LETTER OF THE WEEK: FONVCA is ‘mainly an information sharing forum’
The Aug. 30 article “Inside the North Shore’s community associations” paints an inaccurate picture.
Having said that, we sympathize with your reporter, since the Federation of North Vancouver Community Associations (FONVCA) had no full-time chair, staff or spokesperson to respond officially to his questions.
The issue described in your article arose because DNV had for many years a set of criteria for Community Associations (CAs) to obtain official recognition by DNV.
While FONVCA’s documents referenced the criteria as both for FONVCA and DNV, FONVCA has no authority, mandate, jurisdiction or resources to police the criteria and never agreed to do so.
In fact, FONVCA’s written mandate makes clear that FONVCA has no authority over CAs. FONVCA is mainly an information-sharing forum.
DNV council decided in-camera in July to cease its oversight of CAs. We believe that it was mainly infighting between two community associations that caused council’s action.
The unattributed claim that FONVCA has inserted itself into politics between CAs and DNV has no basis in fact and ignores both FONVCA’s actual practices and lack of authority over CAs.
As to some unidentified group trying to “unseat” FONVCA, this is news to us, but in any event it would have to have a seat first – some role with both recognition and authority – to be unseated from.
To suggest that present day FONVCA acts as “an unelected shadow council” is, in our opinion, ridiculous, and as with all these accusations, lacks evidence. FONVCA has no such authority, mandate or legislative powers, nor does it seek such.
The accusation completely misrepresents FONVCA’s role. All its meetings are open to the public and councillors sometimes attend. The minutes of every meeting are on the FONVCA website. Some “shadow council.”
The statement that FONVCA meets in “district hall chambers” (i.e. council chambers) is false, and would hardly be evidence of a “shadow council,” even were it true.
FONVCA, like some 15 other community groups (year-to-date), meets in various District hall meeting rooms, because it is convenient, cost effective and facilitates DNV staff attendance.
Comments attributed to a member of the Capilano Gateway Association that FONVCA is “dangerous” and “dysfunctional” are inaccurate, and arise, in our view, due to a misunderstanding of the mandate of FONVCA and CAs.
We encourage those dissatisfied with FONVCA or CA processes to formally present their proposals for improvement to their CA (or FONVCA if about FONVCA) for a vote by the respective organization’s members, before complaining to newspapers or elected officials.
Such a co-operative and democratic process will, we believe, prove more effective. For more information about FONVCA, visit fonvca.org.
Brian Platts, John Hunter, Corrie Kost, Lorraine Harvey, Bill Tracey, Eric Anderson, Peter Thompson, Diana Belhouse, David Knee,