Cursory apology for not writing enough or answering my queued “Ask Pat”s. Things will change in January, I’m not promising much until then. However, something this newsworthy requires comment, and I’m not going to sleep tonight until I write something down. No time for editing, let’s go.

“Cazart!” is a word invented by the Doctor of Gonzo Journalism, Hunter S. Thompson. He defined it as “Holy Shit! I should have known.” However that definition lacks the sense of fatal acceptance and calm that the second clause must be spoken with in order to hit the true feeling. It is the shock of surprise at something that was always obvious; we knew it was coming, but perhaps we hoped against.

To quote the esteemed Doctor himself:

“Cazart” goes far beyond mere shock, outrage, etc. If Bill had a better grip on semantics, he would have told you it meant “Holy Shit! I might have known!” Fatalism, I’d say. It’s a mountain word, but not commonly used……In contemporary terms, we might compare it to the first verbal outburst of a long-time cocaine runner who knew he was bound to be nailed, eventually, but when it finally happens he instinctively shouts “Cazart!”

A good friend of mine succinctly summed up in a tweet much of my thoughts  – not just about the approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Extension Project, but about the way we continue to dance around the edges of serious issues in this province and this country:


The profundity of that comment needs a whole new blog post. so instead, I’m going to write about the completely predictable failure represented by the approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Extension Project.

I am not a distant observer of the Trans Mountain project. I worked on the Environmental Assessment National Energy Board Review. I read and critiqued the Project Description, and the reams of correspondence from stakeholders, intervenors, commenters. I was a participant the Review Process, and could see how the cards were stacked. I attended the protest camp at Burnaby Mountain and wrote about the impacts on New Westminster. I spent a bunch of time converting tonnes to barrels to cubic metres to understand the throughputs of the existing and planned pipelines, what it means for tanker traffic, for our domestic fuel supply in the Lower Mainland, and for Pacific Northwest refineries. I attended emergency planning drills at the Westridge Terminals when they ran boom boats around showing how easy a clean-up was (a very different experience that folks up in Bella Bella had with the Nathan E. Steward spill). I have talked with my colleagues from across the Pacific Northwest at the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance. I attended the Trudeau government “Panel Review” that was meant to get to the bottom of the conflict about the project, and found it wanting.

All this to say my opposition to this project is not uninformed, knee-jerk, or equivocal. Providing a Texas-based tax-avoidance scheme the right to threaten what is most sacred to British Columbia, “Splendor Sine Occasu”, makes no economic, social, environmental, moral or practical sense. It is a betrayal of our communities, of the nations that were here before us, and of the generations that will (hopefully) come after. It is a failure to lead and a failure to dream.

I admit that I believed that when Trudeau’s refreshed Canada walked into the Paris meeting and said “we’re back”, we were telling the world that we were ready to lead again. I hoped (dreamed?) we were ready to take a role respective of our technological and economic advantages, catch up with true global leaders, and begin beating our energy swords into plowshares. At the least, we would begin respecting our commitments to ourselves and the world. Instead, it is clear we are going to continue to subsidize the industry that provides all those fragile eggs to Alberta’s wobbly basket. We will subsidize it directly through our tax dollars, we will subsidize it through infrastructure investments like 10-lane bridges that lock a generation into unsustainable fossil-fuel-dependent transportation choices, subsidize it through forsaking future opportunities and risking the ultimate destruction of everything we value in our spectacular BC coast.

It doesn’t really matter if that destruction comes from a single “72-hour spill response time” incident or from gradual and inexorable rises in temperature and sea levels. We have sold our legacy, forgiven our opportunity, failed to find a vision that would allow it to exist.

Justin Trudeau was elected because people saw something akin to a new vision. We had enough of the stuffy old white guy with the 19th century solutions, and were not compelled by the other stuffy old white guy and his 20th century solutions. Dickens and Steinbeck (respectively) had nothing on Copeland and Klosterman. The promise was a new direction from the new generation. Fresh ideas and approaches, more personal politics, dare I say “Sunny Ways”. Traditional ideas like fearing deficits, letting oil companies tell us what’s what, or keeping your sleeves buttoned at your wrists were tossed aside. Canada’s back, baby, with a sexy swagger. We convinced ourselves that we could dream more hopeful dreams, that our ambitions to be something better would be realized.

Alas, before the election ballots were counted, long-time observers were asking how soon the Liberals would course-correct to the right with hackneyed neo-liberal (made so quaint now by a Trump-based reality) policy decisions that blur the distinction between them and the Conservatives they campaigned far to the left of. Campaign left, govern right, stay the course. It has worked for the Natural Governing Party because that’s the Canadian way, and has been since… well, I’m too young to know any other form of Liberal.

They campaign to govern, and govern to campaign. Perhaps under P.E. Trudeau that meant serious discussions about Public Policy, the Role of Government, and the Meaning of Nationhood. In 2016, public policy is a hassle, because it is hard to sound bite and some noisy people or potential donors might not like the results. The need to break promises of last election are an issue only for the crisis communications department; after all, they present opportunities to become promises for next election! Voter cynicism? A political machine this size, if properly greased, can work that to their advantage. For one more cycle, anyway.

When Trudeau II showed up on the scene, many voters jaded by a series of abusive relationships received a glimpse of a new beginning. The honeymoon is now over for people in BC concerned about the environment, about our natural legacy. It is important to note that we are a little late to the game out here on the West Coast.  The honeymoon already ended for Civil Liberty types, as Ralph Goodale seems to support giving rights to CSIS that the Courts denied them making fights over C-51 antiquated. It already ended for human rights activists as selling citizen-crushing machines to brutal dictators became unavoidable in bureaucratic doublespeak. From the stall on electoral reform, to the laissez faire on TPP and the claw-back of public pensions… the reasons for buyer’s remorse are broad and all-encompassing.

Cazart, indeed.

Naturally, we are seeing the same thing here in BC, and it extends far beyond this pipeline (that we know Christy Clark is coyly equivocal about, as she schemes to assure its development as long as she gets a tidy deficit-reducing revenue cut). The same failure to lead / failure to dream leaves us in a place with an economy that is ostensibly the Greatest on Earth, except for the shocking number of homeless, the working poor being made destitute, then the destitute dying of addiction or violence with no apparent support or escape alongside the creeping failure of our public education, public health, and public transportation systems. Even the financially stable are seeing the cost of living creep up through faux-taxes hidden in the costs of basic services while local governments are scrambling to find the funds to putty over the cracks in the social net that has made us a civil society – if not the Best Place on Earth.

It’s an election year, so casual political observers are going to forget about disability claw-backs, about the past-critical housing crisis, about forgotten promises to make schools safe, about privatization of public assets to meet short-term budget goals, about feet-dragging over regional transit funding, about tax breaks for private schools and forgotten promises to provide family doctors. Instead, we are going to hear a few populist news stories about how the Liberals are claiming a lead in housing or education or health care (“It is time to invest”) and we are going to be distracted from the abject failure to provide not only those things for the last 15 years, but any form of public good through their neo-liberal trickle-down economics. Some of us might be convinced they care about us and a brighter future is just around the corner…

That’s the winning formula when winning the job is more important that doing the job. How long until they, too, disappoint us? Will we say “Cazart”?

Council – Nov. 21, 2016

Back to our last Council stint of 2016 – three back-to-back meetings before a month-long Christmas break. There is a lot of work to get done before we get all egg-noggy, so our agendas are looking full.

We started the November 21 meeting with an afternoon workshop session to dig a little deeper into the one aspect of the ongoing Official Community Plan update that needs more consideration:

OCP Review: Summary of Feedback and Discussion of the Area Around the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station
It’s no secret that the area around 22nd St SkyTrain Station is ripe for some increased density and conversion of use. It is an important regional transit and transportation hub, and is one of the least-dense parts of the City. Rare are 30 year old SkyTrain stations surrounded by single family detached houses and no commercial development. This OCP may give us an opportunity to look at ways to re-imagine this neighbourhood.

The existing Land Use Plan has allowed some multi-family development in this area for some time, but it just hasn’t happened. Look at the history of Connaught Heights – we have built, over the last 75 years, a car-dependent suburb. There are few sidewalks, there is a road pattern designed to get people in an out to through one constricted intersection (only to be chagrinned by all the people trying to drive by). If we try to build a compact mixed-use transit oriented neighbourhood on top of the bone structure of the suburb it won’t work, even if we add on sidewalks, greenways and left turn lanes. At the same time, there is a general lack of amenities or services in the West End neighbourhood.

So let’s get conceptual, recognizing this is a 20-or 30-year plan. Can 20th be shifted to a local road? Can the BC Hydro Right-of-Way be repurposed as a linear park? Can we create a new north-south High Street along 21st?

We had a good discussion about what we can envision around the station, and what it looks like as density steps down to the north and away from the station. The opportunities that exist are going to rely on a new design for the neighbourhood, a new town centre. I look forward to what the final draft Land Use plan looks like coming out of this lengthy discussion.

We started our evening meeting with an Opportunity for Public Comment on an update of our Budget:

Five Year Financial Plan (2016-2020) Amendment Bylaw No. 7891, 2016
The City’s “budget” exists as a 5-year Financial Plan, which is required by the Community Charter, enshrined in a Bylaw, and updated annually. As a matter of the same provincial law, our budget is always balanced.

Once in a while, we need to adjust that budget, as new expenses or revenues are realized. We do that by amending the Bylaw, which is a public process you are able to comment upon. This specific amendment is to introduce 4 things to the budget that were not part of the existing financial plan:

$1.5M in capital cost for a feeder station upgrades related to the new substation. This $1.5M will come from the Electrical Utility Reserves Account – money put aside specifically for this type of infrastructure improvement.

$6.0M for Ewen Avenue upgrades. This project is going over budget, mostly due to unanticipated costs dealing with the terrible soil conditions encountered during the works. Again, this money is coming out of the Queensborough Transportation DCC Reserves – money charged to developers building new units in Queensborough and set aside for exactly this purpose – improving the transportation infrastructure to better accommodate those new residents.

$1.6M for water main upgrades as part of the Ewen Street project. Similar to above, this project is going over budget, but this part of the project is being paid by Metro Vancouver (it is their water main). However, we are doing the work as part of our larger project. So we need to add the expense to our expense column, and the increase in revenues when the GVRD pays us for the work to our revenue column – balancing the budget.

$1.7M for a slightly expanded scope in the Library upgrades. This project has been discussed before, and this is not an example of going over budget, but in discovering new project work that will improve the durability of the building and should probably be done while we have the walls open. These funds will come from debt as part of our long-term debt financing plan.

No-one came to speak to the amendment, and Council moved to approve moving it forward for adoption.

We also had two Presentations from community organizations impacting our community:

New West Pride Accessibility Initiative
I will try to write more on this in a future blog post, but short version is that Pride has done an incredible job expanding the idea of what inclusivity is in New Westminster – recognizing that their event couldn’t be called inclusive if they left barriers in place to participation. They created accessibility information for their events, and actually performed and published Accessibility Audits for all of their event locations (18 venues, and the street areas of the Street Festival). But the work Hayley & her team have done expands well beyond our Pride Street Fest or the week-long Pride festival, but creates a model of all our street festivals, for businesses and not-for-profits operating in the City – the process for Accessibility Audits is something that can expand to all of our events, to all of our public spaces, to remove barriers and make our City more welcoming.

We have two motions coming to this Council from the Access Ability Advisory Committee in a future meeting based on this experience and the input from Pride to the AAAC. A great initiative – with more to come!

Heads-up: Hayley Sinclair is a star. The City is lucky to have her.

Vancouver Port Authority Presentation: activities that relate to New Westminster
This was our annual update from the Port Authority. There are a few issues of interest to the City. I asked about connecting the waterfront trials past 501 Boyd Street, about Short Sea Shipping, and about the proposed expansion of the grain terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks. (see public engagement going on now)

We passed the following items on Consent:

Youth Advisory Committee Appointments
I love representing Council on this committee, which is led and chaired by teen-aged members of our community. Every meeting they remind me how old and out of touch I am. Humbling.

Alternative Representative to the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors
I am going to take Councillor Harper’s place on a Metro Vancouver board position. Nothing controversial here, just Council sharing responsibilities and shifting some committee roles around. A change is as hood as a rest, someone once said. I’m not sure I have enough context for comparison.

New Westminster Design Panel Appointment
We had a member of the Design Panel resign due to scheduling conflicts, and another representative of the Architecture community has been nominated and selected to serve.

318 and 328 Agnes Street: Housekeeping Amendment Bylaws for Housing Agreements – Bylaws for Three Readings
As mentioned last week, the building permit stage brought up some small but necessary adjustments to the allocation of units between these two secured rental buildings. We dealt with adjusting the development permits last week, and are now required to edit the agreement between the developer and the City that secures these suites as rentals. Council moved to support giving the edits three readings.

Revenue Anticipation Borrowing Amendment Bylaw No. 7864, 2016 for Three Readings
This Bylaw allows our finance department to do some short-term borrowing (up to $3 Million) to cover short-term cash flow management fully within the limits of our existing 5-year financial plan. This is essentially a confirmation of our ongoing “line of credit” in case we need to pay a bill prior to the secured revenue coming through.

Engineering Users Fees and Utility Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 7889, 2016
Council approved the edited Bylaw that formalizes the changes to engineering fees as discussed at the November 7, 2016 meeting.

Following open delegations, we moved on to one Report for Action:

Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy (Metro 2040): Consideration of Five Year Review
There has been some discussion around the OCP about how the RGS works, why we agree to it, and often the question revolves around some form of “Why should New Westminster agree to take on this density – why don’t we just say no to letting more people into the City?”

I think this is a misunderstanding of what the RGS is, and why it exists. The Strategy is a planning document that allows all of the municipalities in the region to work together and plan for the growth that is coming. We cannot stop that growth – the west coast of Canada is an attractive place to live, for a variety of economic, social, and cultural regions. When we talk about 1,000,000 more people coming to the region by 2040 or 2045, that is a conservative estimate – I suspect as the impacts of climate change manifest in regions around the globe, as economic and social unrest grips less stable nations (like the USA?), the pressures on Canada, and especially western Canada, will increase. We need to plan for this growth, and we need to do it as a region.

This means we need to make long-term investments in things like water supply, sewers, parks, schools, roads and transit. We cannot be reactionary when the need hits, because the costs are huge, and because building after is much more difficult and creates unacceptable disruption. We need to have a decades-long plan in place to assure infrastructure is built for when the need arrives. The RGS is one tool that allows us to do that.

It also forces us (allows us?) to make choices right now. Are those 1,000,000 people going to live in far reaches of the region, far from jobs, and totally dependent on cars to get there? Are they going to spread out across our limited agricultural land, ecologically valuable greenspace, and sensitive floodplains? Or are they going to live nearer work in denser mixed-use communities with the option to use transit or active modes?

In reality, we will have both of those, as we do today, but the former will be demonstrably more expensive and difficult to build, with huge externalities like climate impacts, loss of food security, worse air quality, worse affordability, reduced security and livability. That is why a City like New Westminster needs to build more of the latter- denser, mixed-use, transit oriented communities, to save the livability of the region, to reduce the cost of living in the region.

We are signatories of the RGS not because we are forced to be, but because we recognize, along with our regional partners, that planning for this growth will make our region a better place. Communities are built by cooperation between neighbours, and New Westminster will be that good neighbour.

I think the process built into the RGS does a good job of constantly updating the RGS as conditions change, and I support the process that is proposed towards constant and metered improvement as opposed to large re-writes every 5 years.

The following items were Removed from Consent for discussion:

Celebration of Canada 150
The Country is having it sesquicentennial, a few years after the City did. We are going to ramp up Canada Day events this year to better mark the occasion. More to come here…

Amendment to Bylaw Notice Enforcement Bylaw No. 7318, 2009
These are the updates of the bylaws and fines that were discussed in a previous meeting as part of our general review of fees and charges. There were some typos in the previous Bylaw which delayed it slightly, so we are now approving it for Bylaw readings.

630 Ewen Avenue (Affordable Housing): MOU Update
Back in the April 18, 2016 meeting, Council approved in principle the development of a supportive housing project at 630 Ewen. This project developed in partnership with WINGs will provide supportive non-market housing for women with young children on a piece of land owned by the City. There is some work here to realize the project, but the MOU provides some guidelines moving forward.

2015 Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Update
This is our annual report on our Greenhouse Gas Emissions, as required by Provincial Law passed back when the Provincial government thought reducing greenhouse gasses was worthy of effort.

Figure 1 is the quick summary:figure 1 ghg

We are on target, which is good to see, and unfortunately uncommon amongst senior governments in Canada and elsewhere. Local governments in Bc have (for the most part) taken this issue seriously, and should be applauded.

This is the 9th year of our 10-year plan – developed in 2008. To be sure, we have feasted a bit on low-hanging fruit, like replacing lighting with LEDs, and with replacement of heating systems in many of our larger buildings. 1/3 of our emissions reductions are passed down to us by BC Hydro, a large amount of or carbon offsets from Metro Vancouver through mandated reductions and diversion of solid waste. However, we have also opened the Anvil Centre and an expanded Queensborough Community Centre, and have expanded our vehicle fleet to provide better services, so the reduction and adherence to targets is impressive.

2017 City Grant Programs – Allocation of Funds
The City has no less than 8 separate Grant programs. The money comes from a variety of sources, including parking revenue, and a couple of specified trust funds, but the majority is right out of property tax, and that proportion is going up as grant requests are increasing the other sources of revenue are slowly declining.

The City Grant Review Panel is recommending we have a substantial increase in grant funding this year, but I’m cautious about a 10% increase in the existing budget without having a more fulsome discussion of what how we measure the effectiveness of our Grant program. Also problematic is that while requests for grants are going up, every year a half-dozen special requests some to Council and ask for a little extra, and Council typically says yes, resulting in this strange hybrid-grant mechanism.

I would agree with increasing grants in line with inflation on an annual basis, unless we have a situation where the full grant amount is not awarded over several years. However, it doesn’t speak to fiscal responsibility to just raise grant amounts based on requests, because the requests will never be satiated.

We had a pretty good discussion around the Council table about this, but ended up with a motion that I can paraphrase here. We approved maintaining a budget and allocations reflecting what we awarded last year, $860,484 (note: this is more than we budgeted for last year). We approved the idea of having a staff review of managing inflationary increases for Grants, criteria that Council should use to determine allocations in relation to Council goals.

Finally, we blasted through a raft of Bylaws readings and adoptions (which we really should set to music some time):

Five-Year Financial Plan (2016-2020) Amendment Bylaw No. 7891, 2016
As discussed above, this edit to the Budget received three readings.

Bylaw Notice Enforcement Amendment Bylaw No. 7868, 2016
As discussed above, these changes to our fines and bylaw practices received three readings.

Housing Agreement (318 Agnes Street) Amendment Bylaw No. 7882, 2016 Housing Agreement (328 Agnes Street) Amendment Bylaw No. 7883, 2016
As discussed above, the required edits to the housing agreements for these properties to reflect the changes we made in their Development Plan were given three readings.

Revenue Anticipation Borrowing Amendment Bylaw No. 7864, 2016
As discussed above, this bylaw allowing short-term lending to cover cash flow within the current year received three readings.

Engineering User Fees and Utility Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 7889, 2016
As discussed in the November 7, 2016 meeting, these changes to various engineering fees received three readings.

2016 Racial Discrimination Enactment Repeal Bylaw No. 7884, 2016
As discussed in the November 7, 2016 meeting, these archaic and offensive Bylaws that are somehow still on our books are now rescinded. No longer the law of the land, no adjustment of your behavior required.

Police Fees Bylaw No. 7874, 2016
Cultural Services Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 7875, 2016
Engineering User Fees and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 7879, 2016
Development Services Fees and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 7869, 2016

As discussed in previous meetings, these Bylaws officially adopting our new fees and charges for most City operations is now Law of the Land. Adjust your behavior appropriately.

Street and Traffic Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 7664, 2015
Bylaw Notice Enforcement Amendment Bylaw No. 7769, 2015
Municipal Ticketing Information Amendment Bylaw No. 7666, 2015

As discussed in previous meetings, these Bylaws which comprehensively outline how people drive, walk, roll and park on our streets are now the Law of the Land. Break out the Skateboards and use them responsibly!

Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw (100 Braid Street) No. 7836, 2016
Zoning Amendment Bylaw (100 Braid Street) No. 7837, 2016

The Bylaws that support the OCP amendment that permits the Urban Academy and adjacent residential use for this land is now the Law of the Land.

We had one final late addition to the agenda to cover:

Removal of Parking Meters and New Bus Stop in front of 609 Twelfth Street
A couple of weeks ago, TransLink moved a bus stop a half-block north on 12th Street. There was a good reason for doing this: several accidents had occurred near the 12th and 6th intersection, and moving the busses forward opened u pa little space and made the road safer.

The business owners on 12th Street were concerned about this shift as they (wait for it) lost 2 parking spots in front of their business.

Frankly, I am less concerned about the move (it was done for good reasons,) and more concerned that the impacted residents and businesses were not alerted ahead of time. Moving the stop further north on 12th is not a good solution, as it moves the stop further from 6th, where a crossing bus line connection is commonly used.

In the end, we asked staff to review these processes and consultation procedures so that we can understand whether or not changes to protocols may be required.

And with that, we wrapped.

Metro Conversations

I’m just not blogging enough! The many challenges on my calendar are ganging up and creating some issues with my time. I have a plan to manage this, a rather extreme one by some measures, that will be unleashed when I get back from my scheduled Christmas vacation, so until then, I encourage regular readers to go to better local ideas sources, like Tenth to the Fraser. Seriously, I’m biased, but New Westminster’s 2016 Citizen of the Year is really kicking some butt over there.

One of the things I’m working on that is filling my time is a plan to bring “urbanist” conversations out of downtown Vancouver and into the urban areas where a lot of cool transformation is happening, as the hipsters, entrepreneurs, and young families are being priced out of the urban core. It is all the fault of the group in that banner photo above.

Nathan Pachal is a software guy and well-known transportation blogger from Langley City. Kiersten Duncan is a recreation leader, an Urban Development / Environmental Science student, and community activist in Maple Ridge. Mathew Bond is a transportation engineer and leader in the mountain biking community in North Vancouver District. What we all have in common is we are all first-term City Councillors in our respective communities, and we all want to increase the communication in our communities about urban living, city planning, and sustainable development issues.

Working together, we are cooking up some plans. The first manifestation will be a series of “Metro Conversations” in each of our respective communities, a bit of a riff off of (rip-off of?) the SFU City Conversations program. The first will be Next Week at the Network Hub, where we will be talking about “Short Term Rentals”.

With the advent of digital booking platforms, the sleepy Bed & Breakfast industry has exploded into a controversial city-shaping force. The likes of AirBnB and VRBO may be a boon to tourism that makes home ownership more affordable, or may be disruptive to traditional neighbourhoods and exacerbate a housing affordability crisis. How do short term rentals fit into our communities, and what (if anything?) can local governments do about them. Should they do anything?


We have a Panel with a well-known New West business person you may not know was an AirBnb operator, the already-famous Tej Kainth from Tourism New Westminster, and Iain Majoribanks, who brings an academic viewpoint, having studied the impact of AirBnB on housing affordability. They are going to help frame the conversation (yes, lots of time and space for audience participation) and provide a window into their experiences with STRs.

It is free, but space is limited, so you should go to the Eventbrite Page and get a ticket to make sure you get a seat. We’ll let you in at the door, but only until the space is full! If so, you will have to sit outside and feel shame until the post-conversation social (place so far undetermined).

Council – Nov. 7, 2016

The November 7th meeting had an insane Agenda. There were so many items, and a high potential for many Public Delegations, that we took the pragmatic decision to table a number of items that were not time-sensitive, but deserved a bit of discussion by Council (and would not, therefore, be appropriate for the passing on Consent). Still,we were at it until about 11:30 at night, which makes it (I think) the longest meeting not to feature a Public Hearing in my two years on Council.

We started with two Opportunities to be Heard:

Development Variance Permit 00608 for 725 Fifth Street
I mentioned this DVP last meeting, where the owner wishes to legalize a permitted secondary suite, but the requirement for an off-street parking spot would necessitate the removal of a Bylaw-protected tree. Instead, they are asking for a variance removing the requirement for the off-street parking spot, in exchange for permanent protection of the Tree.

Although no-one came to speak to this variance, we received two written submissions from neighbours opposing it over concerns about the availability of street parking on the block of Fifth Street.

A quick Google Street View survey shows the 22 houses that face the 700 block of Fifth Street have a total of 23 closed garages and/or carports and enough off-street parking pad space for 30 or more cars (not counting the well-used dozen or so parking pads on the City Boulevard). I just can’t see a lack of parking on this street to the scale that I a bylaw-protected tree should be removed.

Council voted to approve the variance.

Development Variance Permit 00611 for 337 Fourth Street
Similarly, I also mentioned this similar DVP last meeting.  The owner of this house also wants to protect two trees on their property and a boulevard tree by not providing off-street parking for their legal secondary suite. In this case, the off-street spot probably would not change the amount of parking available because of the need to build a driveway would result in the loss of at least one street parking spot.

We received one written submission supporting the variance, and a neighbour spoke in support of the variance (and was very complimentary to both City Staff and the Proponent in describing their opportunity to comment and provide feedback to the DVP).

Council voted to approve the variance.

The following items were moved on consent:

Designations to Act for the Director of Development Services from Time to Time
This item formalizes some parts of the chain of authority in the City planning department. We have Bylaws that give certain powers to the person designated as the Director of Development Services, but don’t have a formal succession process if the Director is away for an extended period of time. We now do!

Rescindment of Bylaws Involving Racial Discrimination
New Westminster is 150 years old, and that means we have 150 years of old Bylaws, many of them long forgotten, but still (apparently) on the books. The Provincial Government was doing reviews of old Bylaws and discovered a couple from 1929 New Westminster that allowed a paper mill to operate on City lands as long as they only hire white workers. Council moved to rescind these old Bylaws.

To put this in context, 1929 was a time of lengthy economic stagnation and sudden depression, where placing the blame on immigrants and foreigners was empowering rising fascism to replace liberal democracy, even in the most advanced nations… so nothing like today.

437 Seventh Street: Heritage Designation Repeal Bylaw for First and Second Reading
Back in 2010, this property owner went through a Heritage Revitalization Agreement process, agreeing to exterior renovations in exchange for zoning considerations that would permit more units in the building. The owner never executed the renovations requested, and therefore never received the rezoning benefits. The owner therefore wants to repeal that agreement and keep the house as the duplex it currently is.

Council moved to give this repeal first and second reading.

318 – 328 Agnes Street: Housekeeping Amendment Bylaw to Amend the CD-63 Zone to Allow for a Change in the Make-Up of Units – Bylaw for First and Second Readings
As sometimes happens, things shifted a bit in this development between approving the development plan and getting various building approvals during the building phase. In this case, a few units had to be shuffled around to make the building work. The development still has the same number of suites, but one 2-bedroom suite was shifted from one building to the other, and there is a very slight (<1%) increase in site coverage. Not a big problem, but it means we need to revise our Zoning Bylaw and Housing Agreement (as it is secured market rental building).

628 and 638 Columbia Street: Development Variance Permit 00617 for  Temporary Sales Centre – Consideration of Issuance
Bosa is planning to build two buildings on parking lot between the Pier Park and the Fraser River Discovery Centre, and wants to build a sales centre for the development on the old Copps Shoes site on Columbia Street. This would require a DVP to allow the construction of a temporary building that does not reflect the zoning for that property.

As there doesn’t seem to be any rush by the owners to develop the fire site, this will at least activate the space for a couple of years. I am more excited about the opportunity to activate the back part of the property – the south half that faces on to Front Street. This has the opportunity to be a great temporary public space that supports the other businesses along the Mews and downtown, and compliments the Pier Park.

Street and Traffic Bylaw No. 7664, 2015
The Street and Traffic Bylaw that regulates all City roads and parking spots is finally being updated. This process has taken a while, and review by the Ministry of Transportation (a necessary step) took longer than anticipated, but we are finally ready to approve this cleaner, more logical, bylaw.

My only disappointment is that City Councillors still aren’t able to hand out tickets when we see people driving or parking like idiots. Dare to dream…

Application for Grant Funding to the Clean Water & Wastewater Fund (CWWF)
The City is applying to senior governments for grants to help pay for sewer separation and pump station projects. Fingers crossed!

Application for Grant Funding to UBCM Asset Management Planning  Program
We are also applying to UBCM for a grant to help fund our ongoing Asset Management program. Keep your fingers crossed!

Users Fees and Rates Review Bylaws for 2017 for Three Readings
This Bylaw formalizes the rate changes we discussed at Council on October 24th.

1023 Third Avenue: Heritage Revitalization Agreement and Heritage  Designation – Bylaws for First and Second Readings
This project the Brow of the Hill takes an innovative approach to preserving a Heritage House and building some infill density on a large lot. The project will be going to Public Hearing on November 28. C’mon out and tell us what you think.

217 Ninth Avenue: Development Variance Permit for Parking Space Exemption for Secondary Suite – Preliminary Report
Similar to the items we covered in the Opportunity to be Heard portion of the meeting, this owner also wants to have a legal suite and not provide extra off-street parking to protect trees. There will be an Opportunity to be Heard on tis application on November 28, C’mon out and tell us what you think.

(ACTBiPed) Recommendation: Pattullo Bridge Rehabilitation Project Thank You to Go Traffic and TransLink
The members of the City’s Advisory Committee on Transit, Bicycles and Pedestrians recognized that the teams of traffic control persons who spent the summer managing the traffic disruptions around the Pattullo partial closures had a tough job, and did it with exceptional patience and professionalism. The ACTBiPed didn’t want to let that pass without them being acknowledged for the great work they did, and thanking TransLink for providing support to the city to help that program be successful. Council will send thanks.

We then had two Presentations from Staff:

Draft 2017-2021 Financial Plan – Utilities
Each year as part of our budgeting process, we review Utility Rates for the coming year and the anticipated rates for the next 5 years. As usual, this is a mix of good and bad news.

Electrical: going up 3.5% next year, 3.0% in years 2-5: This cost increase is driven almost exclusively by equal increases in the cost of purchasing electricity from BC Hydro. The City’s policy is to match BC Hydro rates on a system-wide basis.

Water: 4% a year: Again, this relates directly to the cost of purchasing water from Metro Vancouver. We are still waiting to have the discussion about water conservation measures that were requested by Council back in February.

Liquid Waste: 7% a year: This is clearly the area of most concern. The region is going to need to spend a bunch of money on sewage treatment plant upgrades in the decade ahead, and in New West it is very difficult for us to avoid these costs, because we still have a significant amount of combined-flow sewers, where storm water mixes with our sewage, and it all goes to the treatment plant.

The capital investment in sewer separation that didn’t happen 20 or 30 years ago (in most cities) is costing us a fortune now. To accelerate our sewer separation program would be really expensive for the City and for homeowners, but the alternative is that we continue to pay the cost of shipping storm water to the sewer treatment plant, and paying for that privilege.

Solid Waste: 1% a year: The solid waste story is obviously one of success, with rate increases at or below the inflation rate. This is a result of several years of aggressive work to reduce waste and separate waste at the source to get the most value out of recycling. Those investments are paying off.

Brunette Avenue Interchange Public Consultation
The Ministry of Transportation is doing public consultations on a replacement project for the Brunette Interchange that somehow includes a return of the United Boulevard Extension. I attended the public Open House in New Westminster, and it was very well attended (something like 400 people), but with little forewarning and some significant data gaps, it was difficult for people to generated much useful feedback. I hope that people will take the time to absorb that information, understand the issues being discussed, and provide feedback to the on-line portal.

I have a lot to say about this, but will do so in a follow-up post to save a bit of space here for other business (this report is looking to be over 3,600 words already, Aye Carumba!).

In the end, Council moved to invite Coquitlam Council for a council-to-council meeting to discuss the project, and identify potential shared interests, which should be interesting.

The following items were Removed from Consent, and discussed after a fairly lengthy Public Delegation period.

Public Art Projects in partnership with Capture Photography Festival
There are two locations in the City, one Downtown and one Uptown, where large blank walls provide opportunities for Public Art. The Capture Photography Festival is happening around the Lower Mainland next April, and a part of that festival, a photography-based project on these two locations will be installed. Council agreed with the Public Art Advisory Committee to spend $60,000 out of our Public Art Reserve Fund to install these pieces in the spring.

Early Grant Approval for the Hyack Grand Prix Bike Race
I I am very hopeful that we are getting things approved early here so this event can go on. Having a bike race in Uptown/Queens Park during the Hyack Festival week would be a great event. Keep those fingers crossed.

Business Case and Next Steps for Sapperton District Energy System
I am happy to see this project moving forward. Sewer heat recovery is more capital-intensive than wood waste incineration, but provides some significant environmental benefits and the risks are better known as we are not attaching our long-term planning to an uncertain fuel supply. This will be almost carbon-free energy, is a great synergy between the City, the development community, and the RCH expansion. Through it, we are helping Fraser Health reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, making development of our community more energy and GHG efficient, and using a waste energy supply that is modular and expandable with increased need.

The capital cost up front is significant but we need to think in 30-year+ timelines if we are going to build infrastructure that moves us beyond carbon-intensive energy sources. We have been very conservative in our cost estimates here, and have reason to believe the cost-benefit ratios will outperform our estimates here.

215 Manitoba Street (Queen’s Park): Heritage Alteration Permit HER00577 to Permit Demolition
The situation with heritage preservation in Queens Park is obviously very sensitive right now. With a Heritage Control Period continuing for another 8 months, demolition requests for buildings more than 50 years old have to come to Council, and Council has the option to say no. As most of Council are not heritage professionals, we have a process developed that can assess whether a house being proposed for demolition has significant heritage value and potential for preservation.

This house has low heritage value according to the assessments done, and is in deteriorated condition. Neither the Heritage Commission nor our technical review panel recommended that the house be preserved. I am reasonably convinced that this demolition would not represent a loss to the heritage values of Queens Park, and I therefore voted to approve the demolition.

105 College Court (Queen’s Park): Heritage Alteration Permit
HER00581 to Permit Demolition

This application is similar to the above one, but differs in a pretty significant way. Based on the reports, the house has moderate heritage value, especially in how it impacts the streetscape of College Court, and has significant heritage assets intact. As a summary, it would not be particularly difficult or expensive to upgrade the few issues in the house while preserving the heritage value. Therefore I could not vote to approve the demolition of this house during the Heritage Control Period.

This house also raises some interesting discussions about Heritage in Queens Park in that it is a Mid-Century Modern style, more than 50 years old, but not the first thing you think of when you say the words “Queens Park Heritage home”. I don’t even think we have existing guidelines for the preservation and protection of Mid-Century Modern homes.

Clearly, there is a lot of work to do, and a lot of discussion yet to have in the neighbourhood, about Heritage Preservation and the goals of the neighbourhood in a Heritage Conservation Area.

Internet Service Provider Agreement with Wi-Band Communications
A fifth small telecom company is interested in providing service through our dark fibre network (Bridg Net), this one a business-specific gigabit provider who also provides bargain rates for less-than-gigabit Wi-band (line-of-sight transmission by radio frequency) to expand service away from the fibre trunk line itself. Good news!

Official Community Plan Review: Summary of Our Future City Events and Land Use Designation Map Discussion
I am really happy that the OCP process is moving onto the next phase. We have beaten the Land Use Plan discussion to death. I attended a couple of the open house events during this last round, and was again impressed and amazed at how many people in New Westminster showed up, spent a couple of hours digging into the details of these plans. I heard great discussions, a few disagreements, and a lot of peer-to-peer learning and sharing. Now is time for our staff to get their weekends back.

We had more than an hour of discussion and I don’t want to cover it in any kind of detail here (you can pull up the video here and skip ahead to 4:22:00 to hear this), and I am sure I will be writing more on this in the coming weeks, but I will cover a few of the key points Staff asked Council to comment upon, and my take on them (remember, this blog is my voice only, not the opinion of Council or of the City – not all of Council necessarily agrees with me on these points).

Bent Court: This area is interesting, a mixed residential and commercial district that is zoned for high-rises, although it is unlikely that anyone would build to that scale here. Staff is recommending a special approach here that can incentivize the preservation of the heritage homes, whether they be used for residential or commercial.

Sharpe Street: This small light-industrial area along the north side of Stewardson is underperforming for a variety of reasons. We had a couple of owners fo the lots here ask for a rezoning to give them the ability to sell for development. The City does not have much light industrial land, so Council was generally reluctant to let any of it go, but I find it hard to envision this being improved for industrial use as the site access is so constrained, especially for trucks. It is only 400m from 12th, and 50 m from frequent bus service at 6th, so I could see a little cluster of townhomes/row homes or mix of moderate density housing here.

Uptown Density: There is some interest reflected in discussion with the Uptown BIA to see more density adjacent to the Uptown commercial area. I am not opposed to this idea, but am cautious about the potential impact of building new high rises where we currently have affordable rental properties. If we were to move towards replacement of these buildings, I would want to know there was adequate access to affordable housing for the people who live there now – mostly low-income earners and lots of seniors who need their connection to Uptown services. We don’t want a Metrotown renoviction situation here in New West.

Brow of the Hill Townhouses: I am generally in favour of more flexibility in development in the Brow neighbourhood. I love the Brow for its housing diversity, my SFD house is across the street from a 3-story walk-up, there are townhouses behind me and a high rise one block over. It is a really walkable neighbourhood with a lot of amenities, we need more of the “Missing Middle” here, but also need to be careful around the remaining pockets of heritage homes.

City-Wide Townhouse: There were several recommendations to open up more areas to townhouse or rowhouse type development, not just on busy streets, but also the block back on the quieter streets that are perhaps more family-friendly, but still a short walk to transit and amenities. I am in favour of the recommendations made by staff – the think overall we need to assure we are doing everything we can to promote a variety of housing types and get off of this tower vs. SFH density discussion. The Missing Middle should be our goal here.

Special Employment Area: The opportunities for a significant amount of job-generating commercial and office space around the expanded RCH need ot be supported. The retail core of Sapperton will benefit, the economy of the city will benefit, supportive businesses will make RCH run better, and the entire neighbourhood will become more vibrant.

I will be writing more on the OCP process as we go along, but I am pretty proud of the work this City has done to this point. Our Planning staff have worked long hours, had thousands of one-on-one conversations, produced an amazing amount of public input, and really engaged the community. We have a few people not happy about a few details of the draft Land Use Plan, and that is the nature of the beast, but the aggregate of the feedback is that we are pretty close to the Goldilocks zone for land use changes. We’ll be seeing the final plan in December, but I don’t think there will be too many surprises from here on in.

Finally, we dispatched a bunch of Bylaws:

Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 7880, 2016; Amendment to Comprehensive Development District (318 and 328 Agnes Street) (CD- 63)
This Bylaw to reallocate the suites in the secured market rental development downtown received first and second readings.

Heritage Revitalization Agreement (1023 Third Avenue) Bylaw No. 7871, 2016
Heritage Designation Bylaw (1023 Third Avenue) No. 7872, 2016

These two Bylaws to support the infill density and heritage home preservation project in the Brow of the Hill received two readings.

Heritage Designation Repeal Bylaw (437 Seventh Street) No. 7873, 2016
This Bylaw to undo the Heritage Revitalization Agreement in Uptown that never came to pass was given two readings.

2016 Racial Discrimination Enactment Repeal Bylaw No. 7884, 2016
This Bylaw to repeal the ugly, racist, fascist, ignorant and totally appropriate for the times “white workers only” Bylaws of 1929 was given three readings.

Police Fees Bylaw No. 7874, 2016
Cultural Services Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 7875, 2016
Engineering User Fees and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 7879, 2016
Development Services Fees and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 7869, 2016

These Bylaws to support the annual adjustment on various fees and charges charged by the City was given three readings.

Street and Traffic Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 7664,2015
Bylaw Notice Enforcement Amendment Bylaw No. 7769, 2015

This is the updated Traffic and Parking Bylaw. Council voted to rescind the third readings given to these Bylaws on August 31, 2015, and July 13, 2015 (respectively) and gave third reading to the amended versions.

Zoning Amendment Bylaw (1209 Hamilton Street) No. 7832, 2016
Finally, the Zoning Amendment to allow a daycare to operate in this duplex in the West End was adopted. It is now the law of the land. Tell your kids.

And that, at just a few minutes under 6 hours, was a Council Meeting for the ages. We will need a week off to recover.


Been busy, same old excuses: long Council meeting on Monday (update coming!), events in the evening, and of course there was the hijinks of Tuesday night, which sent many of us to a restless sleep.

I vented a bit on Facebook this morning, and it seems to have received a positive reaction, so I may as well plagiarize myself:

The following is heart-felt, and contains offensive language. If that bugs you don’t read it; but I won’t apologise. We need offensive language now, because all the nice talk didn’t seem to work.

To all those well-employed financially-secure comfortably-housed quasi-Christian straight white guys (just like me!) who are dropping into my Facebook feed talking about how Trump winning isn’t a big deal, because the sky is not falling and the people have spoken and yadda yadda… I just want to mention what a self-entitled asshole you are, and remind you that you cannot see the problem because you are immune from the problem.

It ain’t your rights that are going to be trampled by Trump’s promise to overturn Roe v. Wade. It isn’t your family that will be torn apart by Trump’s promised forced migrations. It isn’t your home that will be destroyed by the bombs that will be dropped by Trump and his BFF Putin as they split up the oil-bearing new colonies of their choice. It isn’t your children who are going to drown in the sea or catch cholera in a camp while trying to flee those bombs because of the walls promised to stop them seeking safe harbour. It isn’t you who will be discriminated against, jailed, tortured, because of your religion, your name, or where your parents were born. It’s not your generation that will see the ravages of resource scarcity and mass relocation caused by a failure to account for our carbon emissions. It isn’t your child who will be shot in the street for being black in the wrong place. It isn’t you who will be bullied, intimated, abused, raped, and murdered because of your gender, your gender expression, or who your soul tells you to love. Indeed, this isn’t your problem and your sky isn’t falling. But that doesn’t mean everything is OK.

So why don’t you, just for a few days, do what you did for the last year as this horror was unleashing itself? Shut the fuck up and let people grieve for lost hopes, and go back to watching golf on TV.

That all sounds very negative and despondent, but I was getting those posts filling my feed – “nothing to worry about here” – and every single post was from a guy who fit that description, as do I. I didn’t have the will or energy to reply to them all. Of course, the central conceit is wrong, Trump won’t be President for a couple of months, and even then, his most ambitious promises won’t be realized for months after that. Let’s re-asses the sky fall after that.

We have a bit of time. Let’s grieve for a day or two, then let’s get back to the fight, because it has only become more important. And there is much to fight for, and so much to do.

Today I attended the Civic Dinner in New Westminster, where we thank the hundreds of volunteers that give of their time, their energy, their minds and hearts to make our City run better. Some bring Arts to the City, or help connect the Police to the community, some try to support small business growth, some to advise the City on environmental protection or work to make our City friendlier for immigrants, for the disabled, for the elderly. Community working together like this to support others is part of the fight against those who only turn inward for ideas, and turn outward only for blame and excuses. In New Westminster, we are winning this fight.

The countdown to May 9th has already begun. We have had enough lessons recently that campaigns matter, that getting involved matters, that voting cannot be the only act of democracy we undertake. Whomever you support politically, before you vote for them you should support them with your time, with your money, with your ideas. Politics matter in your everyday life, and it doesn’t take too much involvement to see that affect. I only hope, if you are reading my stuff, that you want to work for and support those who think community includes those who are not like you, those who have different experiences, different histories, different opportunities and challenges. A healthy community is a mixed one, where we accept celebrate what makes us different, and support those who need support the most, regardless of the cost. It doesn’t make us weak, it doesn’t make us poor, it makes us human – the most collective of all primates. This fight can be won, but it takes a little work, and time is short.

Finally (and this is the hardest one), we need to figure out how to staunch this hubristic Fascism already entering the Canadian Conservative leadership race. Some will call me out on taking partisan digs, but the hateful words already arising in the Conservative race have been emboldened by the new Trumpism: there are current candidates calculating how to best bring the Canadian political landscape down to the Trump level, for the fun and profit of their wealthy supporters. We need to stop that from happening.

And I have no idea how we do that. We can say “Don’t be silly, Canada won’t accept that”, but the United States were just as assured 18 months ago. Trump demonstrated you can’t use this “we must shame her /call her out / defy her” response to the faux-rebellion hate rhetoric, because the power in her words aren’t in what she says, but in the reaction of the media, the chattering class, pundits, and all who can be lumped together as “elites” when push this talk to the outside. Critique her straight-on, and you just reinforce her outsider, “straight-shooting” persona. This is Fascism 101 folks, not rocket science.

I don’t know the answer, but we better find it soon. I hope better minds than mine are on the problem. Because if history is any example, the path is terrible. One thing we know about Fascists – once they attain power, it is incredibly difficult to remove them. There is a dimming of the light south of the border, it is incumbent on us, one of the planet’s most compassionate, caring, and giving societies, to shine brighter. Peace, Order, and Good Governance: That is our promise to ourselves, and the world. Keep up the fight.

Dumpster Fire

I haven’t written anything about the ongoing US election, which I guess is strange as I am supposed to be a politician, have lots of opinions, and it appears to be the only story that matters. It’s not like I’m disinterested; I watched all three debates, I have been compulsively checking FiveThirtyEight for the last couple of weeks, I have had been in many conversations that veered over towards the dumpster fire election, I have even occasionally engaged with Vlad, New Westminster’s Facebook Trump Fan Extraordinaire. It impacts my life, my planet, I care. I just haven’t built up the will to write about it.

Three days out, this is all I have to say.

Many commenters and pundits suggest that both parties ran terrible candidates. That any Democrat not as universally hated as Clinton would be running circles around Trump, and that if the Republicans had run a more mainstream candidate (insert Rubio, Jeb, or even Romney) then they would be running away with this. I disagree.

First off, it perpetrates this false equivalency notion: that they are both equally terrible candidates for President. We have demonstrably the most qualified candidate in the history of the presidency, a lawyer who spent her career in public service fighting for the rights of the disenfranchised, who spent years being not a passive, but active member of the Arkansas Governor’s mansion and White House, who was elected to the Senate and served with huge public support and success, who served as Secretary of State at a time of great conflict. No-one in the country can claim to have a better understanding of what the job of President really is, and what it means, or is as prepared to fill that role. She is running against a blowhard serial criminal and scam artist who doesn’t just lie pathologically, but lives in a universe of his own truths, who has a life-long history of putting his over-inflated fragile balloon of an ego in front of any other consideration, has failed at business, marriage, and friendship more times than can be counted, and displays Fascist tendencies towards the very institutions of democracy, including the vote, the courts, and the media. These are not equal humans by any measure.

I would argue, however, that Trump is the only candidate who would have this level of success against Clinton. Recognizing her complete and utterly dominant resume, he is the only one with the willingness and ability to fan the flames of misogyny and hate that have undercut the campaign. The only one who can tell the only demographic firmly against Clinton – white males – that it is OK to call her a bitch, a whore, fat, ugly and conniving, “Jezebel” if you are of the Alt-Christian Right persuasion, and all the misogynist language and thinking that forms the undercurrent of the campaign.

Any mainstream candidate would have had to disavow that type of language, that type of thinking. They may have tried the dogwhistle arguments about her “weakness” or “lack of stamina” or “bad judgement”, but those are easily refuted with the record, play against the idea that she is some existential threat, and is perhaps too subtle for the low-brow target market. Trump (and the people he surrounds himself with – men and women) are more than happy to let “Shoot the Bitch” T-shirts be circulated at their rallies, to drag out victims of her husband’s alleged sexual deviancy two decades ago to bring into question her competency as a spouse (which is, of course, a metric only applied to women), to fill the minds of lower and middle class white guys who have been victims of long-term stagnation, liberalism and globalization with a list of “others” to blame – coloureds, “Chuy-na”, and women not fulfilling their roles as sexual possessions. This is the base upon which Trump has built his support, and perhaps the only thing more disgusting is the stunned-into-acquiescence mainstream of the Republican Party, who are not willing to take part in fanning those flames, but are happy to receive the warmth. And some, I assume, are good people.

There are other forces this election. People are disenfranchised, have been told for a decade that the country they are supposed to be so proud of is a laughing stock, there doesn’t seem to be much good news on the perpetual-war front, they are sick, poor, and underemployed. The “economy” is no longer serving them, as individuals, with few prospects ahead. It has been a long and winding path out of the flaming crater of the 2008 financial crisis. Of course, it is patently ridiculous to think that the person who has benefitted the most from laissez-faire capitalism, dysfunctional courts, globalization and a corrupted tax system – Donald J Trump – is somehow going to take apart the systems that gilded his world with the sweat equity of the beleaguered American worker. The American voter may not be smart, but they are smarter than that. Trump’s hate message is not as directed as it could be, but without hatred of Clinton’s biggest crime – being a woman in power – his campaign would have been buried months ago.

I think Clinton is going to win, solidly, but not by the landslide she deserves. She will then be subjected to 4 (or 8) years of unrelenting misogyny and personal attacks while she tries to do the job as best she can within a damaged political system. She will do it with strength and dignity, perhaps lacking the eloquence and charisma of (either) Obama. Like she has for the last couple of decades, she will continue to rise above it all to do the hard work of governance, and those who will benefit the most will rarely feign to thank her for it.