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This video was made to provide insights into the Métis people and their contributions to British Columbia. Western and Northern Canada had a unique political environment for 200 years. The Hudson’s Bay Company was the legal government according to King Charles II Charter. Parliament tried several times to overturn the Charter and open the vast territory to settlement but it failed. It was only in 1858 when the West Coast statutory grant expired and finally in 1870 with the purchase by Canada that settlement could proceed. But during those intervening years, the collision of the industrializing great Britain with the hunter gatherer societies of Canada created the need for a new people that was an indigenous response to the changing needs. The ethnogenesis of this people often manifested with race people. HBC prevented its employees from becoming settlers by requiring them to return to Montreal after their contracts to get paid. They developed new cultural norms like holding land individually and excelling in communications and technology. They developed hybrid languages like Michif and Chinook Jargon. Métis people were a significant presence on the West Coast before the creation of British Columbia before 1858 and before the province joined confederation in 1871. Kumtuks is a video blog that shares knowledge and explores new narratives especially related to British Columbia. Some quotes and descriptors have been adjusted for clarity and brevity. Please subscribe if you would like to be notified of new videos. If you would like to receive commentary and invitations and support more videos https://www.patreon.com/kumtuks Sam Sullivan narrates this video. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, a former Mayor of Vancouver and Cabinet Minister responsible for Cities, Culture and Transit, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and an Adjunct… Read More »Insights Into Métis History

Insights Into Métis History

Vancouver’s First Chief Planner Gerald Sutton Brown, Chief Planner 1952-1973, represented the last of the British/London model of development in Vancouver, where development happens organically, incrementally and is resilient, responding quickly to market forces. Because of this, the price of housing remained stable despite rapid growth. The West End, the Vancouver Special, high-rise residential on the industrial waterfront and the sprinkling of townhouses, mid-rise and high-rise buildings throughout low density areas are part of his legacy. He wanted high-density living only in the most liveable areas away from arterial streets. This is why the West End, the highest density neighbourhood in the city, has mostly one storey retail with no residential on busy thoroughfares. He was born and raised in Jamaica and worked as an urban planner in England, rising to head planner of Lancashire, the second largest County in Britain after London, which contained cities like Manchester and Liverpool. He is credited with keeping UK cities functioning during the bombing of World War Two. He was hired under Mayor Fred Hume, a descendant of Royal Engineers who had been sent to British Columbia to prevent a US takeover. He wanted to hire someone from the Commonwealth to reduce the influence of US planning which had been brought in by Harland Bartholomew. Bartholomew had introduced Zoning and Comprehensive Plans to prevent market forces from bringing density to detached house areas, politicize development by freezing neighbourhoods in place, segregating them by demographic categories. The system of Comprehensive Plans for cities had been championed by the Soviet Union and had been introduced to Britain by the Labour Government shortly before Sutton Brown left. Sutton Brown developed a hybrid model called Discretionary Zoning which he described as “distinct from the United States and United Kingdom”. It harnessed the… Read More »Gerald Sutton Brown

Gerald Sutton Brown

Vancouver Development History Part IV: 1973 – Present TEAM (The Electors Action Movement) was a political organization that won Vancouver City government in 1973. Just prior to the vote, the new NPA Mayoral candidate was caught up in a scandal causing the NPA vote to implode. Although the TEAM vote remained less than was historically required it was enough to elect a Mayor and 8 Councillors. From 1952 to 1973, the most respected voice in City Hall was Gerald Sutton Brown, born and raised in Jamaica, responsible for Britain’s second largest city through World War II, he brought a British Commonwealth approach that was very different from US cities. His West End, Vancouver Special and high density residential on the industrial waterfront with public walkway does not have equivalents in the US. He ensured city development responded quickly to market forces so the price of housing remained affordable. TEAM candidates were among the academic and managerial elite of the city and they brought about such a sea change in Vancouver history that we can consider we are still in the TEAM Era. Their first acts were to fire Sutton Brown and downzone the West End and they introduced processes to ensure there would be no more loss of single detached house neighbourhoods. They brought this approach to Metro Vancouver and rejected numerous reports from economists and the real estate industry warning this would lead to rising house prices and other dysfunctions. Today there are less people living in most residential neighbourhoods than in 1973, even while many of the smaller old houses were demolished and replaced with much larger ones. TEAM brought new direction to Vancouver by supporting a federal Just Society LIP Grant for people living in low income SRO hotels around the downtown.… Read More »The TEAM Era

The TEAM Era

The Progressive Movement arose in the late 1800s in the US. It was a reaction against the corruption and incompetence that came out of earlier democratic reforms. Science, technology and professionals were revolutionizing life; people were hopeful about applying these to civic government.

History of British Columbia Cities: Second Wave Urban Reform