Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Taste of the Tri Cities - Oct 4,2006

Last night I attended the Taste of the Tri Cities, put on by the Society for Community Development at the Executive Inn in Coquitlam. This event showcases some local restaurants (I think there were about 12) with samples of their foods.  There was quite a large crowd, lots of familiar faces, including councillors from Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam, Diane Thorne, and Coquitlam Mayor Maxine Wilson.
 This is really a great event, the food is fabulous, and I think everyone always enjoys it.
 Got a tip to try Marco Polo , a new restaurant in the plaza with the IGA Marketplace on Johnston Street in Coquitlam, and had some fabulous food from Hazards as well.  St Street Grill, as always, had REALLY tasty foods, including a pork shoulder in a sauce that just melted in your mouth.  Pasta Polo, as always, was there, as were Me n Eds, Boulevard Casino, Milestones, Planet Organic, a thai restaurant i cant remember the name of (shame one me), Carlos or Charlies Mexican, the Executive Inn, Thrifty Foods Rodos Kouzina - hmm, i think thats everyone.
Also, on sunday night we went for dinner at Pacific Rim Grille on Austin - and, honestly, all I can say is WOW , I cant wait to go back. The food was incredible - probably the best I've had anywhere in Vancouver. Presentation was amazing and the menu has lots of selection, from seafood to steak, or, as I had, Elk !  Two thumbs WAY up on this one !!

Friday, September 15, 2006

OCP Review - Sep 19.2006


Last night was the cities opening public input meeting for the OCP review.

Click here for OCP review process details.

The meeting was relatively well attended with about 200+ people coming to share their outlook on the cities future. The OCP review is an important process that sets the 'tone' for the city for the coming months, years and even decades.

The session was seperated into three parts, the first being a graffiti session where residents were invited to write their comments on various topics - such as environment, parks, development, economic development, etc - on large sheets of paper hanging on the walls. This stimulated much discussion between those in attendance, and led to the second portion of the evening which was smaller 'focus groups' discussing what they liked, diskliked and wanted to see in the future for Port Moody. It then wrapped up with a spokesperson for each group presenting their focus groups items in the theatre.

The city has taken a 'blank slate' approach to the OCP review, meaning they haven't put any parameters on the discussions - other than trying to organize into some areas of focus. There was no references to the current OCP , or any information presented in terms of preferences or other pre-conceived direction for conversation.

Many common themes emerged in the written comments and the focus groups, most of which were consistent with what has been said many times before.

People like the small town charm of Port Moody, Heritage, Parks and trails, greenspaces, Cultural diversity, and the family environment.

Dislikes included traffic congestion, lack of cycling lanes on roads, crime and the perception of organized crime in the area.

Notably, there were also several comments made that people felt that the cities infrastructure - primarily for transporation - has lagged behind development, and also that the St Johns corridor is becoming less vibrant, or run down. Several people also spoke of concerns around the city communicating with residents in regards to process and development.

For the future, recurring comments included maintaining the diversity of zoning and development in the city (live, work, play), heritage preservation, affordable housing, local employment opportunities, and emphasis on the PORT in Port Moody.

I was pleased to hear many people say they wanted to see the city make better use of the internet for communication - If you are reading this, you know that I have been working very hard to make information available to people online through this blog and my information website at , including the opportunities for comments and feedback


After a VERY long 'break', the HCA Steering committee / work group / task force was reconvened last night at Kyle Centre.

With the guidance from Leslie Gilbert from the planning department, the working group members discussed the HCA designation, the physical location/boundaries and the implications.

It has been generally agreed that the HCA area will be developed in a two (or maybe more ?) phase approach, starting with a smaller area around Clarke St (St Johns to Queens) and eventually increasing to a larger area, based on the outcome of the process in the smaller area.

Conversations continued around what the HCA designation means, what can be done to encourage heritage revitalization and protection, and the impact on property owners, both negative and positive.

The HCA is an important process for Moody Centre and the city as a whole - we repeatedly hear about the charm and unique character of Port Moody, and without some efforts to preserve this, Port Moody could become 'just another city' !

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

LRT Pac Meeting with PMSS - Sep 6,2006


Tonight I attended the PMSS Pac meeting with Translink on LRT. Translink brought their diagrams and maps showing their routing and responded to many questions from the group in attendance. Many of the questions, of course, centred around the safety of the students crossing St Johns. Also, the capacity of the station to accomodate a flood of 200+ kids heading onto the platform at one time, the changes to the existing local bus service and some scheduling questions.

The translink staff continue to do an excellent job in my opinion of presenting the information on this project and communicating with the community. While Im not a supporter of the line as it is currently planned, I do believe we need to have the best plan for whatever we end up with, and I think the translink staff are doing their best to ensure that happens

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Chip Kerr Park Dedication - June 25,2006

  What a beautiful day !  A parade and a ceremony to dedicate Chip Kerr Park !  The city today had the official ceremony to dedicate Chip Kerr Park, formerly Century Park, amalgamated with the new park area dedicated from the 2900 block of Jane Street.  The 2900 Jane Street park dedication was the result of many hours of work by area residents after the city had proposed a housing development on this property, and it was certainly gratifying to see this come to completion, and my special thanks to Guy Black for his dedication to seeing this through to a ceremony appropriate for a bona fide Port Moody hero. An earlier article from the Tri City News.


By Sarah Young
The Tri-City News
Jun 14 2006

PM war hero to be honoured

A parade befitting a national hero will wind its way through Port Moody June 25 before a formal ceremony dedicating the parkland behind the Legion Manor as Chip Kerr Park.

The ceremony will honour John Chipman Kerr (1887-1963), Port Moody's only Victoria Cross recipient and one of only 94 Canadians to have received the Commonwealth's highest honour for bravery.

"It's going to be good, it's going to be a big event," said Guy Black, the local historian who initiated the process to rename Century Park in recognition of Kerr's heroics and who set in motion plans for the parade.

The ceremony will begin with a parade by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #119, including veterans, local cadet corps, the fire and police departments, and a pipe band. The procession will leave from St. George and Moody streets at 11:30 a.m. and travel east along St. George Street, turn right at Hugh Street, then left at Hope Street, finishing at the park entrance.

An official park dedication ceremony will begin at noon with Lieut.-Gov. Iona Campagnolo in attendance. Black has been in contact with Kerr's family and believes several members plan to attend the ceremony as well.

Mayor Joe Trasolini said Kerr's bravery exemplifies his dedication and service to Canada. "The dedication of the park in his name is a fitting tribute to the sacrifices he and thousands of other veterans have made for Canada's freedom," Trasolini said.

Kerr was awarded the Victoria Cross on May 2, 1917 by King George V for his bravery in battle at Courcelette, France during World War I. He captured 230 metres of enemy trench and 62 German soldiers after his hand was injured in a bomb blast.

Born in Nova Scotia, Kerr settled with his family in Port Moody after serving in World War II and passed away here in February 1963. He was a member of the PoMo Legion Branch #119 and, in honour of the park dedication and the Legion's 80th anniversary, it is hosting a barbecue after the ceremony.

All are welcome to attend both the park dedication and barbecue

Friday, June 16, 2006

Port Mann / Gateway response - June 16,2006


Unfortunately, the one thing the reporter didnt mention is that I put forward this motion and invited council to make any suggestions, recommendations, or amendments - nobody did, and yet three voted against. I never expected this motion to pass in its entirity, as I would have thought some members of council would have objected to certain aspects of it.

I had sent this to all council a week prior to the meeting and invited their feedback at that time, and the one item I did receive from Couc. Rockwell was included in the motion approved.

I would not consider changing the resolution simply to make it shorter - there are many important aspects of the Gateway project that will affect us for the rest of our lives... If Translink and GVRD board and staff members cant read more than two sentences, then I guess we have a real problem !

By Sarah Young
The Tri-City News
Jun 16 2006

Expanded HOV, Pattullo improvements sought

Port Moody Coun. Mike Clay added his two cents - and then some - on the Gateway issue with a lengthy motion presented at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The motion, which was carried, essentially states that Port Moody supports the Gateway proposal as long as several conditions for transit, HOV lanes and funding for municipal road infrastructure are met first.

Councillors Karen Rockwell and Bob Elliott, along with Mayor Joe Trasolini, voted against the motion.

Trasolini said it was simply too long while Coun. Meghan Lahti, who voted for it, questioned whether anyone at TransLink would read past the first line, which states, “The City of Port Moody generally supports the... Gateway program.”

Clay defended his motion by saying that it was better to put forward a comprehensive position now, while the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority is looking for input on Gateway, than in the future, when it may be too late.

“If you don’t say everything now, they can always come back to you later and say, ‘Well, you didn’t say anything about that aspect,’” he said.

The motion, in its entirety, is as follows:

THAT the City of Port Moody generally supports the GVRD and Translink staff positions on the Gateway program, specifically:

-that expanded capacity of Highway 1 east of the Port Mann bridge include dedicated HOV and transit lanes

-that any expanded capacity of the Port Mann bridge include dedicated HOV, transit and truck lanes, future potential for LRT, and that tolling is introduced

-that the Gateway program must include improvements for the Pattullo bridge, particularly if it is to be offered as a “free alternative” to a tolled Port Mann

-that improvements at the Pitt River bridge crossing include dedicated capacity for HOV and transit

-that the province assume responsibility for the GVTA portion of the North Fraser Perimeter Road

-that the province increases funding for the Evergreen Line LRT project to a minimum contribution of 50%

-that the Gateway program must include budget allowances for upgrades to MRN roads, municipal roads and transit/cycling networks affected by the program, and that the provincial government work with GVTA and municipalities to identify and address those impacts

-that the provincial government creates a sustainable funding model to support the maintenance of the Gateway infrastructure.

IN ADDITION, the City of Port Moody has specific concerns in regards to the Gateway program and the impact on our region, specifically:

-that ALL aspects of the Gateway program include maximizing opportunities for HOV, transit, and cycling opportunities

-that implementation of tolls on any of the region’s roads include allowances and discounts for HOV traffic, and alternative energy or “clean” vehicles

-that impacts on agricultural and green spaces are minimized

-that the GVTA complete the Murray Clarke connector to accommodate the increased demand on this corridor from the North Fraser Perimeter Road capacity increases

-that the GVTA study options for increased rail transit service through the North East sector, out to Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows

-that the GVTA investigate options for increased commuter rail service from the Fraser Valley area (Port Mann East) into New Westminster utilizing the existing interurban rail route similar to the agreement governing the West Coast Express line

-that bus service connecting the Surrey Town Centre to Coquitlam or Lougheed Town Centre be planned for the Port Mann/Highway 1 improvements, including dedicated “queue jumping” lanes and other “express” mechanisms

-that the concerns for accommodating increased truck traffic and waterfront access in the City of New Westminster are considered with the Gateway project

-that the concerns regarding the route selection in Delta, and specifically the impacts of Burns Bog are addressed

-that “green” (environmentally friendly) initiatives are employed wherever possible in the design and construction of all aspects of the Gateway program.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

TC News Letter to the Editor - June 14,2006


So Im reading the paper today and I come across this letter to the editor (tri city news). Yes - this is my DAD. NO - I dont necessarily agree with him - but it is kind of funny, he has some old documents that show this idea and a crossing near Barnet Beach has been around for 20+ years.... Im sure one day, it will happen. Hopefully, not while Im on city council !!

Jun 14 2006
The Editor,

With all the talk of the Gateway projects for the Lower Mainland, I am surprised there has been no mention of a new extension of the Upper Levels Highway from Lynn Canyon area and bridge crossing from North Vancouver across the base of Indian Arm to the shores of Belcarra, then east to Ridge Meadows. This bridge and road may be built within the next 15 years and it would funnel off all the traffic from the east directly to the Upper Levels and then to Horseshoe Bay ferries and the road to Whistler. It would also connect quite nicely through the Tri-City and Ridge Meadows to the new bridge to be built across the Fraser connecting to the Trans Canada highway and 200th Street in Langley.

All the traffic to and from the east and the U.S. going to the ferries terminal in Horseshoe Bay and Whistler would no longer need to waste time and energy to mix with us on the already overcrowded “freeway” that all of us use to get around the Lower Mainland and to Vancouver.

And the great part about this bridge and route is that the traffic through Vancouver would be greatly reduced. Vancouver does not want freeway traffic through its city so this is just what the doctor ordered.

Why do planners and TransLink appear to have ignored developing this concept at this time when it would greatly enhance traffic flow well into the future?

Gordon Clay, Coquitlam