Special Business Meeting - 16 Apr 2024


1: Welcome to the Squamish Nation Traditional Territory
2: ADOPTION OF AGENDA
3: DELEGATIONS
3.i: Squamish Community Housing Society
4: MAYORS OFFICE
4.i: Shimizu Japan Delegation Invitation and Cost Estimate
5: MOTION TO CLOSE
6: TERMINATION
1: Welcome to the Squamish Nation Traditional Territory
0:00:00 (0:15:12)


SPEAKER_-1
0:00:28 (0:14:16)

e

Armand Hurford
0:14:45 (0:00:27)

hello and welcome to the special business meeting for the District of Squamish for Tuesday April 16th as always we're gathered to do our work today on the traditional unseated territory of the scho homish nation please be advised this council meeting is being live streamed recorded and will be available to the public to view on the District of Squamish website following the meeting if you have concerns please not please notify the corporate officer present at the meeting

ADOPTION OF AGENDA
0:15:12 (0:00:12)


Armand Hurford
0:15:12 (0:00:11)

can I have someone move adoption of the agenda please move by councelor French second by councelor Greenlaw all in favor any opposed motion carries thank you and

Squamish Community Housing Society
0:15:24 (0:35:19)

Sarah Ellis, Executive Director of the Squamish Community Housing Society, presented several updates to the council, including progress towards strategic plan goals, focus areas for the upcoming quarter, and an update on the 2024 operating funding request as part of the district's spring budget amendment. She outlined the society's mission, emphasizing the urgent need for affordable housing in Squamish, and detailed the society's four-pillar plan which includes bringing housing to the community, coordinating and improving housing access and delivery, engaging and educating on housing issues, and embodying reconciliation, equity, and good governance. Ellis highlighted the society's achievements, such as securing predevelopment funding for housing on district sites, launching an online housing access portal, and entering a partnership protocol with the Squamish Nation's housing society.

Council members engaged in a discussion with Ellis, raising questions about the society's long-term plans, particularly regarding affordable ownership and the sustainability of funding sources. Councillor Greenlaw inquired about expanding into ownership models, while Councillor Pettingill expressed concerns about the reliance on upper government grants and the implications if such funding were to decrease. Councillor Hamilton sought clarity on the society's revenue model beyond district funding, and Councillor Stoner discussed the integration of perpetually affordable housing units into the society's portfolio. The council showed support for the society's efforts but also voiced concerns about the long-term financial sustainability and the importance of the society eventually becoming self-sufficient. The presentation concluded with the council moving to receive the update, acknowledging the critical role of the housing society in addressing Squamish's housing needs while also recognizing the challenges ahead.

Armand Hurford
0:15:24 (0:00:42)

we're on item three delegation today we have a guest from The Squamish Comm Housing Society I will turn it over to missis oh sorry we need to turn the I know there you go and then off when you're not speaking and back on it's a but over to you

SPEAKER_00
0:16:06 (0:10:00)

good afternoon Mar Council my name is Sarah Ellis and I'm executive director of Squamish Community Housing Society or housing Squamish I'm here today with several updates for Council including an update on our progress towards our strategic plan goals that we presented to council last fall a look forward to our Focus areas for Q2 and an update on our 202 4 operating funding request as part of the district's 2024 spring budget amendment I'll start with a brief overview about housing Squamish and our mission housing Squamish is an independent community-based nonprofit society that was born through a partnership between the District of Squamish local affordable housing providers Community leaders and the Squamish Nation together we're working to cataliz community-based Housing Solutions towards our vision for housing as a platform for a diverse equitable and resilient community in Squamish we all know housing affordability is a top priority in our community and the need for this work is clear with the district's housing needs report suggesting a need for over 6,800 units in our community by 2031 recognizing the urgent need for action on housing in our community the housing Squamish board of directors created a four-pillar plan to drive the immediate work of our organization which we presented to council last fall we've been hard at work since then and we're making big moves towards achieving our startup goals working closely with District staff our sector partners and Senior government funders for this first part of the presentation I'll provide a brief update on work taken in q1 towards our priority strategic actions as well as our Focus areas for Q2 I didn't know it was going to do that our strategic plan focuses on four pillars bringing housing to our community coordinating and improving housing access and delivery engaging educating and advocating on housing in the community and with our partners and embodying Reconciliation equity and good governance in everything we do pillar one bring housing to our community is front and center in our mission and priorities last fall we told Council our initial Focus areas on this pillar were to create a real estate strategy to seek senior Government funding for new Housing Development and to leverage new funding opportunities to protuct existing rental in our community at the end of q1 we've made real progress on these priorities we've completed an initial real estate strategy and are preparing to launch in-depth business planning in q1 Q2 and Q3 which I'll speak to later we've applied for and received initial predevelopment funding for housing on two District sites which altogether could yield up to 150 units over coming years and we've applied to the province's rental protection fund and are actively pursuing a potential AC position on pillar two coordinate and improve affordable housing delivery we told Council our priorities for 2024 were to launch an online housing access portal for affordable pH units coming through new development and start the work of coordinating with existing providers on a single point of access as well as shared resourcing we've also made progress toward this goal we're getting ready to launch an online application form and tenant selection process for paa units that are coming online this year and have started work on policies that will inform an eventual wait list we're also beginning to work with our partner housing providers on opportunities to support each other and the community at large through shared services on pillar three engage educate and Advocate we told Council last fall that we would be working to build relationships within our Community Partners launch a community based word on housing survey and start a newsletter to share ins and data on housing this quarter we successfully launched our first newsletter in January and plan to release our second later this month we completed our word on housing survey which received over 600 responses and completed a final report that's available on our website or you can use the QR code on this slide we've also started reaching out and engaging key local and Regional stakeholders about our work on our final pillar embody reconciliation equity and good governance we told Council last fall that we would prioritize governance equity and Reconciliation in our policies work toward Financial sustainability and be a transparent and accountable organization we've taken some big initial steps toward this work most importantly in what we're most proud of we've entered into a partnership protocol agreement with the heem tus homish Housing Society the Squamish Nations Housing Society which is a critical step for our work towards advancing our core value of reconciliation we're actively working with heem on joint opportunities to acquire develop and manage housing in the community in service of both our organizations missions we're also working on a board governance policy review which will ensure that our policies and procedures support our values of transparency accountability and fiscal responsibility which I'll speak to more later in the presentation so as you can see we're finishing q1 with several exciting prospects ahead of us going into Q2 our focus is on continuing our forward momentum while also building out our internal Capac capacity to manage our existing opportunities and digging into strategic and business planning to shape our coming years of growth some of the key directions will be pursuing in the next quarter and Beyond include expanding our housing portfolio through Acquisitions and new development projects that are already underway building a medium and long-term pipeline of new affordable housing leveraging the district's CAC policies as well as a new zoning bylaw to expedite new development exploring additional services and business lines to support housing delivery expanding our team by at least two staff this year and continuing to engage and Advocate key Partners in our community and other levels of government I'll finish the presentation with an update on the housing Squamish budget for 2024 as part of the broader 2024 spring budget amendment process while the vision is for housing Squamish to Achieve Financial self-sufficiency from the early days the district has committed to funding Society operations in it in its initial years while we scale up our work the initial strategic framework work plan and budget for housing Squamish was created for Council by Maka development services back in 2021 which set out a three-year which was set out and encoded in a three-year contribution agreement with a baseline budget of 225,000 annually notably the work plan and budget that mola set out for the society did not contemplate us taking on development projects or housing operations as core activities in our initial years and instead focusing on supporting activities like weightless management education and engagement and research this initial vision for the society reflected the context at the time but since 2021 we've seen housing become a top Focus for our senior government partners with new opportunities opening up that have shifted our strategic focus on housing today we have a housing needs report that clearly shows the depth of Need for below Market housing in Squamish and Senior government Partners at the table with funds for us to leverage into real impact with the PO poal to bring millions of dollars to our community with this changing context our strategic objectives have shifted to include priorities for our startup years that were not part of the initial Society work plan including Housing Development and acquisition operation of existing and new units and in-depth business in real estate planning recognizing that this shift in priorities had implications for our resourcing needs last fall we wrote to council requesting an additional 300,000 in unrestricted funding for 24 on top of the existing contribution agreement allocation the additional funds are requested to scale up our internal capacity to take on current and future projects including staff resourcing to bring on two new roles a manager of housing operations and manager of society operations additional operating costs associated with the new hires like office space and supplies professional support services including Consultants to help with upscaling our internal Finance and Accounting systems to keep up with the demands of development and operations as well as legal services and support for business and strategic planning we propose that any surplus is put into an internally restricted fund and used exclusively for development and acquisition activities this slide provides an overview of our updated operating budget and additional detail is available in a memo that came with your agenda package finally looking at next steps moving forward we're committed to working toward the ultimate goal of financial self-sufficiency and have initiated strategic and business planning that's focused on achieving our dual mandates of delivering needed housing at scale to meet our community's needs and generating sufficient Revenue to support our internal operations initial directions from our initial business planning work suggest a minimum Target of 200 units under management to generate Revenue to support basic operations as part of our business planning this year we're going to be developing a revenue model and a pipeline to achieve this Target and also explore additional business lines like weightless management and income and asset testing services that could generate additional income while also supporting our core work we truly believe that this work will have a real and meaningful impact on our community but it will also take time and continued investment from our partners as we continue to build and scale our capacity for this reason we anticipate continuing to rely on District funds for operations for at least 2024 to 2026 and we're working with staff on a renewed partnership agreement that will be brought forward to council this fall as part of the upcoming budget process thank you for your time and I'm happy to take any

Armand Hurford
0:26:06 (0:00:12)

questions thank you for the presentation Council questions for our guests coun

Lauren Greenlaw
0:26:19 (0:00:26)

green thanks thank you so much for the presentation I think I speak for everyone around this table when I say we're all very delighted to have you in your skill set leading this initiative my understanding is that all of our affordable housing initiatives right now are focused on rental and I was wondering how you felt about branching into ownership if that's part of a long-term plan if the if that conversation's

SPEAKER_00
0:26:45 (0:00:43)

happening yeah that's a great question and definitely reflects one of the questions I hear a lot in the community as well there's so much interest in affordable ownership that I think reflects folks values around the opportunities coming with ownership potentially some secur some concerns about the security of rental it's definitely on our minds when especially when we're thinking about medium and longer term planning the reason we've really focused on rental at this point is that's really where like to be frank it's where the money is so our existing most senior government programs are focused exclusively on rental and aren't as supportive of ownership models at this point but it's certainly something that we're looking to do further down the line thanks

Armand Hurford
0:27:28 (0:00:01)

go ahead councelor

Chris Pettingill
0:27:30 (0:00:48)

penil yeah thanks for the presentation I just some of the additional funding you're asking for I can wrap my head around that in the context of a lot of upper government level grants and we want to capture as many of those for our community so the extra capacity makes sense but I'm wondering if you've given much thought to what the picture might look like if priorities change and those governments dry up is that sort of you know the funding over the to through 2026 and so on that we've spoken about is that still necessary or appropriate in a scenario where there's less upper Government funding or is that sort of money that we would really need regardless that's sort of the base floor no matter the

SPEAKER_00
0:28:18 (0:00:47)

context that's a really good question and I think there's sort of two pieces to the answer to that one is the funding request for this year and coming years is will be needed even if there are no additional projects beyond what we're pursuing right now just to land our existing projects that we're looking at this point this sort of development Acquisitions and operations so regardless of whether there's a shift in senior government priorities just to land our current projects I think the capacity will still be important to start delivering I think there's a bigger piece there though around as we do our strategic and business planning thinking about potential headwinds and Tailwinds and how that will factor into a resourcing request and that's definitely something we'll be looking

Armand Hurford
0:29:06 (0:00:04)

at other questions yep go

Andrew Hamilton
0:29:10 (0:00:26)

ahead yeah thanks very much I think this is a much needed piece of our of our community and I'd like to try to I'm trying to wrap my head around the revenue model moving beyond District funding so just can you speak to a little bit what is the revenue model Beyond District funding I'm sure it's there I just want to have it Clarity in my mind

SPEAKER_00
0:29:37 (0:01:08)

yeah absolutely so thinking about the business model for any Housing Society affordable housing Society you generate Revenue through rent income through Society fees that are included in operating expenses and then for an organization like ours that's also undertaking development there's development fees that you can also assess that come out of the senior Government funding as well so those are two key sources of revenue the rents and the development fees then like I mentioned in my presentation as well we're looking at other sources of revenue as well other social Enterprises basically that could support our core Mission and also generate Revenue so things like looking to charge Developers for income and asset testing or employment testing for pH units that have those requirements as part of their housing agreements for example or shared services that we could coordinate with other housing providers in the community so those are all General right now and one of our key tasks as part of that business planning work will be actually Landing what that model is and then creating a pipeline so that's all work that we'll hopefully be able to come back to council with later this

Andrew Hamilton
0:30:46 (0:00:46)

fall and just so I unders so when we accept CAC contributions from developers they typically come either as units donated to Squamish housing or units held in perpetuity by a separate owner and so those units that are donated to Squamish housing I don't know if donated is the right word there those are the ones that you would collect rental income from and the ones that are still owned by developer or somebody else but are assigned Perpetual housing affordable housing those are the ones you would be collecting some like an administrative fee on is that correct

SPEAKER_00
0:31:32 (0:00:10)

that's the general idea we're still working that out with individual Developers for the units that are just starting to come online but certainly that's the

Andrew Hamilton
0:31:43 (0:00:49)

idea and extend have you has there been any thought to extending that second bucket if I could IM there are a lot of homeowners in Squamish who rent out secondary their Suites or secondary SS do you think there's any possibility that a homeowner could put their home their secondary Suite onto a perpetually affordable housing list onto the Squamish community housing list for some fee thereby renting their place at an affordable rate but the benefit that they would get is that Squamish housing has vetted the applicants and has some accountability with the

SPEAKER_00
0:32:32 (0:00:10)

applicants that's an interesting idea we haven't thought of that but something that we could definitely consider is part of a bigger work program around that coordinated access

Armand Hurford
0:32:43 (0:00:02)

piece thank you keler

Jenna Stoner
0:32:45 (0:00:40)

stoner I'd be so intrigued if there was a market of folks who wanted to put their secondary Suites on a list below Market rental but you never know I like where you're going with that counselor Hamilton sorry side now my question relates a little bit to councilor Hamilton's question in terms of the perpetually affordable housing units that we're seeing coming online and this might be a question to yonas but in our housing agreements is there a first right of refusal to be tenanted through the Housing Society or is it up to the individual developer how they choose to tenant the

SPEAKER_03
0:33:26 (0:00:32)

units thank you through the chair the older housing agreements don't have that provision because the Housing Society wasn't in existence back then so it was very hard for developers to agree to it the newest housing agreements have that provision and we're bringing back the housing agreement template we've been doing some work on it so we'll be bringing that back to council for review in the very near future and you'll see those details spel spelled out in there

Jenna Stoner
0:33:58 (0:00:16)

we've also talked a fair bit now that we actually have some units coming online under the Perpetual affordable housing policy about reviewing that policy and tweaking it now that we know where it's kind of Landing is that on staff's work

SPEAKER_03
0:34:15 (0:00:39)

plan through the chair not at this point we've been focusing on trying to come up with a good template that is reflective of all the gaps in the perpetually affordable housing policy so it get gives a lot more detail in terms of what the rates should be what for the type of unit and the type of household so rather than trying to update the Perpetual affordable housing policy we're trying to come up with something else that's reflective of the principles of it essentially but it's not on our work plan at this moment to update

Jenna Stoner
0:34:54 (0:00:53)

it okay thanks for that and then I just wanted to clarify in terms of the budget later this evening we'll be looking at the spring budget amendment and staff are proposing to shift the operating budget for the Squamish Community Housing Society from taxation or general operating to being exclusively from the cmhc grant fund the housing accelerator fund and I'm just curious what happens then once the cmhc half funding ends what the processes if there's still funding that's needed for the Housing Society does that go back into operating does that result in a tax increase at that point and what the rationale is for moving it from the existing line item to the housing accelerator

SPEAKER_03
0:35:47 (0:00:50)

fund to the chair so the rationale for moving it into the grant funding was twofold one our understanding is it's ineligible expense and it kind of fits Under the Umbrella of affordable housing investments cmhc is pretty flexible on how we spend the money and secondly you know we want to burden the impact on TA or kind of lessen the burden on taxation because of all the other Rising costs that the district has to deal with I think that the future depends on this our discussions on the next contribution agreement that we work that we will be working with the society because that the current agreement ends in 2025 so we will be preparing for this next budget cycle and having those

Jenna Stoner
0:36:38 (0:00:24)

discussions okay that's great and then just to further clarify so one of the last budgets that I think Council saw was still in the application Phase of the housing accelerator fund and it had $500,000 earmarked as a grant for the housing Squamish was that 500,000 entirely for housing Squamish or was a portion of that intended for predevelopment funding and the other half or like a component of it for housing

SPEAKER_03
0:37:03 (0:00:30)

Squamish through the chair it was it was a general allocation and it was for both capacity support and predevelopment funding for the Housing Society we will be providing a little bit more detail in the subsequent budget presentation tonight around the expend what are the more specific expend expenditures under the grant for that grant

Armand Hurford
0:37:34 (0:00:03)

funding okay any oh go ahead counc pill

Chris Pettingill
0:37:38 (0:00:51)

yeah and some of this is you know maybe just part of that all that housing policy that's evolving at the provincial level but you know up until now we've used Community amenity contributions which are voluntary and only an issue during a rezoning we're now moving I think I'm not sure exclusively but we have the opportunity for amenity contribution charges which we can collect regardless of whether or not there's a resoning but I gather that the amenity contribution charge is the new thing we cannot capture units and so on like we did with Community amenity contributions and I'm just wondering if you can clarify or if that's something we know or is are cac's really the only tool we have to capture units and so on to move to the affordable housing system

SPEAKER_03
0:38:29 (0:01:03)

Society through the chair the there are some existing tools in the under the pral legislation to allow to capture affordable units as a density bonus so you can essentially prezone have a base zoning density and then have a higher zoning density and in that higher density include a portion of affordable units my understanding is also and we received a letter recently from the province that the province is looking to expand or clarify the existing tools so they are currently very limited but we know the provin has heard from local governments that is a big gap at the moment we can't zone for it in the same way that we zone for Market rental and yes the amenity cost charges will not deliver any units they'll just it'll just be a cash in Li that goes into specific amenity projects

Chris Pettingill
0:39:33 (0:00:26)

essentially so is it fair to say then we're sort of in a period where we may actually have more challenges than in the past few years of capturing affordable units for the Housing Society as the rules change and there's a gap that we've asked to be filled but right now there is really a gap that we didn't face sort of the last couple years or is that accurate

SPEAKER_03
0:39:59 (0:01:00)

through the chair I'm not sure if that's accurate I don't think we are expecting to see less rezonings in the near future I think the long-term sort of push from senior levels of government is to prezone land but I think a lot of jurisdictions including us will likely be very hesitant to do that without having the tools to secure affordable housing and the province hasn't mandated municipalities to go ahead and prezone land what one thing we do need to do is to align our official community plan with our housing needs assessment and then if out of that process comes out that we don't have enough Zone land then we will have to prezone it I think at that point we'll be looking to use all the tools we have so the Outlook in terms of cac's there's continue to be a policy that's valid even when we have accs and I think our expectation is that it will continue to bring in affordable

Armand Hurford
0:41:00 (0:00:20)

units thank you councelor stoner on this point no you're okay any other questions for our guests I go ahead counc French I'll move receipt if you want to go that route I think we're there y councelor Hamilton seconds would you like to speak to

John French
0:41:20 (0:00:30)

it thank you and in speaking in support of the motion to receive I want to share that I had a concern that was addressed in the presentation I don't want the Housing Society to rely on District funding beyond the startup years we we've seen where other societies in the past have had Grand visions and 20 years later they're still relying on government subsidies don't think that's going to happen with this organization and thanks for the presentation it was enlightening

Armand Hurford
0:41:51 (0:00:06)

thank you other comments go ahead councelor son

Jenna Stoner
0:41:57 (0:01:14)

yeah I'd like to thank Miss Ellis for coming and providing an update on all the work that's going on at housing Squamish I think it's important to continue to be transparent with the community in terms of the amount of effort that's going into not just coordinating access to affordable housing in our community but actually Building Homes and acquiring below Market rental so thanks for the update and I think while I appreciate councelor French's comments of like one of the core components of the Housing Society when we created it at the District of skish was for it to become self-sufficient I think the reality is that it's difficult to do that and we've the organization has started to explore a number of options in terms of how we decrease that amount of Reliance over time and that continues to be the intent of the Housing Society for sure but I think the reality is that housing is such a core part of our community that we may need to start turning our minds to some level of support for the Housing Society in perpetuity just given the importance of the work that they are doing but I think that's a future conversation for longer term budget planning but appreciate all the work that's going on to make it as robust organization as possible thanks

Armand Hurford
0:43:12 (0:00:00)

thank you councelor

Chris Pettingill
0:43:13 (0:01:05)

pill yeah thank you for I really appreciate the presentation like my colleague just said I think it is a good ambition to have to be self sustaining but we have also Al seen the disparity in wealth and access to housing grows so large it's maybe not unreasonable and I think it's one thing that we can do as a local government to help add a bit of balance there and so you know we may need to be involved longer than we initially had thought it's not necessarily a bad thing and I think just in my mind as I'm considering what's going to come to us tonight it is a significant ask but the challenge that needs to be addressed is massive and there's a really unique opportunity right now with all the upper government funding available and so that does make a strong case for considering this so I look forward to the discussion tonight thank you

Armand Hurford
0:44:19 (0:00:01)

thank you councelor green

Lauren Greenlaw
0:44:20 (0:00:59)

law yeah again I want to just say thank you for all the hard work affordable housing is just you know it's a topic that comes up basically daily for me in the community and I watch my friends leave this community because they can't afford to live here anymore so I'm very glad that you are doing this work and I do hope like I'm very fiscally conservative and I do feel strongly about home ownership models so I do hope that is on the horizon at some point because it is directly linked with financial solvency especially for women so but I am I'm very grateful that you're doing this work and I would like to Echo the comments of councelor pattingill and councelor stone or I do I mean obviously it would be great if this was not a financial obligation of the district moving forward but the more Paramount of more Paramount importance is housing stability for our community members so thank you so much for your

Armand Hurford
0:45:20 (0:05:22)

work thank you yeah just a couple comments myself thank you for the presentation today and for your work and I think and also to you and through to the board for you know the early work on developing this program as you highlighted in your in your presentation had development being something to be considered you know down the road and I know the board is very motivated and capable and I'm very happy that we are where we are where we're coming together as a community to essentially in my in my assessment to capitalize on the opportunities as best we can as they as they present themselves so I think we're well positioned to do that with you and your organization so thank you so much I'm happy to support your work I think going forward there's lots of future talk here we this room often we often you know operate in future you know future States so we'd like to see and I would like to get to the place where the where the existence of the Housing Society isn't dependent on the local government of the day being willing and able to participate and I see these Investments upfront now as building the best foundation possible so that's something that future decisions can really be ba be based around and the Housing Society can stand on its own on its own two feet as sort of as early as possible but what the local government of the day decides is the best thing to do for a funding perspective is hopefully that won't this will your work today sort of will set the stage for that not being so Council our next our next item there's no present on the next on the next item there's no presentation on the next on the next item it was circulated via email yesterday and you have it in front of you would you like a few minute has anyone had time with the memo and Advance the meeting or would you like to take some time a quick recess let's just take a quick five minute recess and we'll reconvene at 12:40 by that clock e okayy thank you

Shimizu Japan Delegation Invitation and Cost Estimate
0:50:43 (0:27:36)

Mayor Armand Hurford proposed extending an invitation to Squamish's sister city, Shimizu, Japan, to attend Truth and Reconciliation Day events in Squamish, along with associated funding. He highlighted the historical significance of sister city relationships, stemming from post-World War II reconciliation efforts, and emphasized the potential for mutual learning, especially regarding the relationship with First Nations in Canada. A rough budget was outlined, with potential contributions from community groups and tourism bodies. Mayor Hurford also suggested establishing a more stable funding mechanism for future sister city initiatives, to reduce dependency on council contingency funds.

During the discussion, council members expressed support for the proposal but raised questions about specific budget allocations, such as transportation and the involvement of environmental groups. Councillor Eric Andersen suggested incorporating environmental and fisheries restoration projects into the visit. Concerns were raised about ensuring a stable and predictable funding mechanism for sister city relationships, with Councillor Andrew Hamilton questioning the wisdom of presuming future councils' engagement. The council agreed on the importance of the initiative for fostering mutual understanding and reconciliation. They decided to fund the visit from the council contingency for the current year and to consider more stable funding mechanisms in future financial planning, emphasizing the need for active engagement with the Squamish Nation and ensuring the visit's focus on Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Armand Hurford
0:50:43 (0:05:33)

we're back we're on item four which is a request for to council to extend an invitation to our sister city Shizu Japan to attend Truth and Reconciliation Day events in Squamish and funding associated with that Council I thank you for cons for considering this we put together work with staff to put together a bit of a backgrounder which I think summarizes it where we are and I think I'll just speak to it briefly and then try to address any questions you may have you know when I was in Shimizu with councelor green law in November and it was great to have so many lots of conversations with folks in our that we interacted with and it became quite apparent to me that you know we had lots to learn from each other and some of that I spoke about in the councelor green law and I tried to address in their presentation when we came when we came back but one of the pieces for me was understanding what the relationship is with our first nation's people broadly in Canada but then also specifically here and sister city initiatives really came out of Second World War reconciliation efforts between North America and Japan and I think that with the complicated history that we have with Japanese interment here and so on and then layered in with the nation you know Truth and Reconciliation work I think this really presents a unique opportunity they requested to come for Squamish days they had such a great a great time when they were here a decade ago and I really and that's an amazing time of year which I know the you know you likely all enjoy with the parades and pancake breakfasts and putting on our best but I really think that there's an opportunity here particularly in the truth part of the Truth and Reconciliation to build some build some understanding and I'm really proud of how our community comes together on that day in a different way and I'd like to be able to share that we've put together a rough budget in the in the early discussions with Community groups the there's lots of interest in participating and some of them have ability to help with various pieces so I wanted to put together something that was sort of not dependent on other partners coming but that if we extended an invitation we could start specific planning around that so this is very much the reflective of that things like tourism Squamish says that there there's some programs available and they're very interested in participating whether that's and whether or not that comes with funding or not they're could explore that when we move for move further along in this process so I'm happy to answer any questions you have and then there is the recommendations attached oh and also the last bullet point is one I'd like I've sort of we've mentioned before but the I think this relationship and any and any in any future ones that are long-term in nature deserve a way of funding that isn't dependent as dependent on Council contingency which is the only funding source we really have for this and the amounts in the grand scheme of all the things that we do on a over the term of the relationship are very small but I think that the municipality is the is the leader in so much as we've you know signed the and committed to the S the sister city relationship but the benefits to be fully realized by our other group groups tourism Squamish chamber and so on require regular contact and some maintenance for them to grow those as well and in other communities some of those groups actually lead sister city initiatives so there's a bunch of different ways to do this I think the simp a simple way to do it would be to consider some form of annually or every three or five years or some other currence a little bit goes into a fund somewhere so that we have the ability to maintain the relationship going forward so that's what the third bullet point aims to get at for a future for a future discussion happy to answer any questions and we have staff available as well if needed yeah go ahead counc

Eric Andersen
0:56:16 (0:02:07)

Anderson I will have a question concerning the transportation budget but maybe I'll introduce give some Preamble there is mentioned between meaning ful connections between our tourism economic education and sporting groups I would add environmental and the reason why I suggest that is that Shimizu has chum salmon and they are involved in Fisheries habitat Restoration in that Peninsula and I was in a gathering in ulet where Japanese technology in Rehabilitation of salmon streams was implemented and it they have some different techniques and approaches and history of that so I suggest this and this is also ties into contact with the Squamish Nation Community there's opportunity to showcase our samon habitat Rehabilitation projects and here I come back to the transportation budget I think it might be of interest not only to look at Fisheries projects but also forestry the only people I know of that are exporting to Japan from Squamish right now are the Squamish Nation they're exporting logs from chakas Reserve number 11 so I can Envision a very interesting tour that would not only take in on another day not on the same day a visit up the valley and so I come back to Mayor Herford what is in envisioned with the transportation budget of $1,500 because you know renting a kind of a party bus type of a scale of vehicle excuse me that's what the company is called but that might be a factor to consider but at any rate I do suggest connecting with the environmental groups in particular in fish habitat and also as per your suggestion that you're implying of developing ongoing long-term contacts with other partners in the community so they can help to contribute to the costs of these visits is that we work on with the chamber perhaps identifying the business sectors that may be of interest and think about them with a long-term view of a facilitating contexts

Armand Hurford
0:58:23 (0:01:29)

thank you so in this budget one of the things is in our research for this and looking at the financial contributions made different visits it's a very it's a mix from you know one party pays everything to other party pays everything to some hybrid in the middle and our as you know our accounting here has evolved over time I think some of the previous Transportation or other pieces were sort of rolled into other operating pieces so this would be our is the would be the use of our Recreation van and a driver from our staff to do that work but represented in this budget not in the normal operations budget of recreation so that's where that is so where that van goes to your point you know it's not you know it's not an off-road vehicle but it can get it can get to the to the places so as I've had some preliminary very informal discussions with the with the nation and about opportunities to interact with the delegation if we're successful and now we can advance those and see what that could look like and what that interest where they see the opportunity so look forward to engaging with the nation on this if that's something that's supported by Council and thank you for the suggestions yeah other question counc

Andrew Hamilton
0:59:53 (0:01:04)

Hamilton yeah thanks on item three of the recommendation that staff be directed to bring forward a more stable and predictable funding mechanism that's one that's not sitting quite as well with me because this the sister city relationship really relies on the mayor and the council being invested in this and making an individual choice to engage yeah and I think that if we just presume that future councils and future Mayors are going to be as engaged and then have the money there to just be spent whether they're engaged or not is perhaps not the wisest choice I think it might be more prudent for each Council to make a deliberate choice to engage or not engage and I think the only mechanism we can do that is through Council

Armand Hurford
1:00:57 (0:01:26)

contingency that's a fair point I think the other another way to accomplish essentially the same the same thing is that if there's a fund to maintain sister city relationships H if or how you use that is up to the Council of the of the day so it's just there and it's not something that you know these are long this has been long-term relationship and I think that you know when I think about the types of things that we generally use Council contingency for supporting longterm reoccurring things that have some cost to the municipality isn't necessarily what I see here although it's within our discretion so this ask is totally within our discretion to do that but I think and even a small amount that like over time would be what I was considering but that could that could be the discussion we have at that time at that time and I'm looking for the space for that I suppose if we want to be more complex with it or more detailed this could be something gets referred to Future strap planning piece I don't see it being that complex that's why I made this recommendation but I'm open to the discussing with the group and the decision today would be to have that future discussion around what that could or should look like go ahead councelor

Chris Pettingill
1:02:24 (0:01:04)

penel yeah thanks just a couple thoughts and a question for me this does seem like the sort of thing well we've sort of had the sister city in our minds but the attention to it has been I guess spotty maybe or inconsistent and so I think for me it is something where it makes sense to either do it and commit to it or decide to not do it as sort of the half in half out we've had over the last decade or so I do think you know in my mind this is a sort of thing that a council would decide if they wanted to continue in their strategic planning and then the sort of stable funding would come in or out sort lead to my question I'm wondering if staff have had a look at some of our trade and investment grants and that sort of thing and if there's any sense that those grants could or might be able to fund this sort of thing especially as councelor Anderson spoke it seemed like maybe there's some alignment there and I'm just

Eric Andersen
1:03:28 (0:00:05)

curious through the mayor we have not looked into grants for sister city

Chris Pettingill
1:03:34 (0:00:38)

visits okay that's Yeah just something in terms of trade and investment it might make sense and so I'd be curious I'm okay I think with Council contingency for this year I think for me one of the things that makes this a lot stronger is the reconciliation piece and I think going forward for me strong involvement of Squam Nation would be important especially because this is SCH Miss Nation territory that everyone's coming to and so I think that would make it a lot more powerful and I think address some of our what we want to do in reconciliation as well too thank

Armand Hurford
1:04:13 (0:00:04)

you thank you other questions yeah go ahead councelor Stoner

Jenna Stoner
1:04:18 (0:00:09)

thank you I think you touch on this but can you confirm if the draft budget includes in-kind donation time like staff time

Armand Hurford
1:04:28 (0:01:15)

Etc it does to it does as fulsomely as we as we could doesn't include coordination time run through mayor's office and so on but as best we could to capture that one of the pieces that the bigger pieces here is the interpretation services and this was sort of ini quote we got from a service we're looking for other ways to accomplish that so that's an area that I see could that is very important so I want to make sure that we had accounted for that there and we're hoping that could be achieved through some Partners or some other some other means we had a English teacher accompany us so maybe there's ways through those other organizations so I didn't want to advance that conversations too far without this approval from this group so we could go ahead and sort of look after those details but I did the very best to capture all the all the everything in here and the approval is for the overall number and some of those buckets might move slightly but this is the rational that it was based on

Jenna Stoner
1:05:43 (0:00:08)

and sorry just to clarify coordination and admin time for this is expected to come out of your staff bu your staff time

Armand Hurford
1:05:52 (0:00:02)

budget yeah that's

Jenna Stoner
1:05:54 (0:00:06)

correct and that's in addition to what's on the current budget line

Armand Hurford
1:06:00 (0:00:01)

items

Jenna Stoner
1:06:02 (0:00:20)

yes okay and then I just want to confirm Truth and Reconciliation Day events have happened over the last two years but often by a group of volunteers who come together to put it on in the nation have we confirmed that that's something that they intend to do again this

Armand Hurford
1:06:22 (0:00:07)

year that's my understanding yes y go ahead councelor penel

Chris Pettingill
1:06:30 (0:00:14)

yeah thanks one clarifying question I forgot it mention specific individuals in a delegation and I'm just wondering is that sort of a more of an example or you know can we Le in a some flexibility there

Armand Hurford
1:06:44 (0:00:34)

just there's thank you for the question there's been some dialogue around and there was eagerness to come to come for a visit so we were trying understand how to put a budget together so we had to have some discussions around if you were to get an invitation who would come what would that look like and these this is what was provided to us the invitation would be wouldn't be as spe specific to that was just what we received in but in reply as we were having those early conversations y councelor

Andrew Hamilton
1:07:19 (0:00:08)

Hamilton are there any so this is the visit would be approximately a week or so is that kind of

Armand Hurford
1:07:27 (0:00:13)

it's I think that it works out to about three days before reconciliation day or day before reconation day and the day and the day after what that exactly means on Hotel nights and transport on either side but

Andrew Hamilton
1:07:41 (0:00:25)

three four days and are we so this is obviously requiring some staff capacity to implement are we are there any things that we are having to offset here because we're putting a staff capacity towards this effort it's very clear that we're sta our staff capacity is very limited and are there any major offsets that we're going to see because of our staff engaging in this

Armand Hurford
1:08:07 (0:01:07)

planning that's an excellent question the majority of the coordination would come would come through my office and I think and I think it's within the capacity of that specific when we think about the organization and it's important to think about the overall organizational capacity of but we also we're directing the work of individuals at this point so I think there's capacity here and similar to Bringing on a contractor takes some supervision to coordinate that similarly when we bring on like I think a tourism Squamish will be for chunk of the day which they'll take in plans I don't think the lift says will be as huge and we've discussed that as well so I think we'll be okay I suppose if there's are there any other questions I find myself in a position where I'm making the recommendation so I suppose I've yeah go

Andrew Hamilton
1:09:14 (0:00:04)

ahead I'd like to move the first two

Armand Hurford
1:09:19 (0:00:06)

recommendations okay thank you I'll second or coun green last seconds would you speak to it

Andrew Hamilton
1:09:25 (0:00:33)

yeah I think that one of the one of the conclusions of visiting and being invited to visit is the reciprocal of that is inviting shimu town to come and visit Squamish and I think that it is it was our choice it was our choice as our Council to draw money from our Council contingency in that decision last year and I think it's appropriate for us to continue that engagement with the first two bullets of the

Armand Hurford
1:09:59 (0:00:27)

recommendation thank you and just a point of clarity there in the initial trip we did have approved Council contingency and then it ended up fitting inside the travel and Conference budget from myself and councilor green lot just to so and this amount is very similar to that I didn't draw that connection earlier anyone else speak to this councelor Greenland

Lauren Greenlaw
1:10:26 (0:00:44)

I'll speak in support of the motion I think it's important in terms of reciprocity for the experience that they held for us but also I really thought it was an invaluable experience going over there and seeing how a different municipality functions in a totally different culture and it really changed my purview in this in this position of how you can get things done and how municipalities can operate so I'm looking forward to that I wonder if there's any room to request gender parity in the group that comes over because it is in Japan there's 10% representation for women so it might be interesting to encourage some of that

Armand Hurford
1:11:10 (0:00:23)

thanks thank you we'll have some conversations about that I have some thoughts on that I don't know that the specific invitation would speak to that but I think this is the type of thing that through work and dialogue and deepening that relationship that we attempt to address and but I look forward to that conversation councelor Anderson do I see your

Eric Andersen
1:11:34 (0:00:59)

hand I had the pleasure of hosting the group in 2014 over the Squamish Day's weekend as kind of Le on working with The Interpreter and they enjoyed that weekend's programming so much that they requested with mayor Kirkham that to change the itinerary so they could come back again for the Sunday show however I think that this September opportunity is an opportunity for us as a council to better a better opportunity than early August to engage with the delegation that may be coming and also for our district apparatus to engage with them I think it's a good time of year test and see what we can come up with for programming and so I think that I'm sure that I and my colleagues would appreciate any future opportunity there may be to take part in the brainstorming regarding a visit itinerary and I think that there will be there should be good opportunity with local business and organizations towards that objective of having them share the burden in the future thank you thank

Armand Hurford
1:12:33 (0:00:01)

you councilor

Chris Pettingill
1:12:34 (0:00:29)

Pinel yeah happy to support this I think for me like I alluded to earlier a big appeal is seeing a really tight collaboration between us and Squamish nation and hopefully tourism Squamish and the Chamber as well on national day for Truth and Reconciliation I think that could be a real big win for from this outside of even the Shimizu

Armand Hurford
1:13:03 (0:00:04)

delegation thank you councelor Stoner and then green

Jenna Stoner
1:13:08 (0:00:55)

law thank you through the chair I will support the two motions on the floor I think that this is an important piece of the reciprocal nature of a sister city and I think that it also enables more of our community to engage and learn from and have some shared experiences with the delegation from shimuzu so I think that this makes good sense following on from your folks's experience last year to be able to bring some folks over from Shimizu town and I really do appreciate the effort to focus and ground this around the national day of Truth and Reconciliation I think that makes really good sense in terms of trying to more cohesively share some of the work that we're doing both in community to advance reconciliation and also air some of the realities of our history so appreciate that thoughtfulness

Armand Hurford
1:14:03 (0:00:02)

thank you councelor green did you want to

Lauren Greenlaw
1:14:05 (0:00:16)

yeah I just wanted to add one brief comment I appreciated what councelor Anderson was saying about some of the more economic benefits that this sister city relationship could bring and the learning opportunity I think that would be a really interesting lens to put on this visit as

Armand Hurford
1:14:22 (0:00:14)

well y thank you comment on this no so with that I'll call the question and again the Mover move the first two bullets so all in favor motion carries unanimously thank you yeah go ahead Council prel

Chris Pettingill
1:14:36 (0:00:18)

yeah I'd like to move a slight variation to the third bullet U which is Staff be directed to investigate more stable and predictable funding mechanisms and policy to support future city initiatives for consideration of part of as part of the 2025 to 2030 financial planning process

Armand Hurford
1:14:55 (0:00:49)

chor I was going to I like where you're going that was my recommendation hearing the discussion around the table I was going to move that this that this go to Future strap Plan update because for me as I think about this it really comes down to like what the potential like what happens out of this out of this VI where are we and then do we see the value in that so I think and I was in my making this recommendation here I was on the fence whether what I wanted to do with that but hearing the discussion I think it's totally appropriate to put it there and then that frees up the this planning process we we've already got this visit funded we'll have a bit of a runway for the next one so I think that might actually be the best place for it so that's where I am I

Chris Pettingill
1:15:45 (0:00:14)

thought yeah I'm fine I can resend my motion and I just there's two pieces like do we want to do it again and then you know what are the options to fund it and doesn't really matter the order I think both questions need to be answered to move forward and so that's fine

Armand Hurford
1:15:59 (0:00:04)

okay so I I'll move oh c French well I

John French
1:16:04 (0:00:06)

was going to suggest if you want to go this route the motion you're contemplating I would be willing to

Armand Hurford
1:16:10 (0:00:14)

move okay well Cel the French moves that bullet point 3 be brought to a future strp Plan update for consideration and I will second that go ahead

John French
1:16:25 (0:00:39)

thanks and in moving and supporting the motion I was really pleased with the outcome of the visit that took place to Japan and I've said it before and I'll say it again they love us more than we do and I think that this gets us a little bit closer to loving shim shimuzu just as much as they love us it's totally a two-way relationship and I want it to see want to see it become more of a true two-way relationship and I think this gets us a little closer to

Armand Hurford
1:17:05 (0:00:02)

that thank you go ahead councelor

Chris Pettingill
1:17:07 (0:00:25)

Peno yeah happy to support this and I just want to take the opportunity to sneak in a comment I forgot I do like councelor greenlaw's suggestion about and you know we can think about how we do it but looking for gender parity in the visitors and maybe not just for next time but for somehow as part of this invite I wouldn't mind pushing that if we

Armand Hurford
1:17:32 (0:00:46)

can thank you any other comments on this motion I'll just say thank you for the support in the first two and I think this is I think I'm happy with where we landed with this I think these this relationship and relationships like this you know only are beneficial when they're when they're M maintained so that's when we can realize the potential and I look forward to discussing that at a future strap Plan update and as part of the debrief of sort of where things were following the visit and so on so thank you very much for the support I call a question all in favor any opposed motion carries unanimously thank you

MOTION TO CLOSE
1:18:19 (0:00:21)


Armand Hurford
1:18:19 (0:00:22)

our next order of business is a motion to close can I have a motion to close moveed by councelor Hamilton second by councelor Green all in favor motion carries thank you we usually need about 15 minutes to break down the room so we'll come back at 20 after 20 after 2 that works for everybody so we'll recess and we'll resume in the Clos thank you