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Burnaby Mayor Corrigan: Stop demolitions!

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Burnaby Mayor Corrigan:  Stop demolitions!
  
  

 


Why this is important

A moratorium could stop the demolition of rental apartments in Burnaby.

Right now hundreds of low-income families have already been evicted and thousands more are threatened with eviction.

This is happening about a mile from Vancouver, BC, Canada in the Metrotown area of Burnaby, a city with a surplus of over $150 million and various reserve accounts worth over $1 billion.

221 homes have already been demolished displacing hundreds of people. Hundreds more living in 211 homes at three low-rise apartment buildings on Silver Avenue and Cassie Avenue are under immediate threat.

What's going on?

City Council has virtually invited developer speculation. In 2010 Council voted to dramatically increase density despite the legal restrictions on this in BC's Local Government Act.

Council's vote for supersize towers also ignored the Metrotown Community Plan which says Metrotown's Maywood neighbourhood's three storey apartment buildings "should be protected".

Instead of protection, Council allows demolition by developers, and rezones properties to build condominium towers up to 70 storeys high.

These tenants are new immigrant families, single mothers, low-wage employees, seniors, and people with disabilities. They will not be able to afford to rent or buy the condos.

City Councillors have called the area a "mistake" and a "slum". But many similar working-class neighbourhoods in Burnaby, Vancouver, and Montreal full of modest low-rise apartments are not being destroyed.

How can this happen?

Burnaby is a one-party government with no opposition. The Mayor & Council are all from the same political party, the NDP-based Burnaby Citizens' Association.

The BCA received $140,000 in donations from developers for their 2014 city election campaign. Mayor Corrigan & Council voted against any restrictions on donations from corporations and unions, saying these donations are only a problem in Vancouver, not Burnaby.

The Globe and Mail newspaper called development in Burnaby "blistering" and called Council's rubber-stamp approval process for supersize towers a "developer's dream". Developers themselves were quoted saying doing business in Burnaby is "faster", "easier", and "cheaper" than Vancouver.

The NDP used to be a champion of vulnerable people and low-wage workers. But in Burnaby the NDP is displacing these folks and catering to developers and off-shore investors seeking huge profits.

The community plans and city bylaws that should prevent the demolitions are being ignored. On top of that, unlike Vancouver, Burnaby Council has not passed any city bylaws to prevent destruction of less-expensive rental homes and the resulting displacement of vulnerable people. The Mayor and Council are also opposed to creating a homeless shelter.








Posted June 16, 2015
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