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Təməsew̓txʷ delayed further; grand opening slated for June

City council takes the show on the road for an evening in Queensborough

esA shot of the Zoom call on Monday, Sept. 11. The group was in Queensborough for the evening. City of New West.

Council hit the road on Monday afternoon for an evening session in Queensborough at the community centre. Prior to council, the group was also part of a workshop where they talked about the city’s sewer systems, early funding framework options for the Climate Action Fund Reserve, and the required fixes of some of the seating at Queen’s Park Stadium.

Təməsew̓txʷ delayed further

The space has seen another round of setbacks with the soft opening pushed to May 2024. Initially it was supposed to open in March 2024; before that, this fall.

This was attributed to a number of factors, including the poor quality of the ground, as well as a labour dispute. That being said, the wheels are turning, with staff displaying photos of a number of the facilities being in progress or fairly close to completion.

In relation to Centennial Community Centre, there will be a farewell party it on Nov. 5. The grand opening date for Təməsew̓txʷ is now June 3, 2024.

Public delegations

The list was full, with all 10 spaces accounted for. Some of the speakers included:

  • Cassius Khan. Khan was on hand to talk about the 12th year of the Mushtari Begum Festival—Khan and his partner were also a part of the winter festival celebrations last December.

  • Brynn Bourke. Bourke speaks for the BC Building Trades, and is actually a Moody Park resident. Bourke spoke in support of the fair wage policy motion put forth by Mayor Patrick Johnstone.

  • Reps from the ‘Save our HandyDART’ group. The group was looking for fulsome support as it aims to see changes to how HandyDART is run. They’ll be hosting a town hall later this month. Mayor Patrick Johnstone has thrown his support behind this group’s work.

Motions from members of council

Noting that it was almost 10:30pm, Coun. Daniel Fontaine asked if his and Coun. Paul Minhas’s motions could be postponed to Oct. 16. This was voted down, so the discussions went on.

Fair wage and living wage policy. Mayor Johnstone’s motion looked at bringing in a fair wage policy that is similar to the one in Burnaby or North Vancouver. The next steps in this will be to have staff bring a report to Mayor and council regarding the adoption of a fair wage policy. Mayor Johnstone is also planning to take a motion to Metro Vancouver asking that this policy be developed and adopted by the region.

A review of the Samson V spill. This is Coun. Minhas’s motion, asking for an investigation into what exactly happened in late July, after the sheen was spotted along the waterfront. He also wanted the cost for drydocking looked at. The drydock point was the only item not supported at a vote of 4-3: Johnstone, Coun. Tasha Henderson, Coun. Nadine Nakagawa and Coun. Ruby Campbell were opposed.

Increasing access for fresh water for locals and their pets. Coun. Minhas’s motion works off of a similar set-up in Vancouver, where fire hydrants are able to dispense potable water. During discussion, Coun. Henderson asked staff how viable the idea was: the director of engineering said it could potentially be costly, while New West Fire and Rescue said it would mean a fire hydrant used for this purpose being out of service, which they wouldn’t like. Despite the discussion, this went ahead unopposed—that means staff will look at whether this is viable to do, and whether it can be installed in time for summer of next year.

Supporting seniors by increasing hours of operation for Century House during the summer. This ended up very much in the weeds, with a number of motions and amendments coming into play. Ultimately, this was referred for review—being sent off to become part of the Parks and Recreation procedural plan.

Parking pilot project. Coun. Fontaine wanted to see parking spots provided on a test basis, and the first hour of on-street parking be complimentary. The areas would include the Downtown, Uptown, Sapperton and 12th Street commercial and business districts. Additionally, parking would have been free after 7pm (versus the current 8pm) as well as on Sunday and all statutory holidays.

Coun. Jaimie McEvoy was concerned about the Sunday becoming free as he says what was initially free parking on that day was done to create revenue used for daycare costs. Most of the councillors who spoke said they wouldn’t support it for myriad reasons.

With a vote of 5-2—Fontaine and Minhas the only ones to support the motion—the meeting in Queensborough finished just after 11pm.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 25, and it will be back at New West city hall.

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