August 15, 8:00am
For immediate release
The Metrotown Residents’ Association (MRA), an independent advocacy group for residents of Burnaby’s regional city centre, will be welcoming Dr. Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party (BCGP), on a Demoviction Tour.
Location: Metrotown Skytrain Station (at the bottom of stairs)
Time 1:00 pm Thursday, August 18, 2016
The MRA reached out to the three provincial party leaders, through email, offering an opportunity to get a firsthand look at the area where thousands of vulnerable residents are threatened by displacement. The BC Liberal Party graciously declined our offer at this time while the BC NDP has yet to respond. The MRA made the offer to the NDP leader through an email sent to the MLA representing the area, Kathy Corrigan.
“We are pleased that Dr. Weaver took the time to respond personally to our request. Affordable housing is an important issue in the next election, and it is important that renters and condominium owners are protected in the rush to intensify density around Skytrain,” says Rick McGowan, a researcher for the MRA.
Since 2010 we have seen dramatic growth in the demolition of affordable apartment units in Metrotown. Apartment buildings are being bought up by speculative investors hoping to cash in on the City’s update of the Metrotown Development Plan.
“We believe The City’s commitments under the 2011 Regional Growth Strategy can be met without the displacement of the entire neighborhood, which is currently underway. “
A 12 day occupation in July of a building slated for demolition, Burnaby’s intention to adopt a new “built form framework” , predominantly high rises by December,and a possible investigation into violations of the Local Government Act regarding procedures for updates to official community plans have brought attention to the rental housing crisis, part of the larger housing affordability crisis.
Accompanying Dr. Weaver will be BCGP Deputy Leader, Matt Toner, BCGP Housing Critic Zarah Tinholt, and Freddy Marks, a Realtor with Sutton Westcoast Realty who is seeking the BCGP nomination for Chilliwack-Kent.
“For more than two years now I have been raising concerns regarding affordability in the BC Legislature. The government’s piecemeal, reactionary approach to this issue amounts to little more than blowing out birthday candles in a house fire. And the silence within the Official Opposition regarding the Burnaby Demovictions is deafening. It’s important for me to listen to the concerns of Burnaby residents directly affected by what is happening in their community so that I might better understand the diversity of issues facing British Columbians,” says Dr. Weaver.
The tour will commence at 1 pm on Thursday, August 18 at the Metrotown Skytrain Station.