COVID, Cannabis, and the District of North Vancouver

Since March of this year governments everywhere have struggled to continue operations while also dealing with a global pandemic. You can debate how well each of them performed, but it’s reasonable to think that if a government isn’t actually meeting to make decisions then it’s not very effective. The number of council meetings by our North Shore governments tell a tale.

Between the beginning of March and the end of September the City of North Vancouver and West Vancouver District have each had 17 meetings of council. For the most part each of these meetings dealt with regular council business, and multiple agenda items.

The District of North Vancouver though only met 10 times to conduct the business of the municipality, and two of those meetings on July 27th and 30th had only one agenda item: Bylaw 8419: Rezoning to Add “Retail Cannabis Store” as a Permitted Use
at 1520 Barrow Street

At this point in the discussion council member Mathew Bond will usually remind us that Council does more than just attend regular meetings. They do workshops where they receive reports from staff, and of course they do a lot of behind the scenes work and liaison with other organisations and other levels of government. Regardless of that, it is ultimately the role of our government to make decisions and manage our community in an open and honest fashion.

The fact remains that during one of the most troubling and economically significant times in recent memory the District of North Vancouver council only met 8 times over 7 months to conduct the business of the District, and twice more to approve a cannabis store.

And what, you may ask, are the taxpayers who live here paying our council for this work?