What is the purpose of the University Endowment Lands Services, Structure and Governance study?

    There has been growing interest in a governance study over the past several years to determine the best way of governing the UEL. While the current model of governance and service delivery in the UEL worked when the UEL population was small, stable and self-sufficient, this structure is challenged in today’s context. Today the UEL is facing a number of pressures, including new development, redevelopment, population growth, demographic shifts, and demands for more local representation.

    I live in the UEL. How can I be involved in the study?

    There are many opportunities to be involved in the UEL study. While the survey has now closed, you can still view the recording of the initial virtual open house, ask questions on the study website or sign up for notifications (https://uelgovernance.ca). A second round of public and stakeholder engagement will happen this fall.

    How can I get more information about the UEL?

    Information about the UEL can be found on the website - https://uelgovernance.ca. Downloadable documents are also available on a variety of topics, including services and a community profile. You can also reach out by email through the site’s contact page.

    I have concerns about how a service is currently being delivered in the UEL. Where can I direct my concerns?

    The UEL Manager continues to be the best contact for questions about delivery of current services.

    What are some of the issues facing the UEL?

    The UEL is a growing community, with population increases and new development and redevelopment creating strains on the existing infrastructure, and as a result, on the delivery of essential services. This growth and change in the community has sparked renewed interest in how best to address these increased needs and identify governance structures that better suit the service needs of the UEL today.

    Why isn’t the UBC community being studied as well as the UEL?

    The UEL is an unincorporated area in Metro Vancouver that is administered by the provincial government. UBC, on the other hand, is an extensive landowner in the region. Its neighbourhoods play a key role in supporting the university’s academic mission, but residents are not as focused on governance issues as people in the UEL.

    What are the barriers to incorporating UEL as a municipality?

    The UEL has a unique governance arrangement in B.C., as it is the only urban area administered by the provincial government. Instead, for the past 100 years, the UEL has been administered by staff on behalf of the Province. This arrangement makes the process of examining governance more challenging because there are various interested parties and service providers that need to be consulted to determine paths forward. Additionally, any changes in structure of the UEL must address the challenges it faces, such as development, population growth, diversity of the tax base and infrastructure needs.

    Why doesn’t the Province just incorporate the UEL as a municipality?

    While the Province is the governing body in the UEL, services are provided by various different agreements with service providers, such as the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and TransLink, and some services are provided by the Province and the UEL directly. Transferring these responsibilities and multiple-agency accountabilities to a new municipal government is a complex process that will take time.

    A change in governance would require extensive consultation with stakeholders and partners, as well as comprehensive research to determine the most appropriate governance structure that could both benefit the UEL and its residents and address the challenges they currently face.

    Will the UEL study result in a decision being made for the future of the UEL?

    The UEL study will not directly result in a decision about the future governance of the UEL, but its findings will help to educate residents and inform provincial decision makers. The purpose of the study is to gather information about the challenges people in the UEL face in order to better understand how people and businesses might be impacted by a change in services, structure and/or governance from provincial administration to some other form of local governance. It will also give residents and service providers the opportunity to share their experiences in the UEL and to describe what they value most about it.

    Who will make the decision on the future governance structure for the UEL?

    That has not been determined yet. The UEL study is being done to gather information for the Province on the state of operations in the UEL, including comparisons to other types of service arrangements and governance structures. The provincial government will need to consider the information and perspectives gathered through the study when determining how to proceed.

    When will a decision be made for the future of the UEL?

    Once the UEL study is completed, which is expected to be in late 2021/early 2022, the results of the study will be reviewed by the Province.