Dunbar Re-Vision

Wanted – People who Care to Be Part of the Solution

December 3, 2012
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Back on the October 30th Bill Good show, Frances Bula said in response to Bill Good explaining that Dunbar Re-Vision was having a protest,  “And a quite vigorous one, like they are planning a march, or a rally, or something, at City Hall next/on November 16th and they had a meeting that drew 250 people the other night.” 

I started wondering about that comment, which led me to her blog post that garnered 103 comments. See: Post Frances was aware her blog was resonating with the community when she made that comment. Appreciating what it takes to have people respond to a post, I dug further into the story.

 I started reading the comments, and I encourage you to do the same. It is evident from the comments, that Vancouver Vision policy and the key word “Dunbar” were colliding, and at the same time touching a nerve in the community. It also made me aware of the gross  misunderstanding of the issues that existed among individuals. Some people tend to stereo type, and generalize,  and their reality is  what their memories tell them.

The internet grants the entire spectrum of society an opportunity to voice their opinion. That’s the nice thing about the internet, it’s very democratic (I wish Dunbar Re-Vision had that same opportunity with city council see this site).

And here are samples of comments:

 “ … god bless the people power of the People’s Republic of Dunbar.”

“ … this is Dunbar, a fantasy place that has never accepted its fair share of growth/development/social service facilities.”

“ … remember that it was group of Dunbarites and Shaughnessy dwellers that held the reins for decades …”

“ Vision Vancouver is in line with the ICLEI agenda with that of their major sponsor Joel Solomon that of Hollyhock and last that of Agenda 21.”

“ I once met a planner … When I asked him what the greatest obstacle to sustainability in Vancouver is, his immediate reply was the Dunbar Residents Association.”

“True to form, Dunbarites oppose any densification, wanting to pull up the drawbridge.”

As a Dunbar resident,  all I can think to say is, “Ouch!” 

Does our past define us forever? Has the community not sufficiently changed to warrant a new characterization? I went searching for some answers.

 Here are some facts to consider:

In the two polling stations, in the 2011 civic election,  that comprise the bulk of Dunbar, Mayor Robertson of Vancouver Vision received 48% of votes offered for mayor, and he did win polling station 113, one half of Dunbar. The 1030 votes cast, represent approximately 5% of the population (we do not have the registered voters number).

Polling Station 112 113 Total Votes
Gregor Robertson 390 564 954
Suzanne Anton 552 478 1030

Next, I went looking for information on immigration in the Metro Vancouver area. At this site , I happened to isolate data for the two polling areas identifed above. Here is where some of the almost 40,000 immigrants who arrive each year in Metro Vancouver are laying down their roots.

Enthinicity/Polling Station Area 112(% of ethnic pop)/(Metro avg.) 113(% of ethnic pop)/(Metro avg.)
English 31.8 (23.1) 33.8 (23.1)
Scottish 23.01 (16.1) 25.5 (16.1)
Chinese 22.3 (18.2) 17.9 (18.2)
Irish 17.2 (12) 20.4 (12)
French 10.6 (6.5) 5.8 (6.5)
German 8.8 (9.7) 12.1 (9.7)

So what I see from my brief gander into the make up of Dunbar, of those of us who did vote (a scant too few), almost half of us voted for the Mayor. And we continue to have a broad based community of ethnicities.

In my view, we:

  1. have to increase voter engagement,
  2. have to stop falling prey to the “divide and conquer” tactic used by too many in our community. It is easy to be negative, rather than taking the harder journey to provide solutions.
  3. have to receive transparency from our civic leaders, see this site,
  4. have to keep asking for public consultation, and
  5. have to start supporting our fellow resident associations, showing increasing numbers at future civic gatherings (see this site ).

Are you ready to be part of the solution?

Respectfully submitted,

Mike Andruff