Laila Yuile , City Hall

Laila Yuile is an independent writer, blogger and political commentator.

Stories

A woman goes through her belongings in an alley in Surrey. FILE PHOTO, 24 HOURS

Metro cities hapless dealing with homelessness

The morning was cold as the arrival of autumn was bringing with it low overnight temperatures. I sipped my coffee, thinking about the coming winter and our local street people.

FOTOLIA

Surrey libraries no longer just about books

On one of our frequent trips to a Surrey Public Library branch, I had time to pass while family members were enjoying a free Learn to Minecraft program. As I sat with my book at a table within view of the librarian, I admired how she happily dealt with the never-ending stream of requests for help.

Crews work to restore power in Coquitlam. BC Hydro photo

Residents should be better prepared for disaster

In the aftermath of last weekend’s damaging windstorm, the event is being heralded as a wake- up call — and rightly so. But looking back through the years since I’ve lived on the coast, I have to ask how many ‘wake-up calls’ do people need before they actually do something to prepare?

Surrey’s city officials should review impacts on neighbourhood livability when approving further development. File photo

Surrey should pace development to avoid density woes

With most city halls on break for the month of August, stories at the civic level are few and far between and it’s a perfect time to take a deeper look at some of the ongoing issues impacting residents.

The George Massey Tunnel. FILE PHOTO, 24 HOURS

B.C. keeps Richmond in the dark on Massey

With all the pet projects, contentious developments and questionable spending happening in cities across Metro Vancouver, it’s a rare day I find myself feeling sympathetic for local mayors and councils.

Vancouver needs to toughen up its tree bylaws, says Laila Yuile. FOTOLIA

Delta tree bylaw takes root

During a recent heat wave, I tweeted a photo with the comment of how grateful I was for the shade of the mature trees over an entire playground. While the photo looking up at small rays of sun peeking through interlocked tree branches overhead wasn’t remarkable, the response to it was.

The issue of really, really big homes is a hot topic in Richmond. FILE PHOTO, 24 HOURS

Monster homes shadow Richmond council

A headline caught my eye, but not because of the heated language used by a civic politician — it was the resurrection the mega-homes issue in Richmond.

Vancouver city Coun. Adriane Carr. FILE PHOTO, 24 HOURS

Vancouver lacks vision for campaign finance reform

George Carlin once said, “Scratch any cynic and you’ll find a disappointed idealist.” And I admit, after my high hopes were squashed like Vancouver Coun. Adriane Carr’s motion for financial reform of Vancouver elections — I was definitely disappointed.

Developers seem to have a lot of influence on civic politicians in Vancouver. FILE PHOTO

Take big money out of civic campaigns

Since taking on the City Hall column and paying greater attention to municipal affairs across the region, there is one concern readers have shared with me that is common to every city in Metro Vancouver.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. FILE PHOTO

Surrey LRT plans scary expensive

In the iconic movie Field of Dreams, farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice whispering every time he walks through his corn field: “If you build it, he will come.”

Mayor Greg Moore. FILE PHOTO

Regional politicians deserve our scrutiny

If you’ve ever played roulette, you might have heard the old phrase describing the popular game of chance: “Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.”

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin. CITY OF WHITE ROCK PHOTO

‘Hump’ clear cut could be tipping point

When it comes to civic affairs, the big city politics in Vancouver and Surrey often dominate the news, leaving smaller municipalities largely exempt from public scrutiny. Yet small city politics are no less compelling.

Citizens want more of a voice, not less. FOTOLIA

Cities shying away from the public

Over the last two years of writing the Duel, the lack of accountability in government at every level has come up often. But as prior City Hall writers have discovered, there’s never a lack of material when it comes to civic politics.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. FILE PHOTO

Mayors can’t afford to ignore housing

A heaping dose of irony filled me as I contemplated my first civic affairs column because well-known real estate marketer Bob Rennie was on the radio telling young Vancouverites to forget ever owning a single-family home in the city.

The province has lost cases before the Supreme Court of Canada involving union contracts. (FOTOLIA)

The Duel: Ruling just one step

Does the BC Court of Appeals ruling in favour of the provincial government over the BCTF vindicate Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals?