Transcript of the Final Minutes
24 May 2016 Public Hearing on 3365 Commercial
The Majority Opposition Rise in Concert to Walk Out of Council Chamber
The singular event that took place during the public hearing for
3. REZONING: 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue
deserves the easiest access that can be provided to residents of the City of Vancouver. A careful transcript of approximately 1500 words takes less time and effort to access and review than would the video record — flawed by splicing and intermittent wild pixellation (see screenshot of acting mayor Raymond Louie provided as appendix to this transcript).
The cast of speaking characters in this segment, in order of appearance, are: Councillor Adriane Carr, Councillor Raymond Louie (Acting Mayor), Councillor Tim Stevenson, Assistant Director of Planning Kent Munro, Councillor Elizabeth Ball, Councillor Melissa De Genova, and the City Clerk. Real-time viewers tweeted about the video feed being cut, and the record for the entire evening originally seems to have terminated at 4:05:06. (Transcription timings belowed are keyed to the video for Item 3, not to video for the entire evening).
Context Below: After Deal’s Motion to Approve the Rezoning
[large omission] So, for those reasons, I will be voting against this app-application.
Thanks very much. Well, as I indicated, I-I have a lot of, uh, sympathy around this, uh, issue of, uh, of the trees. I-I just would really like us to have a second look at this. [clears throat] It does make a difference whether there’s mature trees or-or-or not, and, uh, I would like our city arborist to be involved in this. Uh, not that I don’t think that the one, uh, the developer has is, uh, not professional. But I really do think that it would be, uh, helpful to have our own city arborist, uh, look at this. I-I don’t know why the Park Board are not interested in a park. That-that’s too bad, actually. Um, but they have a budget, and I suppose this would be, uh, a fairly high ticket item for them. But one person did, uh, say, please stop and table this and have a second look at this. Uh, and uh, and I’m inclined to do that. Um, and maybe there’s some other, uh, issues we can look at at the same time, but, my real concern is because so many people from the neighborhood talked about how important that was, and how important the two parks were near them. So I would like to refer this back, uh, to staff and ask them to —
[Voice: Point of order]
Sorry, let’s hear what the motion is before you have a point of order. So, let’s hold for a minute. Clr Stevenson, can you just tell us what you’re intending —
Yes, ah, my intent is to have staff, um, uh, have-have another look at this whole issue of the trees and have our own, uh —
So you referred the motion to — you’re referring to staff for, what, and to when to report back —
I-I-I only want a month’s time. I’m, uh, sure that there’s all sorts of pressures, but, uh, I don’t think a month is too much, to come back —
Not, not to the merits of the motion, just —
OK. Ah, thank you. In July, uh,
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at this point video splicing skips back to Stevenson above at
… “helpful to have our own city arborist” [etc]
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[Stevenson continued] with a further detailed report — [Louie: OK] — in particular in regard to this.
Now in regard to the point of order from Clr Carr. What was your point of order? [indistinct voice — apparently problem with microphone switch-on] Now, just a minute. There you go.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Um, in previous meetings where I’ve tried to refer a partic — a public — an item at public hearing, I was informed that that is not allowed, and so I would like a ruling from the City Clerk. Um, only — we can only refer — my understanding, uh, is the discussion and the decision to a future council meeting — not refer back to staff.
Thank you. Um, it’s actually a ruling from the chair, and advice from the Clerk. So, Madam Clerk, can we just get some advice from you? [long pause] Just give us a couple of minutes here.
[During this 2-3 minute period of silence, the City Clerk rummaged and ruminated, and then engaged in a lengthy whisper huddle with Louie]
So, after [long pause] let’s take some advice from Mr Munro, if you have it, ah, based on your experience. Just before — just before I rule on the matter — here’s-here’s my sense is that we — it would be for further advice from staff rather than, um, hearing further from the public on the matter, and so, when we’re — if it was to defer a decision and-and seek further advice from staff that would seem to fit a pattern, and that — uh, of previous council asking for advice, but what is-is, does — [indistinct voice] Mist-Mr. Munro has the floor. We are working on a point of order right now. Mr. Munro.
The question, that shall refer to the Clerk in terms of the Procedures Bylaw, um, and I don’t know it intimately to, to really, um, say either way.
OK. Thank you. Uh, absent, uh, any further advice from s-staff on that side, I will rule, uh, that it — the motion *is* in order for those, as for, for those reasons [clears throat]
— [Carr?: Different rules for you guys and us.] —
Your motion to — Yes. I’ve heard you, Clr Ball.
Ah, you have often re-, referred to custom in this chamber, and you have consistently over the last many years told Clr Carr and others [Louie: Clr Ball —] that they could not refer dur-, after a public hearing — that they could not do-, do this, and this —
Two-thirds majority to overrule the ruling of the chair. In this case, that was not present.
In a pub — [microphone cut?]
Thank you, Clr Ball. Um, that’s is not the case. It has not told Clr Carr that, ever before, in fact. Not myself, so — So, what I will say is that, I’ve ruled — that Clr Stevenson’s motion which is to seek more information, so —
[indistinct other voice] OK. Clr Carr has challenged the chair [pause] and I’ll just move to the question then. Shall the chair be sustained? All in favor? Those opposed? The requisite votes are there to sus-sustain the chair. Thank you. So, the motion is — [indistinct voices] It requires a two-thirds majority to overturn the ruling of the chair, I’ll remind Council members.
So. Clr Stevenson, your motion to refer — [long pause]
Clr S-Stevenson. Clr, uh, Ball. [indistinct voices] Uh, if you’re unfamiliar with the rules — and for the public, just for your benefit — the rules of the, of — parliamentary rules that we follow under the Procedure Bylaw requires that if a chair has made a ruling, that if someone disagrees, or a member of Council disagrees, that it requires a two-thirds majority overule the, the ruling of the chair. In this case, that was not present, and there — therefore the ruling of the chair is sustained.
I will remind, um, everyone that this is a request for further information on the matter so we can make a, I think, a — a full decision based on full facts, and there was con- some concern, if I understand it, that the arborist was an external arborist rather than, ah, a person on staff with the City that could give that information, and that’s what Clr Stevenson is asking for in this instance. So, if you have issues with asking for further information, certainly you can vote against the referral, and, uh, we will proceed. But Clr Stevenson — it’s absolutely open to him to move that motion.
Clr De Genova. What is your point of order? [long pause] Cou — [Voice: Mike]
— and now that we’ve been told that we could have referred, but at the time — and I’ll pull up the tapes — that we were told that that we couldn’t refer —
Let me — let me rule on your point of order. First — first of all, we are in a separate public hearing, and, in this ins-instance, I have conferred with the Clerk, and, uh, my decision has been made and so I’ve ruled on the matter and so your point of order, which is again, uh, before us, to discuss the ruling is out of order.
Clr Stevenson, did you have anything further on your referral motion? [indistinct voice] Clr De Genova. You’re challenging the ruling of the chair on your point of order. Is that correct? OK. So I will — Madam Clerk, do we have that? Ready for the challenge [to the] chair? Shall the chair be sustained? All in favor? Those opposed? Ah, those opposed, ah, do not have the sufficient weight — ah, sufficient number of votes, so the chair is sustained. OK? Clr Stevenson.
It’s three to four, sir, there’s a chair that gets to vote as well. [indistinct voice from chamber] No.
No, no, we’re not — we have not sir. [indistinct voice from chamber]
Sir, there’s been no decision. At this point in time we’re making a decision on whether or not we should refer [pause] the matter.
Clr Stevenson, do you have anything further?
Clr De Genova are you leaving the chambers? [long pause] OK. [long pause] So — [long pause]
[Shout from chamber: What a zoo!]
Yes. [indistinct shout] Apparently. OK. So apparently we have lost quorum. Madame Clerk, could we poll the councillors that have left the council chambers, and see whether or not —? Uh, yes, could you — [long pause]
It is 10:21 pm. Clrs Affleck, Ball, De Genova, and Carr have left meeting and we have — and this has resulted in the loss of quorum. Under the Procedure Bylaw I declare this meeting adjourned.
OK. Thank you. [shout from chamber] I apologize. Unfortunately we have lost quorum and we cannot conclude to a decision this evening — [indistinct voice] and we will see — what, how, uh to proceed after, uh, taking further advice. Thank you.