involvement with the West Vancouver Police Department as Chair of the Police Board. I’m very proud of the new West Vancouver Police Strategic Plan which is now on the WVPD’s website in three languages. The BC Policing and Security Branch recently conducted a comprehensive review of police departments in British Columbia to assess their compliance with use-of-force training and firearm qualification. While the quality of policing across the province is high, West Vancouver Police Department is one of only three departments that received no recommendations for improvement. This is a very positive reflection on our WVPD, which continues to provide high-quality professional service to our community. And we recently had the honour of presenting Constable Brock Harrington, a 19-year veteran of the WVPD, with a Chief Constable’s Commendation award for his sustained efforts on traffic safety and enforcement. Over the last 10 years, Constable Harrington removed over 750 impaired drivers from our roadways. We applaud his dedication to traffic safety, and the lives he has protected as a result. Traffic and Mobility I know that traffic congestion is the number one livability issue identified by residents; and while West Vancouver doesn’t generate most of it, we must come together as a region to address it. As my designate on the TransLink Mayors Council, Councillor Cameron has been very busy over the past several months working on Transport 2050, the region’s long term strategic transportation plan; and the near-term Mayors’ 10-Year Vision and Investment Plans, which will be released for public consultation from April 19 to May 1. Among the numerous proposed improvements to road, transit, and active transportation is a rapid transit line from Metrotown to Park Royal, which if supported by the public and funding, could see progress within the next 5 years. Once completed, this significant addition to the regional transit network is estimated to take 50,000 cars off the road per day. I encourage everyone to participate in this important part of transportation planning. Municipal Hall Re-opening For the first time since it was closed in March, 2020, Municipal Hall will re-open to the public this month for in-person services including bill payments, and Bylaw and other enquiries.
Our staff have done an amazing job of delivering services virtually by phone, email, and other online tools. Many residents appreciate the convenience of the new virtual options, and those options will continue. Others miss being able to come to Municipal Hall in person, and we are looking forward to welcoming them back on April 19. Construction will continue until August, which means that not all staff are able to return to the Hall in April. However, the Council Chamber renovation is almost complete and we will hold our first in-person Council meeting on May 9, while maintaining the option for everyone to attend virtually.
Mayor's Community Cleanup – April 22 to 29 It’s spring-cleaning time, and I invite West Vancouver residents, businesses, schools, and community groups to join my community cleanup by picking up litter around their streets, neighbourhoods, or local parks, and help make West Van sparkle! Additionally, businesses are welcome to tie in other spring cleanup efforts, such as power washing, canopy cleaning, and garden and tree maintenance to make their storefronts appealing. For more information and to register your team visit westvancouver.ca/lovewestvan. Also, please help to promote the event and celebrate participating teams on social media using #lovewestvan. This is a week-long initiative from April 22 to April 29. I will be in Horseshoe Bay on April 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Ambleside on April 27 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and I really hope that you will join me! West Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Athletes We have invited five West Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Athletes to attend upcoming council meetings in order to congratulate them on their achievements: Mollie Jepsen competed in her first Paralympic Games in PyeongChang four years ago, won four medals and was named Canada’s Best Female Athlete. In Beijing this March, she won gold and silver medals and was chosen to be Canada’s flag-bearer in the closing ceremony. She will attend in person on May 9. And Georgia Simmerling, Harry Jones, John (Fin) Boothroyd and Nikola Girke who represented Canada at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo will attend virtually on April 25. They are all tremendous athletes who not only persevered in their respective sports, but also endured a year delay as well as COVID. We are looking forward to meeting them! Help the Ukrainian People We are all watching in horror and a sense of powerlessness as the death, destruction and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine continues. Residents and organizations across the region are providing assistance with housing and other services appreciated by refugee families. If you would like to help by offering housing, jobs, or by making a donation, please visit the BC government website. I look forward to seeing you soon. Warm regards, Mayor Mary-Ann Booth