Statement by Stephen Owen, VP External, Legal and Community Relations, University of British Columbia
I note that the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors’ March 30th meeting agenda includes an item entitled “Continuing the dialogue on UBC Governance Issues.”
Background documents and proposed Board actions contain a number of inaccuracies.
Metro Vancouver does not have a local governance role in the Point Grey campus lands. Metro itself asked to be relieved of this responsibility in the Fall of 2009. As a result, UBC and Metro jointly asked the BC Government to address this matter. In mid 2010, the BC Government passed the Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act Part 10 – 2010 (MEVA) which transferred local governance responsibilities from Metro to the Province.
Metro Vancouver’s role in the UBC area is limited to being a regional service provider of infrastructure such as water and sewerage; it also has a few regional responsibilities for items such as emergency services planning. The university works collaboratively with Metro Vancouver on these matters.
Metro’s recent stated intentions to get involved in matters of local governance has been strongly criticized by the University Neighbourhoods Association, which is the locally elected body of the 8,500 permanent residents. In a UNA Board Chair Letter to MetroVan, the UNA criticizes Metro’s attempts to involve itself in local governance, such as by conducting surveys on campus, given that it no longer has a role.