Vancouver School Board chair Patti Bacchus was "surprised" to see the Nov. 9 story in the Globe and Mail about the redevelopment of Kingsgate Mall.
The school board owns the property at East Broadway and Kingsway and she said the board and leasee/developer Beedie Group haven't discussed potential plans.
The Globe reported Ryan Beedie hopes to start redeveloping the property next year.
Bacchus believes the Beedie Group is three decades into a 99-year-lease for the site. According to a 2010 VSB report, this lease generates the school board $750,000 in revenue a year.
"We'd certainly be interested in having some discussion about what some shared interests can be and moving forward on that," Bacchus said.
She said the school board might want to relocate its Main Street adult education centre that it pays "fairly steep" lease payments for from Terminal Avenue, adding, "But, again, it's very premature to talk about what we could do."
Beedie reportedly envisions a commercial and residential development for the site that's across from the slated Rize development, which includes a 19-storey tower.
A redevelopment could increase revenue for the school board.
Bacchus said she'd have to look at the current lease agreement, what's being proposed and the revenue that could draw.
"But I would see some potential increased revenue coming from any redevelopment," she said.
On the sly
Families who didn't snap up tickets to the three sold-out screenings of the film On the Sly at the Reel to Real International Film Festival can catch it for a good cause this Sunday, Nov. 18. Net proceeds will go to rebuilding the playground at Queen Victoria Annex on East Third Avenue near McSpadden Park. On the Sly follows the adventures of a girl who believes she's invisible to her parents and chooses not to climb in their car on the way home from the family's cottage to test her theory. What could end badly turns into an extraordinary adventure as she fends for herself. On the Sly plays at the Rio Theatre on East Broadway near Commercial Drive at 2 p.m. It's recommended for children age 7 and older.
B.C. has the highest rates of child poverty in Canada and has so for eight years, and that this translates into 87,000 children living in poverty, or one in 10 children, according to the First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says leaving families in poverty costs the B.C. economy $8 to 9 billion a year in loss of potential earnings, increased healthcare costs and crime rates. It argues putting an effective provincial plan in place to take families out of poverty would cost less than half that amount, or $3 to 4 billion per year.
So the B.C. Teacher's Federation is focusing on child poverty this month with a week of action, Nov. 19 to 23. It's encouraging the public to sign a petition that calls on the government to launch a comprehensive and accountable poverty reduction plan. For more information, see bcpovertyreducation.ca. firstname.lastname@example.org
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