EDITORIAL: Sentenced to commute

A major developer with a major project in Maplewood is pitching subsidized housing for North Vancouver teachers. It rubs some observers the wrong way. Why should professionals, who are already paid handsomely, receive subsidized housing when many others are struggling? It’s a fair question.

We’d say the answer starts at about 3 p.m. on weekdays and lasts until 6 p.m., at least, when the North Shore is crippled by commuters inching toward our two bridges. Study after study has found our daily traffic problems are not because of population growth but rather because we cannot house the people who work here.

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The City of North Vancouver is calling for a housing “solutions lab” modelled on the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project, which we fully endorse. The initiative recognizes that previous efforts at achieving affordability have not done enough for our working class and that more ideas are needed. The sooner the better.

The new District of North Vancouver council’s record on affordability consists mainly of the last-minute cancellation of a below-market housing project in Delbrook. Council is scheduled to meet Monday to debate the definition of “affordable.”

If we persist with the status quo, the North Shore will become a citadel for the aged and wealthy, just as West Vancouver is today. But even West Vancouver is limping along with plans for workforce housing on Gordon Avenue. Even citadels need nurses, teachers, and people to make the Americanos.

Our choice is whether we welcome our workforce as neighbours or welcome them as commuters. We’d rather live in a neighbourhood than a commuterhood.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.


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