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Release: Unprecedented Legislation to Circumvent Lawsuit

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Response from Kitsilano Coalition to the BC Government’s Unprecedented Legislation to Circumvent Lawsuit Against 7th/8th and Arbutus Supportive Housing

 April 19, 2023 – Vancouver, BC – The legislation introduced by the BC NDP and BC Housing Minister, Ravi Kahlon, referred to as Bill 26, targets our lawsuit against the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency, in relation to the City's rezoning application of its property at 7th/8th and Arbutus to facilitate a project by BC Housing. 

The legal petition filed in the BC Supreme Court by Kitsilano Coalition sets out how the City withheld key information during the public hearing process, made misleading statements throughout, and breached our fundamental right to be heard. The City's request, and Provincial Government's willingness, to now step in and fix the City's mistakes so that BC Housing can forge ahead with this ill-conceived project, despite an unfair process, shows what a strong case we have. The legislation is unprecedented and is an affront to the democratic and legal process.

Most significantly, the steps taken by the municipal and provincial governments through this legislation should be of great concern to all citizens across the province. This legislation undermines citizens' rights to be heard by government, compromises the integrity and obligation of government to provide transparency, and limits access to the court when governments act unlawfully.

About the Kitsilano Coalition

We're a community-based coalition of individuals and organizations that care about their neighbourhood and city. The Kitsilano Coalition is focused on promoting and protecting inclusionary housing. We believe that residents of neighbourhoods who are affected by policies and plans have the right to be heard. We support open and inclusive policymaking that is evidence-driven and accessible to citizens. We recognize that Governments and Municipalities have human rights obligations. In making decisions, Government & Municipalities must ensure they do not violate human rights codes and health and safety. Statistics show that current supportive housing models leave people isolated and put them at higher risk of harmful outcomes as a result of the restrictive environment. We believe a better alternative is small scattered-site housing with supports rather than an unnecessary level of institutionalization imposed on people living in our neighbourhood, City and Province.

Media contact:

Trevor Pancoust