UNA seeks consultants to take them seriously

The UNA recently hired a consulting firm, Emergency Response Management Consultants, “to better
understand the role of UNA in an emergency or disaster event impacting the area.” And the report came back with the opinion that they have no significant role, coming to the correct conclusion that the UNA is not a government, they just pretend to be.

    As per the definition in the Emergency Program Act, Part 1 – Definitions and Application, the UNA does not meet the criteria of a municipality, electoral area, nor a national park. Based on this finding, UNA is not required to develop an emergency plan.

In order to batter the UNA’s ego just a little bit more, guess who does hold jurisdiction for emergency preparedness?

    UNA falls under the jurisdiction of the Metro Vancouver area. Metro Vancouver is the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) for the area. As the local authority, Metro Vancouver has the responsibility “for the direction and control of the local authority’s emergency response…” as per the Emergency Program Act. Metro Vancouver provides fire, police, and ambulance services to support any incident occurring at housing developments operated through UNA.

It was pointed out that the UNA can still make emergency preparedness plans in order to supplement Metro Vancouver’s plans and to make themselves feel better. However, Metro Vancouver is top dog on this file and anything the UNA comes up with should support, not supplant Metro Vancouver’s plans.

The reason the UNA would commission a consultant’s report like this is not to actually ask for a neutral opinion on what their role should be in emergency preparedness. It’s to have a third party validate their already-held view that the UNA has jurisdiction over emergency preparedness in their Neighbourhoods. The UNA’s plan seems to be that if they occupy their current role for long enough, they’ll be able to claim squatter’s rights on UBC’s vacant municipal governance at some point in the future. To campus denizens not in the Neighbourhoods, they may as well just be a group of people standing on the top of Save-On Foods screaming “Respect my authoritah!”


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Neal, uncharacteristic snark! Not your normal tone.

    It’s obvious that the UNA doesn’t have the legal jurisdiction – and, having read the reports from the meeting I would suggest that was not all that was said nor was it to core of what was asked.

    Here’s the problem with the governance model west of Blanca – on the UEL a group of r owners rule in consort with the province, at UBC a rather wealthy group in control of the BoG rule in consort with a privatized development firm.

    Students have a minimal authority in their student associations (the one’s that are just AMS Clubs).

    In Student residences UBC Housing rules with a benign neglect (which can at times be intrusive).

    Over in the five non-institutional residential areas the UNA governs a limited range of services as delegated by the BoG.

    What we need out here west of Blanca is a real local government that is elected by all residents, not a series of small tributary local states ruling under various partial authorities.

    But, back to Emergency Preparedness, without a plan in the context of mushrooming residential development is a recipe for disaster. UBC’s plans does not include the residential neighbourhoods and it barely goes beyond the issue of employees (most health and safety matters are explicitly for or about students under workers compensation laws). Metro has not specific plans that include the UBC area – nothing more than their boilerplate set of policies, but they have no capacity to do more than send staff out to talk waste and recycling – that’s about the extent of their planning for this area.

    So, while your comment is cutely snarky, sadly it misses the gravity of the issue. It such a different tone then you usually follow – I wonder, you’re not taking a course from anyone on the EP Committee are you? ;)

    Posted by Charles Menzies | October 25, 2012, 6:45 am
Please vote for us in the Continuous VoterMedia Contest