Back in October of last year, I reported on the publication of a City of Vancouver document called Grandview Woodland: Neighbourhood Social Indicators Profile. I mentioned a couple of interesting graphs but didn’t really have time to delve into the details. Today, I was reminded by a correspondent of the document, who pointed out the population and density figures displayed.
As can be seen, Grandview in 2016 had reached a population equal to its previous highest in the 1990s. During the Community Plan, then Councillor Geoff Meggs wrote that Grandview had “flatlined”. He was, as in so many matters, wrong.
Not only were we not flatlining, but we were attracting young families with children who will be the future of our neighbourhood:
“From 2011 to 2016, Grandview-Woodland was a destination for people between ages 20 and 35; there were more than 125% more 25-year-olds in 2016 than there were 20-year-olds in 2011.” (p.13)
Throughout the Grandview Woodland Community Plan process we were told over and over again by Planners that we needed to increase density in the neighbourhood. When the Community Plan was approved in 2016, the same Councillor Meggs declared himself disappointed that Grandview was “not bearing its share of density.” He –and the Planners — were wrong yet again as the City’ own figures illustrate:
“As of 2016, Grandview-Woodland’s population density was 64 persons per hectare, about 18% denser than the City of Vancouver’s average density overall.” (p.10)
Why am I digging up these figures again? Because the Planners when pushing new developments in Grandview continue to press us to take more density than most other areas of the City. They never give the data and just suggest that somehow we are not pulling our weight.
This is particularly important when we look at the massive towers and new density suggested for the Safeway site at Broadway & Commercial. We know that a number of people have declared their support for the Safeway towers based on their belief that Grandview is somehow falling behind in either population and/or density.
These are false beliefs and it is vital that we move forward ONLY based on true and accurate data.
Readers may recall that we have been following the situation at the Alma Blackwell housing project on Adanac Street here in Grandview. It appeared that the managers, Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society (ENFHS) had decided to relocate and/or evict the current tenants, demolish the building and its well-established community, in order to build a much larger facility.
After a prolonged outcry by the residents, a public meeting at GWAC, and media coverage, ENFHS wrote to the residents noting that they were re-organizing under a new Executive Director and that no-one would be displaced until the end of 2022. Unfortunately, it was also clear that their plans for the community had not changed.
The residents have been in touch with Neil Mockton, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, who had apparently agreed to arrange a meeting between the residents and the Mayor. They noted their struggles to get proper maintenance and repairs for the building, the lack of reasonable communication between managers and tenants, and the fact that — during Vancouver’s housing crisis — ENFHS has allowed 15 units to remain unoccupied for many months.
Monckton responded by advising BC Housing and CoV Planning Department of the concerns raised, but suggested there was little he could do as no formal re-development application has yet been received by the City. He advised the residents to be in touch with the City’s Renter’s Office from which the current residents have already been turned away with “that’s not our job.” He gave little hope that a meeting with the Mayor would be forthcoming.
In the meanwhile, ENFHS — who have shown themselves unwilling to do basic repairs and maintenance on a building that still houses 30 households paying rent — have issued an advertisement for a new Executive Director at a salary of up to $120,000 a year. No meeting with the tenants has yet been arranged.
Not unlike the leaseholders and co-op residents at False Creek South, about which much ink has been spilled this week, the families in the Alma Blackwell building continue to face an uncertain and nervous future.
It’s Monday already, and as soon as it’s Tuesday I’ll be dead.
As soon as it’s Tuesday they’ll strap me to a gurney and inject me with death while a dozen good folks who have done nothing worse in their lives than drown kittens or abuse their workers or cheat on their wives look on. A bunch of them will watch with vengeance in their hearts and with grim grins of satisfaction. A few might be sad. Most — the officers and journalists and the warden — will treat my death with as much indifference as they can manage.
These same people have kept me locked and chained for eight years. They’ve allowed inmates to abuse me, guards to kick me, lawyers to buy boats from the proceeds of unwanted appeals. This afternoon they will feed me a steak, rare, with Caesar salad and french fries on a paper plate with a plastic knife and fork.
They tell me that because I never did drugs it’ll be a cinch to find a vein. I won’t even feel the needle they tell me. Not like those poor bastards who get their heads blown apart with 12000 volts of Old Sparky’s best. I’ll be asleep before death comes, they say, as if that makes it OK. I’m lucky, they say.
Well, I am lucky. As soon as Tuesday comes I’ll know the truth, while they’ll still spend sleepless nights wondering what death is like.
Oh God almighty, it’s Monday already.