13 October 2016

Annual Fall Leaf Guide

City of Vancouver
Information Bulletin

October 13, 2016 
Stormy fall and winter weather can cause clogged catch basins (also called storm drains) to flood. Help prevent flooding in your neighbourhood by raking and clearing leaves from the catch basin in front of your home and putting the leaves into your Green Bin.

All leaves that are cleared from catch basins, sidewalks, boulevards and residents property should be added to their Green Bin until it is full. Leaves that do not fit in their Green Bin, should be stored in a dry area and added to the Green Bin again once it is emptied. Green Bins will continue to be collected weekly according to residents’ regular collection schedule.

Extra Leaf Collection
Extra leaves that do not fit in residents Green Bins should be placed in biodegradable paper yard waste bags and stored in a dry area until our extra leaf collection program starts.  Bagged leaves will be collected city-wide by crews on the following designated weekends: 

·         October 29 to 30
·         November 19 to 20 (updated date)
·         December 10 to 11
·         January 14 to 15, 2017 (Christmas trees will also be collected)

Leaves may be collected on either Saturday or Sunday (not both days). To avoid a missed collection, residents are asked to set their leaves out for collection before
7:00 am on the scheduled Saturday and to download the VanCollect app on their smartphone for collection reminders.

Street Leaf Cleaning
City crews will begin to clear streets of leaves on November 14 with added focus on streets with higher volumes of leaves. If temporary "no parking" signs are posted on a side of the street, residents are required to move vehicles to another parking spot before 7:00 a.m. on the date indicated. Vehicles that are not moved may be ticketed or towed. At times, crews may be delayed in some neighbourhoods with large amounts of leaves but will return as soon as possible to complete the work. Moving your vehicle enables crews to do a better job of clearing streets of leaves.

Leaves to Compost
Collected leaves are turned in to nutrient-rich compost at the Vancouver Landfill. This compost can be purchased by residential gardeners, commercial landscapers and municipal park boards. Leaves and other yard trimmings can also be dropped off for composting at the Vancouver South Transfer Station located at 377 West Kent Ave North and at the Vancouver Landfill located at 5400 72nd Street in Delta.

Helpful guidelines on the City’s fall leaf program can be found at vancouver.ca/leaves.

Disposing of leaves on boulevards or City property (including parks) is illegal dumping, and can result in a fine of up to $10,000.


Media Contact:
Corporate Communications

06 October 2016

What's happening at the Vancouver School Board?

I don't as a rule write about school and education issues on this blog, but the on going crisis at the Vancouver School Board (my employer) can effect other areas of the city as well. The Park Board shares facilities and fields with the VSB, and instability in one organization can have repercussion at the other. Here is an Op/Ed written by my Green caucus mate VSB Trustee Janet Fraser, on what is happening there:

Opinion: Life as a VSB trustee

What is life like as a Vancouver School Board (VSB) trustee? I usually enjoy working to make education better for our students, but both my first week as a trustee and this most recent week have been very challenging.

In November 2014, nine VSB trustees were elected, four Vision and four NPA, with myself as the lone Green. With this 4-4-1 board, if Vision and NPA disagree, my vote will be the decider. This happened with my very first vote, voting for the board chair. Patti Bacchus had been chairwoman for six years under two Vision majority boards, but I voted for the NPA’s nominee, Christopher Richardson, because Vision no longer had a majority and I wanted to reflect voters’ desire for change. The social media backlash was immediate, and it was clear that it would be difficult to set aside partisan differences to work collaboratively as a board.

Moving forward to this week, in the midst of considering school closures the entire VSB senior management team is on medical leave. I value and respect every member of our senior management team and hope that their leaves resolve well. I am disappointed in myself as I am the vice-chair, and despite holding this leadership position our district has come to this outcome.

At our last board meeting, our Acting Superintendent recommended that the school closure process be suspended. Despite the board’s unanimous approval to move forward with closure consultations for 11 schools, I voted to suspend the process as without our senior management team the VSB does not have the capability to carry out these meetings in any meaningful way. I realize this decision will impact next year’s budget as our available funding is spread ever-more thinly across the district, and that it may also impact our ability to provide temporary accommodation to move forward our seismic program as soon as possible. However, the well-being of our staff cannot be put at risk by unrealistic expectations. I disagree with our Vision chairman Mike Lombardi’s position that the minister’s removal of the 95-per-cent capacity utilization requirement will fundamentally change our Long Range Facility Plan and school closure process. The minister’s announcement still requires a solid case for funding seismic upgrades and that there be the right number of schools for the actual number of students, which to me are essentially the same parameters.

In the near future, a special advisor will submit his report to the minister and WorkSafeBC will investigate allegations in a letter from the B.C. School Superintendents Association that the VSB work environment creates a toxicity that fosters fear and a lack of a sense of safety for those lead educators as the expectations requested of them are unmanageable.

I usually downplay party political affiliations when I write about being a trustee, but I have learned they are always present and I acknowledge that reality here. I work hard to make evidence-based decisions that focus on the best interests of our students, but I cannot get away from the fact that VSB decisions play out in a partisan political arena, at both the municipal and provincial levels. I do not align with any other political party, I do not vote for or against any party, rather I vote for our students and their public education. I am finding it more and more difficult to work collaboratively with my fellow trustees when I know that our work will always be viewed through a political rather than an educational lens.

Trustees have the responsibility to support the success of every student in our district, and right now we must focus on these nearly 50,000 students to ensure their education is not affected by the dysfunction at the board level.

Janet Fraser is a Green Party Vancouver School Board trustee.