burnaby newsleader, october 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013 edition of the Burnaby NewsLeader

TRANSCRIPT

  • page5 page6 page9Brentwood project advances perils of an entitlement state rally protests coal exports

    www.burnabynewsleader.com

    wednesday OctOber 30 2013

    BACI grapples with major shortfallWanda chowwchow@burnabynewsleader.com

    The client families all describe different ways the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) makes a difference in their lives assisting their loved ones with developmental disabilities.

    Wendy Tremblay talks about the much-needed stability BACI gave her brother-in-law George, 54, when his mother died and he had to move into the much different environment she has with her husband and their kids.

    She describes Georges pride at working at BACIs Action Packaging business, packaging materials for various customers.

    Sheri Ekholm speaks of how BACIs support workers have helped socialize her six-year-old son Jason so he can attend daycare and school with other children.

    After one-and-a-half years, there was no more pulling stuff off shelves, hes able to sit with other children, he gets the concept of taking turns.

    And Sonya Wachowski talks of how, with her sister Moordryd, BACI has been the key to unleashing her gifts.

    Condo towers of 38 and 48 storeys, 768 unitsWanda chowwchow@burnabynewsleader.com

    Two more highrises could soon arise from the rubble of the former Station Square mall site.

    Phase 2 of the massive redevelopment of the 12-acre property on Kingsway just behind the Metrotown SkyTrain station, is being proposed for the site where Save-on-Foods used to be as a joint

    project between Burnaby-based Beedie Development Group and Anthem Properties.

    Its planned as two highrise condo towers, 38 and 48 storeys high, with a total of 768 apartments on top of a podium containing commercial and office space, according to a city staff report.

    All residential parking would be underground while commercial parking would be within an enclosed parkade to be located behind the commercial spaces.

    The developers plan to tap into the density bonus provisions and would receive 219,099 square feet of additional floor area which has already been factored into the proposal, the report said.

    The estimated value of the bonus density is $23.7 million, which city staff are recommending be taken as cash to be put towards a future community amenity.

    Of that amount, 80 per cent, or $18.9 million, would go into a fund designated for use in Metrotown

    Town Centre, while 20 per cent or $4.7 million, would go into a fund for city-wide affordable or special-needs housing initiatives.

    The Phase 2 projects address, 4670 Assembly Way, reflects one of the two new streets, along with Silver Avenueroughly where the north-south roadway separating the parkade and the supermarket was beforethat will be incorporated into the redevelopment.

    More towers eyed for Station Square

    this photo by Burnaby wildlife photographer connor stefanison was shot in his home town, and is one of six of his shots currently on display at the natural History museum in london, UK, after he received an award as part of the international wildlife photographer of the year competition.

    See how he got the shot on Page A3

    burnAby PhOtO On diSPlAy At nAturAl hiStOry MuSeuM

    please see PrOject, A4

    please see WAge, A3

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    See Page A19

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  • A2 NewsLeader Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013 NewsLeader A3

    Then they all describe their concern about the major funding shortfall BACI is grappling with which many believe is a result of the provincial government reneging on a promise to pay for wage increases negotiated with staff at community social service agencies last spring.

    The families and Burnaby New Democrat MLAs Raj Chouhan, Kathy Corrigan and Jane Shin met with reporters Monday morning to raise awareness of the problem.

    The Community Social Services Employers Association, which represents the agencies which assist people with developmental disabilities, signed off on the collective agreement which provided wage increases totalling three per cent.

    Chouhan, Burnaby-Edmonds MLA, said those involved, including executive directors from five agencies, claim they only agreed after the provincial government promised to pay for the raises. But after the May

    provincial election, the government has denied they ever made such a promise and said the agencies will just have to find savings to cover the cost.

    I have negotiated collective agreements all my life, especially in the public sector unions, I know employers or the union side will never sign an agreement until there is a complete full assurance that the funding would be provided, said Chouhan.

    And it couldnt have just been a misunderstanding, said Corrigan, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake.

    We have more than one person who was at the bargaining table say that they were directly told by government that they intended to fund the collective agreement, Corrigan said.

    For BACI, its resulted in a $420,000 annual shortfall on top of the additional $150,000

    shortfall it is struggling with due to increased costs not being covered by the government, such as BC Hydro rate and Medical Services Plan premium hikes, the

    MLAs say.Thats led to cuts including

    30 hours of staffing at its residential services, and cuts to day programs, staff training and administration.

    BACI and other agencies have said theyve resorted to not filling maternity or short-term disability leaves, not rehiring for vacant positions and combining positions, said Shin (Burnaby-Lougheed).

    A request to the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation for comment was answered by David Hurford, spokesperson for Community Living BC (CLBC), the crown corporation that funds agencies supporting people with developmental disabilities.

    BACIs concern is not unique, Hurford said.

    He stressed that CLBC was not directly a party to the negotiated contract but that government

    has been pretty clear in its statement that all the collective agreements were done within the cooperative gains mandate and that mandate requires that wage increases are funded through efficiencies within administration.

    But with the estimated shortfall across the sector estimated at $7 million, CLBC has found cost savings to allow it to provide $4 million in short-term assistance to its agencies through covering items such as overtime for the Family Day statutory holiday, and increased municipal pension plan premiums.

    In the medium to long term it will work with the agencies to address issues such as the cost of staff training and agency accreditation, Hurford said.

    No matter what happens, no front-line services should be cut.

    BACI executive director Richard Faucher did not return a call seeking comment.

    twitter.com/WandaChow

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 NewsLeader A3

    Infocus OpInIOn page 6 | Letters page 7 | spOrts page 19

    Moscrop grad only started hobby five years agoWanda Chowwchow@burnabynewsleader.com

    Earlier this month, North Burnaby resident Connor Stefanison, 22, achieved what hes been working towards the last couple of years when he won the Eric Hosking Portfolio Award for aspiring photographers aged 18 to 26, part of the international Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

    In its 49th year, the competition is co-owned by BBC Worldwide and the Natural History Museum in London, UK and widely regarded as the Oscars of nature

    photography, said Stefanison.He attended the black-tie

    awards ceremony held at the museum, where his winning portfolio of six photos is currently on displaythe

    exhibition of winning works is also touring the world, including to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, from Nov. 29 to April 6.

    Its really cool knowing that an image from Burnaby and some

    other images from B.C. that I took are now kind of widely recognized, he said.

    Stefanison, an avid mountain biker, started out in photograph