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Joint Statement - Municipal Auditor General Informal Working Group

An independent Auditor General Office will provide additional oversight of over a billion and a half in operating and hundreds of millions in capital budgets, and further support a culture of excellence through transparent, accountable review and reporting on behalf of the public.

The establishment of an independent Auditor General is an initiative of Vancouver City Council that was unanimously approved. Once in place, the IAG will be directly accountable to Council.

The legwork to develop the framework, bylaws and establishment of relevant IAG Council Committees has been conducted over the past months by an Informal Working Group of Council with support from the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation and the City Solicitor.

By its very nature, the IAG function is independent of City staff in order to maintain the integrity of the office. By necessity, the work was performed independently of staff, so it is entirely appropriate and expected that the city manager’s office would not be in a position to endorse. Accordingly, Vancouver City staff have no oversight of the function which is why concurrence of the City Manager was not sought or required for this report.

Council Working Group Quotes: (alphabetical)

“The office of the auditor gener al will fill a unique role in fostering accountability around spending, efficiencies and general stewardship of public funding and programs. We have a responsibility to ensure the office remains at arms length and fully independent of regular organizational management. The important work of this committee is to shepherd the establishment of the office of the auditor general through this process while maintaining that independence”. - Councillor Rebecca Bligh

“Our role as elected councillors is to put public interest first, the establishment of an Independent AGO compliments and supports that commitment, in a fair and unequivocal way.” – Councillor Adriane Carr

“An independent auditor general compliments the City’s existing internal audit function and annual external audit. It adds a level of transparency and accountability to ensure both high quality services and good value for money”. - Councillor Lisa Dominato

“An Auditor General office will be a great tool for our city moving forward. I think it provides an important layer of transparency and accountability for the public, and for the organization it serves a good evidence based analysis to test feasibility, practicality and cost-effectiveness of our work.” – Councillor Pete Fry

“The most fundamental characteristic and principle of the auditor general model is independence. The principle of independence means that AGO Vancouver must be independent from both City administration and City Council. This means that City administration should not control or influence the Office’s budget, staffing, or mode of reporting, and City Council should not direct the subjects to be audited or the content of audit reports”.  - Councillor Colleen Hardwick

“The fulfillment of Council’s commitment to establishing an Independent Auditor General will demonstrate we’re delivering on our promise of increased transparency at Vancouver City Hall. Having an Independent Auditor General can provide residents and businesses with assurance that public funds are being spent appropriately and that public services are being delivered effectively. I also think it’s important to recognize that Canadian cities with IAG’s across the country have demonstrated the function delivers a net positive contribution to city budgets over time.” -  Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung


Meet your new Vancouver city councillors

Newly elected officials discuss their top priorities over the next four years

"The obvious politically correct answer is to say — solve the affordability issue. But that oversimplifies a complex set of interrelated problems. I believe the key steps include a forensic audit and core review in order to determine where we stand so we can plot our course forward. This means a full, independent review of city finances to ensure tax dollars being spent responsibly and identify areas for improvement. It also means a review of city policies and programs introduced in the past 10 years to evaluate whether they are making Vancouver more liveable and affordable. This will go a long way toward restoring the public trust. Starting with the line item detail in the city’s budget, we must make transparency and disclosure the default.

Armed with the knowledge of where we stand financially, we can implement measures that address affordability by conducting a new city-wide plan that respects the nuance of neighbourhoods with a mix of densities including rental or below-market housing units, more closely aligned with incomes. Introducing new housing forms on unassembled lots will underpin these connections, enhancing how we care for the young and the old and each other. We need undertake a study to determine if our transit spending is making our housing crisis better or worse. If worse, how can we redirect that spending? None of these goals will be achieved without restored public faith in our municipal political institutions, processes, and leaders." - Colleen Hardwick

Read full article here!

The ‘Five Minute City’: A New Way to Imagine a Better Vancouver

Imagine a city where everything you need to do is just a short walk away.

By Scot Hein and Colleen Hardwick Yesterday |

What kind of city do Vancouverites want? We envision a Vancouver transformed to be the “Five Minute City.”

By this we mean a city of neighbourhoods, each home to locally owned shops and services, public amenities including parks, schools, community centres, childcare facilities, seniors centres and libraries. Neighbourhoods would include a mix of densities including rental or below-market housing units, more closely aligned with incomes, and all within a five minute walk of shopping, work, schools.

How do we achieve this fairly and democratically? That raises another question. Given that housing and transportation have emerged as top contentious issues in the current Vancouver municipal election campaign, how can we renew the city’s official community plan and radically improve the urban design process for the benefit of all Vancouverites?

Read full article here!

Hardwick to comment on Broadway subway

NPA candidate for Vancouver council Colleen Hardwick will hold a media availability and photo opportunity on Wednesday October 10 at 3 p.m. at the corner of Broadway and Arbutus streets to discuss her perspectives on the proposed Broadway subway.

Ms Hardwick has extensive experience in urban planning and city governance issues and is committed to enabling distributed density throughout the City by reactivating streetcar/surface passenger rail services in areas where there are existing right-of-ways suitable for that use, and in transit and transportation solutions in general.

Ms Hardwick provided a preliminary summary of her views about transportation and housing policy reforms in Vancouver at her election campaign launch on Sept. 5 in Olympic Village near the existing rail right-of-way (see photo) that was used during the 2010 Winter Olympics. A video clip of her remarks there can be viewed here.

Ms. Hardwick is advocating for alternatives to the proposed Broadway subway which recently increased from $2.1 billion to $2.8 billion with a proposed $700 million coming from the City.  Most cost estimates for more than doubling the length of the line to cover the extra 6.5 to 7.5 km between Arbutus Street and UBC are north of $4 billion.

Instead, she suggests that the City reactivate the Downtown Streetcar project which would support existing density on the north and south sides of False Creek, originating at the Convention Centre, swinging around Science World, proceeding  past Granville Island and up to Arbutus and Broadway. There the line would split with some trains going to UBC and others down the Arbutus Greenway and eventually to the Fraser Lands. This approach will enable distributed density throughout the city as a whole, is far less expensive and is in keeping with the legacy of the Liveable City.

Weekly Roundup - October 6th

Welcome to This Week in Hardwick Campaign Coverage, a weekly roundup of notable election highlights from the Colleen Hardwick for Vancouver City Council campaign. Look for it every week until Election Day.

Here's what you may have missed this week (Sept 30 - Oct 6):

Sunday, September 30th - Chinese Benevolent Association Dinner to celebrate the 69th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China at the Floata Seafood Restaurant - attended by Ken Sim and the NPA Team including Colleen Hardwick, Melissa De Genova, John Coupar, Sarah Kirby-Yung, Lisa Dominato, David Grewal, Rebecca Bligh, Fraser Ballantyne, Tricia Barker, Ann-Marie Copping, Oliver Hanson, and Jojo Quimpo.    

Tuesday, October 2nd - Colleen attended the University Women’s Club Women Candidates Civic Election Forum held at Hycroft Manor in support of fellow NPA candidates Rebecca Bligh and Carmen Cho. Also in attendance were incumbent City Councillor Melissa De Genova, and candidates Lisa Dominato and Ann-Marie Copping.

Wednesday, October 3rd - The Colleen Hardwick For Council Team attended the Last Candidate Standing: 2018 Vancouver Election Debate. Incumbent City Councillor, Melissa De Genova participated for the NPA. The event turned the typical debate format on its head, allowing each and every party-affiliated and independent candidate a chance to take the stage and respond to questions on key local issues. It's part politics, part game-show, and 100% fun. Colleen was en-route back from meetings in Victoria.

The Colleen Hardwick For Council Team also attended the Sunset Community Association All Candidates Forum with NPA’s John Cooper and Paul Beesla who shared their views regarding the current Park Board policies.

Later in the evening, the Colleen Hardwick For Council Team attended the Grandview Community Centre Association All Candidates Meeting at Trout Lake in support of NPA Park Board candidate Casey Crawford who answered questions and comments about the roles Vancouver’s community centres and associations have in creating a healthy, inclusive and equitable community.

Thursday, October 4th - Hosted by Maria Wells and the Colleen Hardwick for City Council team, the investment community gathered to talk civic politics at the Gramercy Grill for a Happy Hour ‘Meet & Greet’ with NPA candidate Colleen Hardwick. Thanks to all who attended!

The Meet Your Next Mayor event held at Congregation Beth Israel by the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee to engage with electoral candidates and learn about volunteering in the October 20th local election. Colleen attended together with other NPA candidates, Sarah Kirby-Yung, Rebecca Bligh and David Grewal.

The False Creek Residents Association held their 2018 Vancouver Election Q&A with Mayoral & Council Candidates at the Creekside Community Centre in Olympic Village. Ken Sim and Sarah Kirby-Yung were on the panel from the NPA, while Colleen and other NPA candidates and supporters were in the audience of 100+ residents.

At the end of the evening, Colleen attended the Director’s Guild of Canada’s Vancouver International Film Festival event to mingle with Film and TV professionals and friends. Colleen has been a member of the DGC BC District Council since 1984.

Friday, October 5th - Friday Night Supper Hosted by Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.  Ukrainian Suppers (Perogy Night in Vancouver) held on the first Friday of the month. Colleen attended with members of her campaign team.

Saturday, October 6th - Visited the Sunrise Seniors Centre with other NPA candidates including incumbent Councillor Melissa De Genova.   

Circumnavigated the City of Vancouver visiting each of the four corners from Hastings-Sunrise to West Point Grey to Marpole and Victoria-Fraserview.

Weekly Roundup - Sept. 28th

Welcome to This Week in Hardwick Campaign Coverage, a weekly roundup of notable election highlights from the Colleen Hardwick for Vancouver City Council campaign. Look for it every Friday until Election Day.

Here's what you may have missed this week (Sept 23 - Sept 28):

Sunday, September 23rd - Hosted by Steve Sach and the Colleen Hardwick for City Council team, the Film and TV Industry gathered to talk civic politics at the Elephant and Castle for a ‘Meet & Greet’ with NPA candidate Colleen Hardwick. Mayoral Candidate, Ken Sim, also made an appearance as did City Councillor, Melissa De Genova and candidates Lisa Dominato and Rebecca Bligh.

Monday, September, 24th - Colleen began the day with Ken Sim and the rest of the NPA TEAM unveiling their plan to bring transparency and accountability back to City Hall. To read the full policy visit:

Later that evening, Colleen attended an open house meet & greet with Ken Sim and other NPA candidates together with residents of the Kitsilano beach area. Ken Sim spoke about the NPA’s core policies from the rooftop looking back across the City.

Tuesday, September 25th - Colleen attended and spoke at the West Point Grey Residents Association All Candidates Meeting held at West Point Grey United Church. Colleen addressed questions regarding the need for a newed City-wide plan, affordable housing and transportation solutions.

Wednesday September 26th - Colleen took part in a press conference and rally held by the tenants of Berkeley Tower to bring attention to their critical situation, and to highlight the loopholes at the provincial and municipal government levels that contribute to the housing crisis in Vancouver.

Thursday September 27th - Together with other NPA candidates, Melissa De Genova, Lisa Dominato and Jojo Quimpo, Colleen visited the senior care community home, Villa Carital, in East Vancouver to discuss issues that are important to residents.

Colleen later attended the Vancouver Historical Society's Housing Vancouver, 1972-2017: The Long View on a Present Crisis lecture by Dr. David Ley at the Museum of Vancouver which provided a historical view on our present housing crisis. David Ley was Professor of Urban Geography at UBC from 1972-2017.

Friday, September 28th -  The *RePlan Committee of the False Creek South Neighbourhood Association invited several candidates from the NPA to participate in a two-hour "conversation" with several leaders from their community to speak about the issues facing False Creek South concerning their leases on City-owned land, a community plan to guide the area's future and a governance model to help implement the plan with strong community and City engagement.

Saturday, September 29th - Colleen will be attending the NPA Campaign Rally at Alpen Club Ballroom.  Election day is just around the corner! To keep this exciting momentum, we would like you to join us at our upcoming Campaign Rally! Hear from Ken directly and be introduced to all City Council, Park Board and School Board Candidates.

Hardwick urges Vancouver council to defer its citywide rezoning by-laws

Colleen Hardwick address City Council

Vancouver, BC - Vancouver council candidate Colleen Hardwick has urged Vancouver City Council to "press pause" on its plan for a mass rezoning of all neighbourhoods ostensibly to enable more housing through greater density.

"It is an abuse of due process to do such a major policy change as this time without adequate consultations with neighbourhood groups and while most of the councillors are leaving office and not seeking re-election," Hardwick told a public meeting of Vancouver council's Finance and Services Committee on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 19).

Hardwick agreed that some changes are needed to improve access to housing in the city but that the substance of what is being proposed is flawed and the process unconscionably rushed.

A born and raised Vancouverite with deep roots in the city, Hardwick is an entrepreneur, academic and community leader experienced in many industries and policy sectors that are critical to the well-being of the City of Vancouver. Her steadfast commitment to making a wide range of improvements to the city’s policies and practises will benefit all of its residents.

Hardwick is seeking a council seat with the Non-Partisan Association in the civic election set for Oct. 20.

Colleen Hardwick announces official launch of her campaign for Vancouver City Council


Vancouver, BC - Colleen Hardwick is pleased to announce that the official public kick-off of her campaign for a seat on Vancouver’s City Council will take place on Wednesday September 5 at 11 a.m. in Olympic Village on the corner of Walter Hardwick Avenue and Manitoba Street.

“This is a change election and I feel compelled to be part of the Change Vancouver needs, with Mayoral candidate Ken Sim and the entire NPA TEAM,” said Hardwick, one of eight council candidates nominated by the Non-Partisan Association.

“Our city is at a tipping point. Vancouverites are frustrated by affordability challenges, by the decline in core services and by the lack of accountability at City Hall, but it doesn't have to stay that way. If I have the honour to be elected on Oct. 20 I can assure everyone that I will work hard to represent the best interests of all the people of Vancouver to ensure that we can continue to live in the city we love, and also our children and children’s children.”

A born and raised Vancouverite with deep roots in the city, Hardwick is an entrepreneur, academic and community leader experienced in many industries and policy sectors that are critical to the well-being of the City of Vancouver. Her steadfast commitment to making a wide range of improvements to the city’s policies and practises will benefit all of its residents.

“During the campaign and leading up to the October 20th election, I will propose a variety of significant policy changes that I support. To illustrate the five key themes in my platform, we will take a short walking field trip through Olympic Village from Walter Hardwick Avenue to West 1st Avenue, and from Manitoba to Columbia Streets - at which everyone interested is welcome to attend.”

Learn more about Colleen Hardwick and her campaign by visiting Podcast: “Are we happy with the city as it has evolved over the last decade?”

The Non-Partisan Association, Vancouver’s oldest political party, has finally settled on a city council slate.

Six newcomers were chosen behind closed doors by the party board and mayoral hopeful Ken Sim. 

Among them is Colleen Hardwick, a former Hollywood North film producer who founded, a digital platform to consult citizens.

Read full article here!

NPA Vancouver announces City Council and Park Board candidates for upcoming municipal election

NPA Vancouver has announced the names of the City Council and Park Board candidates who will join Mayoral candidate Ken Sim on the NPA slate.

In addition to incumbents Melissa De Genova and Sarah Kirby-Yung, both of whom were previously announced as NPA candidates for City Council, the NPA candidates for City Council include Lisa Dominato (currently on School Board), Rebecca Bligh, Justin P. Goodrich, David Grewal, Colleen Hardwick, Kathy McGarrigle, and Francisco (Jojo) Quimpo.

Read full article here!