Seeking solutions to Burnaby's housing challenges
Following the municipal election in November 2018, the newly elected mayor and council formed the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing (Task Force). The 18-member Task Force was a Select Committee of Council, comprised of 5 members of council and a diverse group of stakeholders including representatives of housing advocates, unions, co-operative housing organizations, developers and builders.
The Task Force convened in February 2019 with a mandate to: "Provide recommendations to Burnaby City Council on innovative policies, directions and specific initiatives to increase the supply, diversity and affordability of housing in Burnaby." Over the next 6 months the Task Force met 10 times and participated in the innovative "Your Voice. Your Home." community engagement process, facilitated by the SFU Centre for Dialogue.
The Task Force concluded its work in July 2019 when its final report, with 18 recommendations, was submitted and approved by City Council.
The Mayor's Task Force on Community Housing provided a foundation for the City's Housing and Homelessness Strategy (HOME Strategy), which is due to be completed in the summer of 2021 following a final review by the reconvened Task Force.
Thom is the executive director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC. He has held leadership positions in Saskatchewan, Ontario and BC during more than 30 years of service in the co-operative housing movement.
Armstrong brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the job of serving existing housing co-ops and developing new affordable homes in diverse, mixed-income communities. He also serves as the executive director of COHO Management Services Society and the Community Land Trust Foundation, and chairs the board of Encasa Financial Inc., a Canadian social purpose mutual fund company owned by the community housing sector.
Mike is vice president of Solterra Developments and a a life-long resident of Burnaby who, together with his family, is an active member in his community.
Since graduating from Simon Fraser University, Mike has gained 25 years of knowledge and skills along with extensive experience in different areas of real estate development. This has given him the ability to view and overcome challenges with a different perspective.
With Mike’s passion for community and housing, he is looking forward to working alongside the Mayor and the Task Force on this new initiative to find creative solutions to ongoing concerns.
Pat has been a professional housing administrator for more than 40 years. Since 1997, he has been the CEO of New Chelsea Society, a non-profit housing society and registered charity in Burnaby that provides affordable housing for low-income seniors, families and persons with disabilities at 20 properties in 5 Lower Mainland municipalities. Prior to this, he was the assistant director of student housing at UBC.
Additionally, he has served on the BC Non-Profit Housing Association’s board of directors, and as chair of the Society for Affordable Housing, Education, Awareness and Development.
Pat has also worked on the boards of other non-profit organizations, including the George Derby Care Society and the Veteran’s Memorial Housing Society, along with being the Staff-Sergeant and Administrator for the South Burnaby Legion and New Westminster Pipe Band.
Lois has lived in Burnaby for more than 25 years, and is a registered nurse with extensive experience working in pediatrics, critical care and burn units in Saskatchewan, New Zealand and Vancouver. For nearly 20 years, she served as the Patient Service Manager of the Burns, Plastics and Trauma Unit at Vancouver General Hospital and is currently a Clinical Project Manager for Vancouver Acute.
Lois also volunteers on the Board of Directors for the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund, and is a member of the BC Children’s Hospital Collaborative and the 2020 Canadian Burn Survivors Conference Committee.
Paul is president and CEO of the Burnaby Board of Trade, the City’s preeminent business association with around 1100 members. Paul was born in London, England and worked in the publishing industry from 1978 until 2010, working for leading companies in London, Hong Kong and Vancouver.
Paul has volunteered on numerous boards over the years, most recently Vancouver AM Tourism Association, where he was President and Treasurer; Vancouver Coast and Mountains Tourism; and the Douglas College Foundation, where he currently serves as Chair. Paul was recently appointed to the Board of WACE, an association of Western USA/Canada based Chambers of Commerce. He also coached youth soccer for 8 years for his local youth soccer club.
Beau is the executive vice president of development at Wesgroup Properties, where he is responsible for leading all commercial, residential and mixed-use developments. His diverse development portfolio consists of master-planned and mixed-use communities, high-and-low-rise condominiums, retail, industrial parks and office buildings. His responsibilities also include stakeholder engagement, government relations and land acquisitions.
Previously, Beau served as vice president of development for the Onni Group, one of North America’s leading private real estate developers, where he helped oversee a portfolio of projects totalling more than 10 million sq. ft. and ranging from suburban industrial developments to downtown high-rise condominium developments.
He is an active contributor to the Urban Development Institute and sits on the City of Vancouver Development Permit Board as an advisory member.
Paul is an award-winning professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health, and founder and lead researcher of Generation Squeeze–a voice for younger Canadians in politics and the market, backed by cutting-edge research. He is an expert on housing policy, and is regularly invited to brief municipal, provincial and federal decision-makers.
Brian joined Concert Properties in 1994 and currently serves as the company’s president and CEO. For more than 24 years, Brian has played a key role in the development of some of Concert’s largest mixed-use projects, including more than 4,000 purpose-built rental homes.
In 2001, he guided Concert’s expansion into Ontario where he led the development of assured rental housing in Toronto. He presently serves on the boards of the Urban Development Institute Pacific Region, Junior Achievement BC, and is a past director of the Building Industry and Land Development Association of Toronto.
Brian is a passionate supporter of the real estate development industry, and is an experienced and much sought-after speaker on real estate-related matters.
Anne is the president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, a non-profit and non-partisan association of the development industry and its related professions.
Anne is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience in communications, government relations and public engagement. Along with being a spokesperson, her specialties include stakeholder relations and policy development.
Murray is the acting chair for Burnaby ACORN. He has lived in Burnaby since 1993, and has been involved in community and social justice activism for the past two decades.
Prior to joining ACORN in 2013, he spent six years actively fighting for the rights of exploited migrant workers in Canada. Since 2014, Murray has been the lead ACORN Burnaby member fighting demovictions.
Kari was elected as an executive vice president of the BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU) in 2017. She has been a member of the BCGEU since 2011 when she and her co-workers formed a union at her worksite.
Since joining the union, Kari has held many positions as a union activist–including shop steward and co-chair of the BC Federation of Labour young worker's committee.
She is a passionate advocate for social justice and believes in building workers’ capacity to take action to improve their working conditions through education and training. This work has most recently extended to her community outreach and advocacy work concerning the role of labour in addressing BC's housing crisis.
Born and raised in Metro Vancouver, Claire Preston is well acquainted with the various housing challenges and issues facing renters in today’s marketplace. Her status as a millennial enabled her to provide a fresh and different perspective to the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing.
A technical writer and editor by profession, Claire ran for Burnaby City Council in 2018 and now sits on the City of Burnaby’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission.
Daniel Tetrault is a Burnaby resident, and has been a high school social studies teacher in the Burnaby School District for 10 years. He is currently serving as first vice-president of the Burnaby Teachers' Association (BTA). Daniel has been active in raising awareness around housing issues in Burnaby with a focus on the negative impact that the affordability crisis has had on teachers, students and families.