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Archive for ◊ Public Health and Safety ◊

16 Jul, 2015

We are shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic murder yesterday of a long-time City employee at his home in Burnaby. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

This is obviously a very disturbing event for City staff, particularly those who knew and worked with our colleague. We are offering counseling and support services to employees who request it, and we will continue to coordinate with the VPD while the matter is under investigation.

The flag at City Hall will fly at half-mast today in his honour.

- Mayor Gregor Robertson

15 Jul, 2015

The City of Vancouver has experienced a serious incident today. Additional details are not yet available at this time as this matter is under investigation by the RCMP.

This kind of incident is very challenging for the thousands of hardworking staff who come to work every day to make Vancouver a better place, and their safety and well-being is my utmost concern.

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Statement from Mayor Gregor Robertson:

“I remain fully opposed to the reactivation of trains on the Arbutus corridor, after more than 15 years of inactivity on the route. The City of Vancouver has a wide variety of significant public safety concerns about CP’s course of action, and City staff have thoroughly communicated those concerns to Transport Canada.

“The track in question was abandoned, unused, and unmaintained by CP for 15 years. The population density along the track is significant, there is a lack of upgraded crossing infrastructure on a short corridor with nearly fifty level crossings that include every major east-west arterial in Vancouver. The grade on the corridor is some of the steepest of any rail line in all of British Columbia, and the City of Vancouver has not been permitted to accompany officials for their safety inspection of the track.

“We continue to be available to CP should they wish to return to talks with the City on the future of the corridor, but Vancouver will not be bullied, and we will not accept seeing our neighbourhoods and families along the corridor having their safety put at risk. The City will continue to review our options in response to every action taken on the corridor.”

- Mayor Gregor Robertson

Vancouver City Council has approved a set of rules to control the location and operation of marijuana dispensaries. The new regulations were developed by City staff in conjunction with the Vancouver Police Department and Vancouver Coastal Health.

The new rules include strict guidelines for where dispensaries can operate. Under the City’s new rules, they must be at least 300 meters away from schools, community centres, or another marijuana-related use. Children under the age of 18 will not be allowed entry, and all applicants and staff must go through a criminal record check on an annual basis.

“These new rules will give the City the tools we need to properly manage dispensaries, while enabling those who provide a vital medical service,” said Mayor Robertson. “This is a common sense approach to a complicated issue, which has been made worse by the lack of action from the Federal government.”

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The Vancouver Police Board announced today that they had chosen a new chief constable to lead the Vancouver Police Department. He is 28-year veteran VPD Deputy Chief Adam Palmer.

“The Police Board was very pleased that we had two outstanding internal candidates as finalists. Just before the final interviews were conducted, Deputy Chief Constable Doug LePard decided to withdraw and support the selection of his colleague Adam Palmer. Following the final interview completed today, the Police Board decided unanimously that Adam was the right person to lead the VPD,” said the Chair of the Vancouver Police Board Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“We are confident that Chief Constable Adam Palmer will continue the progress of his predecessor Chief Constable Jim Chu, striving to make Vancouver the safest major city in Canada and further enhancing the reputation of the VPD as an excellent police service.”

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April 13, 2015:

I want to share with you the latest news and information on what the City is doing to support the federal and provincial governments in the clean-up of our waters and beaches following last week’s oil spill.

With direction from the Coast Guard, the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation and its teams are coordinating active shoreline cleanup operations both in Vancouver and on the North Shore. Our Park Rangers are continuing to support the professional recovery crews at our beaches, and we continue to have signs posted cautioning people to stay out of the water. The Park Rangers are also patrolling the beaches with our provincial partners from the Ministry of Environment, focusing on impact assessment and assistance for wildlife in distress.

There are still many questions that need to be answered. Both the Premier and I have spoken out regarding the unreasonable delay from the time the spill started to when the City was notified. There are also many questions about the long-term impacts from the spill, and investigations are ongoing about the extent of submersed oil.

As you know, I have also continued to raise Vancouver’s grave concerns about the federal government’s closure of Kitsilano Coast Guard station and the impacts of that decision on spill response times and local marine safety.

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