(Photo: Martin Grypma)
A letter from our Centre Director, David Anderson
Greetings A Rocha friends,
I wanted to update you on the big decision Metro Vancouver made last week concerning the 600 acres surrounding Brooksdale. As anticipated (but not our hope), the board voted 82 to 52 in favour of moving Surrey’s plan forward to amend the regional growth strategy, allowing servicing to come down into South Campbell Heights, to accommodate “employment use” of these lands. All five of Surrey’s councillors voted in favour, and each of their votes counts for multiple because of our large population.
There were 30 delegations brought before the board, a pretty even mix of those opposed and in favour of the proposal. It turned out to be the most intensely debated, longest, and toughest decision the Metro Vancouver Board has experienced in 10 years (so said one of the members).
An incredible group of people, some old friends and some new to us, spoke in opposition with insight, clear evidence, professionalism, personal experience, creativity and conviction. It was an outpouring of love for creation from a diverse group. Several Metro board members fought hard for conservation with eloquence and with a significant degree of courage, as it was a political risk for some.
Thank you for your prayers, networking, letter writing, social media sharing and encouragement.
Well first, we take a bit of rest, allow ourselves to feel grief (so we don’t get bitter), allow ourselves to feel some righteous anger (so we don’t go numb), and name and celebrate hard work well done (so we stay sane) that made for one of the longest Metro Van board meetings ever… all without big names like Greenpeace, The Nature Trust, WWF, and Suzuki Foundation (although, gosh, it would have been nice to have some support!).
And then we re-group with our partners, connect with some of the seasoned board members who were allies, and make a plan for how to engage the process going forward that will span years (this is a marathon…even though we sprinted out of the gate these past several months).
We will pay attention to plans as they develop, advocate for the most sustainable building practices, save stretches of forest, conserve wetlands, fight for species at risk, make a whole bunch of new friends, make a whole lot of noise (in our own unique and caring way) and build community along the way. And the land, water, creatures and people around us will be better for our presence.
The grace and peace of our Lord be with you all. It is a privilege to be in this work with you.