Mayor's Update: October 1, 2021
Yesterday, I had the honour of participating in a ceremony to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, organized by members of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and West Vancouver Police Department. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the summary of the TRC’s report, which provides a factual and well-written account of the history and legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools.
Municipal Hall Construction Update
The Municipal Hall upgrade is a very significant project that includes a seismic retrofit, new energy-efficient systems, and a reimagining of how we use the space inside. When the work is complete, the building will be better able to support our community in the event of an emergency. It will also allow us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 90 per cent! And, because we took advantage of staff working from home during the pandemic, we were able to compress a five-year project into two and a half years, thereby reducing construction costs considerably. In the end, we will have a fully restored building, and a fine example of our West Coast Modern architectural style. However, even two and a half years can seem like an awfully long time when dealing with the impacts of construction. We appreciate and thank our neighbours and staff for their patience as we do this necessary work, which will continue to be noisy for a few more months before the work moves inside. The project is anticipated to be complete by March 2022. Council and I vacated our offices and the Council Chamber last winter to accommodate construction, and I look forward to welcoming the public back in the near future.
For more detailed information, please review the September 1 report to Council.
Council Meeting Technology
In March 2020, in response to the pandemic, the Province of British Columbia issued orders to help local governments continue operating by allowing electronic meetings. In July 2021, the Province ended the state of emergency but left this order in place for three months to allow municipalities enough time to adapt meeting procedures to a post-pandemic world. The Province also indicated that it would update the Community Charter to allow municipalities to continue holding electronic meetings. A recent amendment to the Council Meeting Procedure Bylaw introduces a hybrid meeting format for Council meetings: Council and members of the public will have the option of participating in Council meetings either electronically or in-person. Similarly, an amendment to the Council Committee Procedure Bylaw will provide Council committees with the option of holding meetings either all electronically or all in-person.
The Orchard Restaurant at Gleneagles
The much-anticipated new restaurant, The Orchard, located at the Gleneagles Golf Course & Clubhouse opened at the end of August, and I’ve been hearing positive reviews from residents ever since. Operated by the “two Jasons” of the Boat Shed Hospitality Group, The Orchard will be serving breakfast and lunch between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day, with dinner service coming soon.
Mayor’s Community Cleanup
Earlier this year I tried a Covid-friendly community cleanup, and the response was very positive. I’m again challenging residents, businesses, schools and community groups to come together, get outside, and help make West Vancouver sparkle! Everything will be done safely, in accordance with provincial health orders, and there are two ways to participate:
Register your team and collect litter anytime between October 3 and 9; or
Join Mayor Mary-Ann Booth on October 6 at 12:30 p.m. in Ambleside, or at 2:30 p.m. in Horseshoe Bay.
For more information and to register your team, please go to: westvancouver.ca/lovewestvan.
I know everyone is eager to get back to “normal” again, but our province hasn’t made it to Step 4 of the Restart Plan yet, which means we are still only gradually reintroducing programs and services instead of a full re-opening.
We continue to follow the orders of the Provincial Health Officer, which means that masks are mandatory in all our facilities, and proof of vaccination is required for some programs.
The rules change frequently, so it’s a good idea to check our website for the latest information before you come to a public facility. With our new bylaw in place, we are able to continue holding remote meetings safely, and we are also prepared to resume meeting in person once it’s safe to do so.
I hope to see everyone at the Pancakes and Pumpkin Patch event on Sunday, October 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the front lawn of the West Vancouver Community Centre (2121 Marine Drive). It will be fun and safe for the whole family!
Mayor Mary-Ann Booth