Saturday, 15 March 2014


Councillor Reimer has added new dimensions to the (UDEE) Unidentified Downtown Eastside Event. In an email published on Francis Bula's blog, the quasi judicial Reimer opines:

At this point, the DTES Plan isn't coming to Public Hearing: it’s a policy document coming to Council for debate and decision. The public has the right to access this process (speak at council, write to council, meeting with councillors) but it does not constitute a public hearing which is a specific legal designation that carries more rigid process constraints and is used to evaluate whether amendments to bylaw meet the tests set out by Council-passed policies.

So it is fair to ask, "What exactly were the festivities that happened at Council. Why was everybody talking? What if anything did Council do?"
If it was a hearing and Council in fact approved an ODP (Official Development Plan) but Reimer and her clones mistakenly thought it was not a plan, then the bylaw could easily be set aside. 
The legal basis for the Petition to the Court would be this: 

Divine forgiveness on the grounds that “they know not what they do” only works to achieve eternal salvation.  It won't work  to enact a bylaw.
If, on the other hand, it was not a plan ( the “Non-plan”) and the intention was to create a policy that would  oblige the council to pass the same plan later on, what was it? 

It was more akin to a conspiracy to evade the legal requirement to provide a fair hearing.  

Whatever the thing is, I learned this morning from Michael Geller’s Blog something even more strange. A report considered by council relating to affordable housing, a central component of the plan/non-plan, was not presented to the public.

Geller refers to a study by the firm Coriolis that relates to the economics of affordable housing. Geller makes a number of astute observations:

"For reasons I still cannot understand, the City refused to release the study. The only explanation is a comment recorded by Doug Ward in an interview with Andrea Reimer which I reported during the Council meeting. When I referenced this at the Council meeting Councillor Reimer said she was misquoted.

Here's a link: Here's the excerpt:
Reimer said the planning department isn't prepared to release the Coriolis analysis because the data on potential land values could undermine the city's ability to promote rental development in the DEOD.

"If we released the exact range of what we were looking at paying for land -- which is what the Coriolos report does -- then the maximums in that report would become the minimum current landowners would set as the asking price," said Reimer. "Put another way, no one goes into a real estate deal letting a seller know the maximum they can pay."

If  the UDEE (Unidentified Downtown Eastside Event) was as Reimer says, conceptually like a "real estate deal" that is one thing. It doesn’t have to be set aside because ethereal concepts do not require quashing. They just float off into other dimensions to join other gases.

[Although Reimer says she was misquoted by Doug Ward I suppose the world could contain that fact.] 

If UDEE was a hearing then this is a splendid ground for asking a judge to set the bylaw aside.  The law in such case requires everything Council had before it to be disclosed and made available to the public in enough time that they can read it and address it. 

While on the topic of neighbourhood busting, Ms.Bula gave us the text of Clr. Louie’s motion during the Oakridge rezoning. Louie attached conditions to that bylaw relating to kitchens and stuff like that.  This raises the question whether the conditions were intended by Council to be met (a) prior to, or (b) after enactment.  If "prior to" then the plan  has not yet been enacted. 

 If after,then it has been enacted but might be set aside on other grounds. 

Moral: It is entirely possible that we live in 9 separate parallel universes. In some of those other worlds a plan was passed. In others it was defeated. But in our greenest and best of all possible worlds a plan/non-plan has  both passed and not passed.