It was another quick one for Burnaby council as they sped through tonight’s agenda. I’m not complaining, though – I’m very lucky I don’t have to cover those marathon meetings other councils *cough* Vancouver *cough* have.
The meeting started with Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan proclaiming February as International Development Month. Just when I think I know every single month/week/day proclamation that has been made in Burnaby, they throw a new one at me. Though this one is pretty self-explanatory – an acknowledgement of Canada’s contribution to international development. That’s what I got from it, anyway.
Then Gwenne Farrell, vice-president of COPE 378, spoke to council about some of the concerns the union has about smart meters. It is all included in her letter from tonight’s agenda (it can be found in the online agenda archives) but basically, she said the smart meters have cost about 400 BC Hydro meter readers their jobs. Some have been reassigned, she said, but many have not, though she said BC Hydro had told the employees they’d be retrained.
Other issues were brought up by council such as safety, cost, and how the meters may be used in the future. I covered these issues in the NOW previously.
BC Hydro has put out information addressing some of the concerns, but some – including Burnaby mayor and councillors – doubt the answers provided, and it remains to be seen how the new program will play out.
The rest of the meeting went quite quickly. Council agreed to nominate cranberry farmer Derek May for reappointment to Metro Vancouver’s agricultural committee.
Three grants were approved – a green fee waiver for the Burnaby Hospital Foundation’s golf tournament, being held on June 21; a rental fee waiver for a volunteer appreciation event at the Shadbolt on May 8; and $4,000 to the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of B.C. for 2012.
Council also approved $170,000 in funding from the gaming fund reserves for the Eagle Creek Integrated Stormwater Management Plan; $3.33 million for capital projects, to replace aging infrastructure at city facilities; and $100,000 for a contingency fund for the Western Cities Chief Administrators and Human Resources Conference, which Burnaby is hosting next fall.
The Fire Fighters’ Social and Athletic Club received council’s support for a new food primary liquor license involving “patron participation entertainment” at the club.
And finally, a townhouse rezoning application was approved for public hearing on Feb. 21, a bundle of rezoning applications was also approved for the public hearing; and first, second and third reading recommendations on all the bylaws presented passed, as well.
Mayor Corrigan mentioned that Coun. Sav Dhaliwal was not at the meeting because his mother had passed away, and said he would share council’s condolences with Dhaliwal.