On June 24th, the Government of B.C. passed a new legislation that will have a major impact on UBC’s Vancouver campus. Bill 20 transfers the responsibility for approving land use plans for the bulk of UBC’s Vancouver campus lands from the Metro Vancouver regional government (GVRD) to the Minister of Community and Rural Development, who will consult with the Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development.
This legislation affects only those lands owned by UBC that are located in Metro Vancouver’s Electoral A. This comprises the bulk of UBC’s Vancouver campus but does not include the University Endowment Lands, the University Golf Course or Pacific Spirit Park.
What does all this mean?
Modulo an oversight from the provincial Ministry, this practically puts the UBC Board of Governors in charge of determining the land use policy for campus, and of acting as the local government starting with the consultation process and public hearings –just like any municipality– and ending with the development, management, and administration of the UBC property, and its revenues.
This is a huge set of new responsibilities for the BoG, and I must admit that I am a bit nervous about being on the body where now the buck stops vis-a-vis this hugely transformational and irreversible process.