Vancouver Centre MP Dr. Hedy Fry.


Candidates are lining up to vie to run against the West End’s MP Dr. Hedy Fry in the upcoming federal election. Hedy has been the slam-dunk favourite for the past 25 years, but the Trudeau government’s popularity is taking a lot of hits, and many Vancouver Centre riding residents feel that Hedy, who announced some time ago that she would be running again, should have taken a bow and retired after a quarter-century of service. So nobody is taking anything for granted.

Vancouver Centre Conservative party candidate David Cavey.

The Vancouver Centre Conservatives last month nominated Vancouver-born David Cavey. A graduate of McGill University, with a Bachelor of Commerce in International Management, David has been involved with the Conservative party as a volunteer and election campaigner since the age of 14. Currently working for a global financial services firm in Vancouver, he has also worked in a number of different industries and organizations including: Labatt, Aramark Sports & Entertainment, the Canadian Red Cross, the Vancouver Canadians, and Vancouver Coastal Health.

In announcing David’s candidacy, Vancouver Centre Conservative Electoral District Association (EDA) president Neil McIver said: “David is supremely qualified to represent the people of Vancouver Centre and I think that the local Liberals will be surprised by the strength of his candidacy.”

James Marshall is among five candidates vying for the Green Party nomination in Vancouver Centre.

Meanwhile the Vancouver Centre Green Party EDA will hold its nomination meeting on Sunday, June 2 at the Coal Harbour Community Centre, with five candidates vying for the nomination: Irish-born Eoin O’Dwyer, a former physicist and currently works as a web developer; Jesse Brown, a longtime West End community organizer and current executive director of Friends for Life; James Marshall, a musician and video game developer who also ran for the Green Party in the West End during the 2017 provincial election; Chad Wilkinson, a trained zoologist who currently works as a senior environmental consultant to an engineering firm; and Tim Raiuenbusch, about whom there was no background information available at press time.

The West End Journal has been told unofficially that the Vancouver Centre NDP will be holding a nomination meeting sometime in July and that up to seven names are currently in consideration. Provincial NDP vice-president Morgane Oger recently announced her intention of standing for the nomination.

The 2019 federal election is scheduled to take place on or before October 21, 2019. The October 21 date is determined by the fixed-date procedures in the Canada Elections Act, but the Act does not preclude the Governor General from issuing the writs of election at an earlier date. 

In the 2015 federal election, of 58,048 votes cast in this riding Hedy won with 32,554, the NDP’s Constance Barnes came second with 11,618, the Conservative’s Elaine Allan received 9,818, and the Green’s Lisa Barrett had 3,370 votes. The Libertarian candidate John Clarke received 614 votes, while Marxist-Leninist candidate Michael Hill had 74.

Community Plan Issues Under Discussion

As reported in previous issues of The West End Journal, an ad-hoc group of West End residents has been holding meetings with various Vancouver City Councillors and city bureaucrats to express their concerns about the City’s failure to follow the West End Community Plan, adopted in 2013 to make way for the extensive high-rise development we see happening today.

According to one member of the group, retired lawyer Anthony Norfolk, a meeting with several Councillors in January was followed up with a meeting last month with staff of multiple agencies, including School Board staff, specifically to find out what progress has been made on plans for “Site F”, which includes the present community centre, library, ad secondary school on Denman Street. 

“It appears that the City’s real estate department is taking the lead on this file” according to Norfolk. “Planning is underway, but there is a sense in the community that is all taking too long. However, we now have a better sense of some of the constraints on the expenditure of amenity contributions, which have been accumulating as housing development projects have progressed. We also discussed the planning for the English Bay Park and Sunset Beach Park upgrades, which have recently become controversial”

Norfolk currently serves as chairman of the board of a West End equity co-op.

Long-time community volunteer and organizer of the annual Summer Sounds day of performances at Haywood Bandstand Christopher Clarke Hyndman has also been attending the informal meetings. “I am cautiously optimistic that these meetings represent a sea-change in the way the City, School Board, and bureaucrats are engaging with the community” said Clarke Hyndman, who is also on the executive of the Lord Roberts Elementary School Parent Advisory Council and the West End Community Centre board of directors. “We want a meaningful level of participation in ongoing planning for our community,” he said, “and we want to ensure that we are looking far enough down the road to ensure our neighbourhood develops the way we need.”

No further meetings are scheduled but follow-up is planned and The West End Journal will provide updates on these conversations as they are available.

The route of the West End water line upgrades. (click to enlarge)

West End Upgrades Begin In June

As announced last March, the City of Vancouver will begin water infrastructure upgrades to our neighbourhood early this month. Work will begin at the western end of the project, at Robson Street between Chilco and Gilford. Some watchful residents have already noticed preparations in the form of markings on the pavements. Work will progress eastward up Haro from Chilco to Thurlow, and then follow Bute from Haro to West Pender.

Work will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the possibility of extended hours, up to 8 p.m. on weekday, and weekends as needed. The project includes replacing the existing water main below Haro and Bute with a larger-capacity system. This new water main will have a life expectancy of about 100 years to help serve this growing neighbourhood while also improving the system’s seismic resiliency. 

There will be detours and road closures, bus stops may be relocated, and there will be some parking restrictions. Some trees will be removed in the course of these upgrades, and new trees will be planted in the vicinity. There will be some water supply disruptions, but except in emergencies there will be advance notice. You may have noticed some tree-trimming along the routes, clearing the way for the needed heavy equipment.

The timeline is expected to run through to the late summer of 2020.

Access to residences and businesses will be maintained, the City assures us. Further details can be found here

Another Busy Month Goes By

(click on images to enlarge)

Lots going on in your West End over the merry month of May, and we have a few photos to share with you, in case you didn’t make it out to every party, fundraiser, and celebration.

West End Community Centre business manager Debbie Coulson (left) and longtime volunteer and board member Pamela Leaman greeting guests at Art In The City … and sharing drink tickets!

West End Community Centre business manager Debbie Coulson (left) and longtime volunteer and board member Pamela Leaman greeting guests at Art In The City … and sharing drink tickets!

ART IN THE CITY… May was off to a great start with the West End Community Centre’s annual Art In The City exhibition and sale of the works of more than 40 Vancouver artists.

Art in the City is the premier fine arts market in Vancouver’s historic West End. The three-day event kicked off with a wine and cheese vernissage, followed by two days of displays and exhibitions of artwork in every medium and style.

West End - Coal Harbour MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert (right) and MC David C. Jones crack each other up in an impromptu comedy sketch at Get Your Art On! (Alex Puttonen Photo)

GET YOUR ART ON ! … West End / Coal Harbour MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert’s team held a fund-raising art auction on May 11 at the Best Western Sands on Davie, with BC Attorney General David Eby as the keynote speaker. With the NDP having, among their first actions in government, banned corporate and union cash contributions to political campaigns, events such as these are even more important for keeping grassroots politics funded.

Among the loyal NDP supporters and team members in attendance were former MLA and MP Ian Waddell, BC NDP vice-president Morgane Oger, and members of both the provincial West End - Coal Harbour and the federal Vancouver Centre NDP riding associations. Entertainment was provided by the Reid Jamieson band (Reid and wife Carolyn Mill) and MC / auctioneer David C. Jones kept the party going and jollied the crowd along to come up with generous bids and donations. And several folks went home with wonderful works of art.

Members of the Neighbourhood Cleanup Party crew.

NEIGHBOURHOOD CLEANUP PARTY … Gordon Neighbourhood House hosted a neighbourhood cleanup on Saturday, May 11 in collaboration with the West End BIA and the City of Vancouver, and with the support of several West End businesses and organizations. Helping out were folks from TELUS, TD Bank, the West End Seniors’ Network; the West End Community Policing Centre; Coastal Church; the youth group CISV; Mole Hill Community Housing; and MP Dr. Hedy Fry’s office.

Add in the many local neighbours who showed up for the day and about 85 folks took part in total. The cleanup was followed by a BBQ, to celebrate a job well done. The activities were enhanced by a day of perfect spring sunshine, and everyone is looking forward to reprising the event later in the summer.

A night at the Park Pub for the West End - Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre.

A night at the Park Pub for the West End - Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre.

PUB NIGHT FOR THE COMMUNITY POLICING CENTRE The West End - Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre (CPC) held a fun Pub Night May 2 at The Park Pub at English Bay to raise funds to support their numerous programs and initiatives. There were 54 folks who purchased tickets in advance for the evening, but since it was an open event, many more actually participated. When The West End Journal dropped by for a look-in, the place was hopping!

The evening included a silent auction, raffle prizes, a 50/50 draw, and entertainment by Route 66, who who donated their time. Many regular Park patrons and staff purchased tickets for the draws or bid on the silent auction items, winning some of the raffle prizes. The most sought-after Silent Auction item was a pair of Whitecaps tickets, valued at $190, with the winning bid coming in at $280! Just under $1,700 was raised during the evening, with funds going towards the Centre’s safety awareness initiatives for Older Adults.

The Centre’s next fundraiser will be the Scotiabank Charity Challenge on June 23, with the CPC entering a team. If you would like to make a pledge for the Challenge, you can do so here

Gordon Neighbourhood House’s Jim Balakshin.

Gordon Neighbourhood House’s Jim Balakshin.


Congratulations are in order for Gordon Neighbourhood House program coordinator Jim Balakshin, who recently received his Certificate in Cultural Planning from the UBC extended learning program. 

Jim has been with GNH for more than five years, beginning as a volunteer and working up to his current full-time position, where he coordinates The Attic Thrift Stores, the Neighbourhood Small Grants and Young Ideas programs, and somehow finds time to help with our participate in numerous other programs and activities.

“I am passionate about community programming” says Jim, “and I am a strong believer that everyone belongs in our community and has something to offer.”

Congratulations Jim!