New West numbers report details power outages, Q to Q trips and more

Numbers only part of New Westminster’s story

The City of New Westminster issued 496 building permits valued at $295 million in 2019.

That’s just one of a wide variety of statistics found in the city’s 2019 annual report.

“We are in 2020 right now, and we are in the middle of this really challenging year, but I do think it’s important that we look back at 2019,” Acting Mayor Patrick Johnstone said at the Aug. 10 council meeting. “The numbers in the report tell one story, but I don’t think they tell the whole story about the amount of work that happened last year and about some of the things that I think New Westminster really showed leadership on in 2019.”

Johnstone highlighted the city’s efforts on climate action and housing as two areas of particular significance in 2019.

“I think the work we did on the eviction crisis was really bold and it showed a lot of leadership. The city once again showed that it is a regional leader in housing policy; that other cities around the Lower Mainland are now following that lead, I think really shows that we took a chance, we took some bold action and actually showed up,” he said. “It was meaningful to people in the community.”

After publishing the annual report in July, the city gave community members a chance to make written submissions on the report. No one had done so when council received the report at its Aug. 10 meeting.

“I want to acknowledge that staff worked really hard last year on a couple of really challenging files and brought us into a really good place. We have a lot of work to be proud of from 2019,” Johnstone said, “and 2020 is going to be something different. I know everyone is working really hard on 2020.”

By the Numbers

These are just a few of the figures contained in the City of New Westminster’s 2019 annual report:

* Unplanned power outages: 34

* Planned power outages: 71

* Bylaws adopted by council: 74

* Freedom of Information requests received: 87

* Laneway house inquiries: 95

* Number of pets adopted from the New Westminster Animal Shelter: 143

* Number of action requests responded to or completed by the engineering department: 339

* Street light repairs: 362

* Trees planted by parks and recreation: 400

* Rental units granted occupancy: 745

* Number of hanging baskets grown and planted at the city’s greenhouse: 1,250 (This includes 600 made by staff and 650 made by customers.)

* Housing units completed: 1,491

* Amount of recycling diverted from the landfill: 3,451 tonnes

* Business licences issued: 3,881

* Calls to the New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services: 5,126. (This includes 2,468 medical calls; 810 alarms activated/no fire calls; 684 public service calls; 303 motor vehicle accident calls; 195 fire calls; 58 hazardous materials calls; and two explosions.)

*Building and plumbing inspections: 14,016

* Calls for service to the New Westminster Police Department: 21,093

* New Media Gallery: 29,000 visitors to four exhibitions featuring 18 artists from nine countries

* Visitors to exhibitions at Anvil Centre, Irving House and Samson V Maritime Museum: 37,446

* Trips made by the Q to Q ferry: 79,632

* New Westminster Public Library: 322,894 visitors borrowed 634,752 items from the main and Queensborough branches

* Grants awarded by the city: city partnership grants – $493,350; festival grants – $204,041; amateur sports grants – $29,325; community grants – $63,288; arts and culture grants –  $30,000; heritage grants – $15,992; environmental grants – $20,000; and child care grants – $39,321

© New West Record