Did you know Vancouver has a new Indigenous relations manager?

Katelyn Crabtree was hired in September without any pomp or circumstance

12th and Cambie

Did you know the city has a new Indigenous relations manager?

Neither did I.

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I thought maybe I missed a news release from the city. But after doing a search of my email inbox (I tend to keep everything), nothing came up. That’s because the city, which has promoted reconciliation in a big way in recent years, decided—for some inexplicable reason—not to make a big deal about the hiring in September.

Anyway, her name is Katelyn Crabtree, who replaces Ginger Gosnell-Myers, who resigned in March 2018 to focus on completing her master’s degree in public policy at Simon Fraser University and to run the mayoral campaign of Squamish hereditary chief, Ian Campbell.

Campbell, as regular readers will know, was Vision Vancouver’s candidate but withdrew from the race in September, citing “my complicated personal journey” as a reason.

I found out that Crabtree was on the job after reading a memo dated Sept. 12, 2018 from city manager Sadhu Johnston to the previous mayor and council. That memo is now public and appears on the city’s website.

I’ve alerted readers to the city manager’s memos in previous pieces in this space. Another dump of memos is now available for viewing. Don’t expect to read anything sensational or revealing but occasionally—as I discovered with the appointment of Crabtree—there is some news to report.

Before I get to some of the other news nuggets, a bit more on Crabtree…

She’s a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and most recently served as an associate at JFK Law, specializing in Aboriginal law. She also worked with the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry while obtaining her law degree.

Her role—as was Gosnell-Myers as the city’s first Indigenous relations manager—will be to “continue to work to strengthen local First Nations and Urban Indigenous relations, and embed reconciliation into the city’s processes, policies and decision-making.”

That’s what Johnston said.

What else did he say?

Well, let’s take a look at a few of the other memos…

In a memo Johnston sent to council prior to the 2018 civic election, he attached a report from chief election officer Rosemary Hagiwara. It focused on how city staff was ensuring “the integrity of voting” in the election.

Get this—the ballot tabulators used in the election and in the 2017 byelection were certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. (Insert joke here about Russia meddling in U.S. election). Hagiwara said the certification “is extremely rigorous, involving testing of all aspects of the election system by U.S. federally-certified test labs, including security protocols.”

Johnston’s memos from July to September 2018 cover a variety of topics, including an update on whether False Creek will be swimmable this year, the removal of clothing donation bins from city streets, the reinstallation of the birds sculptures at the Olympic Village and the mayor’s elevator.

The mayor’s elevator?

Last July, Johnston was keeping council up to date on why the mayor’s elevator didn’t go all the way to the top. The memo doesn’t identify how long the mayor’s elevator was out of service, but the problem with it was enough of a concern to alert councillors, who also used the elevator.

Johnston attached a letter from Paul Hsu of the city’s real estate and facilities management division, who explained something was wrong with the elevator’s motor.

“The elevator company regrets the length of time it has taken to repair this elevator and have been responsive in doing everything they are able to help expedite, but this has been one of those situations where it has been difficult to resolve,” Hsu said. “They have not stopped working on fixing the elevators since the day it was reported to them.”

The report did not mention any problems with the stairs at city hall.

I’ve got one more for you…

Remember then-mayor Gregor Robertson’s goal to become the greenest city in the world by 2020? Well, the most recent update to council on that goal shows the city has made some great gains but still has some work to do.

That would explain the memo to council last July that explained the “Greenest City Logo” would no longer include “2020” or—for some reason--“access to nature.”

Johnston: “The city has already surpassed many of the 2020 targets and are on track to achieve more by 2020. However, a few targets such as our GHG reduction of 33 per cent by 2020 will not be reached by 2020. Even with significant population growth, we are trending in the right direction and will eventually meet this target.”

That’s all for now, folks.

To read more of Johnston’s memos, go here.




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