Council strengthens advisory bodies; establishes priorities to guide citizen input

Mayor Sam Sullivan applauded Council’s decision tonight to improve the City’s advisory bodies, noting that the new framework will increase the role of citizen volunteers, better align their work with City priorities and provide new funds for community outreach.
As part of the changes to advisory committees, Council established the following priorities which will be considered by all citizen advisory bodies as they create work plans for their committees through 2008:

  • Supporting economic development as a means of keeping Vancouver competitive into the future;
  • Protecting our local, regional and global ecology through a commitment to sustainability;
  • Reducing the city’s ecological footprint and increasing housing affordability and choice through the support and implementation of EcoDensity principles;
  • Reducing the incidents of street disorder and the impacts of crime;
  • Enhancing our vibrant arts and cultural community;
  • Securing additional housing for our homeless or those at risk of homelessness;
  • Increasing the level of accountability of our city government;
  • Improving the movement of goods and people throughout Vancouver;
  • Playing host to the most inclusive and sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games celebration in 2010; and,
  • A commitment to citizen input and transparency.

Tonight’s Council decision also established a $10,000 Advisory Committee Outreach Fund that will be accessible by all of the City’s advisory committees. A new Advisory Body Recognition Program will also be implemented starting in 2007 to recognize the contribution of citizen volunteers who serve on committees.
“Our citizen advisory bodies play a vital role in our City government, and those who volunteer their time and expertise deserve the thanks of Council and all citizens,” said Mayor Sullivan. “I am proud of this decision to clarify the role of committees and ensure that they are working in step with Council to address Vancouver’s most pressing issues.
“Earlier this year, as part of the May Brown report on roles, relationships and responsibilities, Council resolved to undertake a careful analysis of each advisory body according to the proposed assessment criteria and make any desired changes to the City’s advisory body system by the Fall of 2006.