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Massey Victory Heights Residents Association recognizes and acknowledges the Qayqayt First Nation, as well as all Coast Salish peoples, on whose traditional and unceded territories we live, we learn, we play and we do our work

Massey Victory Heights Residents Association in the News

Massey Heights Hurrah this Sunday
New Westminster News Leader
September 9, 2015

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The Massey Victory Heights Residents’ Association (MVHRA) is pleased to announce Derrick Thornhill of Park Georgia Realty as the title sponsor for the 9th Annual Massey Heights Hurrah, a neighbourhood block party. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, September 13. In addition to Derrick Thornhill, several businesses at the Crest Shopping Plaza are sponsors, including Maxxam Insurance, Pharmasave and Scotiabank. Save-on-Foods in Sapperton is the BBQ sponsor and will provide hamburgers and hot dogs for sale.

“It’s local businesses like these that make our Massey Heights Hurrah possible,” says Jason Lesage, president of the MVHRA. “Good businesses know that supporting local, community organizations and events is good for the bottom line. Our sponsors are outstanding leaders in the business community, and I encourage residents to support and patronize them.”

All revenue raised from the sale of the hamburgers and hot dogs will go towards the F.W. Howay Parent Advisory Council, which will use the funds for school activities and other programs and services for students. The Scotiabank branch at the Crest has pledged to double all revenue raised from the sale of hamburgers and hot dogs.

The Massey Heights Hurrah will have several activities for kids, including a bouncy castle, face painting, a mini-soccer game and an arts and crafts table provided by the Arts Council of New Westminster. There will also be tables and chairs set up for people to sit down and have lunch.

The 9th Annual Massey Heights Hurrah will take place at Westburnco Park (the grassy area beside the Westburnco tennis/basketball courts on Churchill Avenue) from 1:00 – 4:00 pm on Sunday, September 13.

Creating an online community telephone pole in New West
New Westminster News Leader
April 29, 2015
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New Westminster residents have a new, high-tech way to communicate with their neighbours about local issues, events or simple needs like finding a lost cat or getting a babysitter recommendation.

Imagine Facebook tacked to a telephone pole.

That's kind of the premise behind Neighbourhoods, a free private community communication platform created by PlaceSpeak. The company has partnered with the city of New West to launch Neighbourhoods for each of the city's 11 defined neighbourhoods such as Massey Victory Heights, West End, Quayside, Queen's Park and Brow of the Hill.

The service allows neighbours to connect privately with each other within the boundaries of their neighbourhood using an online Geosocial platform. After registering and creating a profile on the PlaceSpeak website, users are verified and then placed into their appropriate neighbourhood site. They can then use the platform to raise issues of hyperlocal concern, organize neighbourhood events or meetings, find a nearby babysitter, locate a lost pet.

It's not unlike the way people used to post notices on wooden telephone poles, but with the added electronic component of also being able to communicate with each other.

Jason Lesage, the president of the Massey Victory Heights Neighbourhood Association, said New West's emerging demographic of younger professionals makes the city an ideal proving ground for this high-tech community bulletin board.

"They're more attuned to communicating online," said Lesage, who sees the service as an adjunct to online tools he already uses extensively like Facebook, Twitter and email to alert members of his association of happenings in their neighbourhood.

He said those online connections have helped make his "sleepy" residential neighbourhood one of the most active associations in the city. It's also not afraid to take on divisive issues like the upcoming transit referendum.

"This is a great way to raise an issue," said Lesage. "Issues that are current and have an impact on liveability, that's what really engages people."

Colleen Hardwick, the CEO of PlaceSpeak, said "All too often we hear that people don't know who lives on their own block. There's a lot of hyperlocal information that can be shared online."

For details go to

© Copyright New Westminster NewsLeader 2015

New West garage sale season kicks off in a big way this weekend
New Westminster Record
April 28, 2015
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Treasure hunters ventured to Queen's Park Arena for last weekend's antiques and collectibles sale, but they'll be searching for treasures at garage sales and flea markets this weekend. The first of New Westminster's neighbourhood wide garage sales is set for Saturday.   Photograph By Jennifer Gauthier

A trio of big sales are kicking off garage sale season in New West.
New Westminster is home to a number of neighbourhood-wide garage sales, with the first one set for this weekend.
First out of the gate this year is the Massey Victory Heights Residents’ Association’s 10th annual neighbourhood garage sale on Saturday, May 2 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A list of participating households will be posted at prior to the big event.
Two other sales are set for this weekend, and while they’re not neighbourhood wide, they’re bound to features some deals for bargain hunters.
The Royal City Gogos are hosting a Grandma’s Attic Sale that features household items, décor and collectibles, sports equipment, costume jewelry, board games, office supplies and much more. It’s taking place on Saturday, May 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Unifor Hall, 326 12th St.
Saturday is also the day the New Westminster Downtown Residents’ Association is holding an indoor flea market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Holy Trinity Cathedral, 514 Carnarvon St.
The Record  would love to see what deals you find when you’re out hunting for treasures. Take a photo of you and your treasure and tag NewWestRecord on Instagram and include #NewWestTreasures.
In the coming weeks, bargain hunters from around Metro Vancouver will be descending on New Westminster is search of treasures at neighborhood garages sales.
The Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Yard Sale, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, is on Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. During their search for deals, the thousands of shoppers who descend on the Queen’s Park neighbourhood will find groups offering beverages or snacks for sale throughout the neighbourhood.
Realtor Dave Vallee supports this yard sale, so you’ll find the list of participants at
Next up is the Glenbrooke North Residents’ Association’s 16th annual garage sale, which is set for the Father’s Day weekend – Saturday, June 20. A list of participating households will be found at
Last, but certainly not least, is the Quayside Festival and Sale, which takes place along New Westminster’s waterfront esplanade on Saturday, Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Along with nearly 200 tables packed with new and used items, shoppers will find food offerings and entertainment. For more information, visit

© 2015 New West Record
New West ground zero for community pilot project
New Westminster Record
April 27, 2015
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Screenshot: what a resident who lives in the Massey Victory Heights area would see if they logged into their account.   Photograph By Contributed

A Vancouver-based business has decided to make the Royal City its testing grounds for an online platform that aims to connect people with their neighbours. 

PlaceSpeak, a company that specializes in uniting people and places via the Internet, has launched  “Neighbourhoods” in 11 New West neighbourhoods. 

The free service works similar to LinkedIn and Facebook, where users create an online profile. Unlike other social media sites, PlaceSpeak asks questions relevant only to one’s address. The website then pools together users who live in the same geographical boundaries, providing key features like a community notice board and an events calendar once logged in. Any communication between registered residents is kept private.  

"Up until now, online has been anonymous and not place-based," said CEO Colleen Hardwick. "We're trying to change that, to make it so people can choose to connect with their neighbours and message them, and do the kind of things neighbours do." 

Hardwick added the online platform could be useful when it comes to simple things like finding lost pets, borrowing power tools or recommending babysitters. Ultimately, she said, the goal is to promote more community engagement.

"It's about the cross pollination between different kinds of topics that will encourage people to become more involved. Someone may have come in for the transportation consultation, but maybe there's something else that's relevant in their neighbourhood, like a school closure."

Excited about the pilot project is Jason Lesage, president of the Massey Victory Heights Residents' Association, one of the 11 participating associations.

"It's just another layer of reaching out to residents," he said. "The demographic is changing. There are a lot of younger professionals who are moving to the city and they tend to be more inclined to be on social media."

Lesage told the Record he'll be using the online tool to spread the word about the various events going on throughout the year, like the upcoming neighbourhood garage sale. 

The platform, however, is only as strong as its numbers, he said, arguing the more people that sign up, the better.

Asked why people don't take the time to know their neighbours, Lesage said it's a "21st century condition" caused by busy lifestyles.

Hardwick echoed much of the same, but listed immigration as another possible reason.

"You don't have a lot of historical neighbourhoods (left), which is one of the reasons we wanted to start with New West, because it does have historical longterm neighbourhoods," she said. "I know quite a number of people there whose families have been there over 100 years."

Another contributing factor to the disconnect between residents is population growth, according to Hardwick.

"When you've got people living in more and more condos and high-rise apartments, people don't know the people on their floor, let alone in their building," she noted.

When it comes to privacy, Hardwick said her company has a strict vetting process, with all personal information kept confidential. Understanding that some may not feel comfortable with providing an address to avoid target advertisements, she said PlaceSpeak is no such platform. 

Neighbourhoods is set to launch in other communities across Canada over the next few weeks. That all depends, though, on which fit the criteria. A neighbourhood should be no more than 1,000 households, Hardwick said.

"If you get too big, then it's not going to have that neighbourhood feel." 

To register, visit PlaceSpeak was developed with support from the National Research Council of Canada, and was adopted by the City of New Westminster in 2012.

© 2015 New West Record
Letter-to-the-editor: How the Yes side swayed me to vote No
New Westminster Record
March 23, 2015
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How the Yes side swayed me to vote No

Dear Editor

I was at the Massey Victory Heights Residents Association meeting addressing the association's view on the transit referendum.

If I had any doubts about how I would vote, despite the fact that there was no No side representative, I made up my mind during the meeting. And it was the Yes side representative, Chuck Puchmayr, who swayed me to vote No.

If ever there was an example of the stereotypical politician, Puchmayr is it; he can't give a straight answer to a simple question. Most of his time was spent blaming the Liberals for TransLink, with particular zeal at bashing Kevin Falcon. He went on to say if we wanted to fix TransLink, the opportunity would be in 2017 (referring to the next provincial election).

Participants asked if the current plan was the only solution. Puchmayr suggested that this was the last hope for a solution. Give me a break! There will be many more proposed solutions before our municipal misfits come up with an executable solution, which you can bet will change again before a shovel is in the ground. And then change again after shovels are in the ground.

If, as Mr. Puchmayr said, Metro Vancouver creates 50 per cent of the provincial GDP, then I would say the mayors have a huge bargaining chip in discussions with the provincial government. Maybe they should use that clout!

There were comments from Chuck about union members being better builders (referring to the chunks of concrete falling from the Pattullo) and Pattison being a good choice for an audit chair because he hired GlenClark. Sounds more like Glen Clark had an epiphany and realized being a capitalist was much better for his family than being a union organizer - talk about a flip-flop.

All I learned from the meeting is that finger pointing is apparently a profession, along with double talk. At least I will not have doubts when I vote No!

Let's hope the mayor and council can figure out a way to fix our terrible traffic issues - one solution is to get the traffic from cutting right through the middle of our beautiful city. I vote no Pattullo in its current location. Put it where it can link directly to Lougheed Highway and Highway 1.

Larry Hill, New Westminster

© 2015 New West Record

New West residents accociation votes No
New Westminster News Leader
March 21, 2015
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New West residents association votes No

A New Westminster residents association has eschewed the opinion of numerous organizations in the city backing the proposed regional transit congestion tax and opted to support the No side.

The Massey Victory Heights Residents Association (MVHRA), at a meeting last Wednesday, decided against giving their blessing to the Metro Vancouver mayors' transit and transportation council's plan. A mail-in plebiscite is currently being conducted to determine if the region supports a .5 per cent sales tax in the region to pay its share of the $10 billion plan.

MVHRA president Jason Lesage said 41 of 127 eligible voters cast a ballot with 31 voting against the plan.

"It's an issue that impacts all our residents, not just in Massey Victory Heights but across New Westminster," said Lesage.

He tried to organize a debate between the two sides, but although he sent invitations to five people in the last few weeks, no one from the No side made themselves available. Coun. Chuck Puchmayr presented the Yes side before the vote. However, he felt the outcome was a done deal prior to the meeting.

"The Massey one was decided before I even got there," said Puchmayr, who pointed out several proxy votes were included in the tally.

Lesage said of the 16 proxy votes, 12 opted for No. That's basically the same proportion as it was for those voting at the meeting (19 of 25).

"There could be a few people who may not be happy with the result of this vote, however, this was a democratic exercise that was available to all residents in Massey Victory Heights," Lesage said in a press release. "It was open and fair, and members spoke loud and clear that the majority don't support the Mayors' Council Transportation and Transit Plan."

In an interview, Lesage said the outcome didn't surprise him because it seemed to be representative of the concerns being raised across the city and the region. He personally sided with the minority and voted Yes, even though he has the same concerns about TransLink transparency and accountability the plebiscite's opponents have.

Puchmayr said the nay sayers, led by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, are making hay by claiming TransLink are crooks, and that strategy is by design. He added the campaign is eerily similar to those in the United States on environmental issues backed by big oil company supporters.

"It's a more sophisticated campaign than people even see. They don't have solutions. Their solutions are clear - buy a car and use fossil fuels," said Puchmayr. "That's the only thing you're going to get out of a No campaign.

"They're going to shoot themselves in the foot just because they're angry."

The Queensborough Residents Association last month voted to back the Yes side in the plebiscite while other residents associations have ruled their constitutions don't allow for a vote on the issue. The Glenbrooke North association meeting on Thursday (March 26) has a motion on its agenda to endorse the plan and support a Yes vote in the plebiscite. Coun. Patrick Johnstone will lead an information session on the topic. The meeting will be held in the Plaskett Room at the New Westminster Public Library starting at 7 p.m.

© Copyright New Westminster NewsLeader 2015

Massey Victory Heights residents vote against transit plebiscite
New Westminster Record
March 20, 2015
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Massey Victory Heights residents vote against transit plebiscite

MVHRA logo

It wasn’t unanimous, but the Massey Victory Heights Residents’ Association, by and large, has voted against the upcoming transit referendum.

Residents of the affluent New Westminster neighbourhood gathered Wednesday night to vote on the mayors’ council’s $7.5-billion transportation plan. Out of 41 members in attendance, 31 did not approve of the current proposal, prompting the MVHRA to officially take a stance against the 10-year plan.

“This was an important vote for our residents’ association,” said MVHRA President Jason Lesage in a statement. “It’s critical to gauge the opinion of residents in the neighbourhood and help shape our position on important issues that have a direct impact on those residents.”

Coun. Chuck Puchmayr was on hand to represent the Yes side, while none of the five invited guests from the No side appeared at the meeting.

He attributed the overwhelming opposition to several factors, including proxy votes – which, alone, outnumbered the 10 people who voted in favour – and fearmongering from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“I think that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s misleading campaign, trying to vilify TransLink, has really taken root,” he told the Record. “They all seemed to come armed with those same arguments that are being made by the CTF.”

Puchmayr cited criticism from the CTF over the salary of TransLink CEO Doug Allen compared to other jurisdictions, arguing that other transportation managers don’t have the same level of responsibility or as vast of jurisdictions to cover.

However, he admitted residents have a legitimate gripe with the appointed governance structure of the transit authority.

“I don’t think many people support a TransLink board which was handpicked by the provincial government in 2007,” he said.

“My comment to the people that were really angry at TransLink was that there’s a referendum on TransLink coming up in the provincial election in 2017. That is the avenue for them to express their opposition to the provincial government’s establishment of TransLink and hopefully get a government in place that is going to bring some democracy back into our transportation planning infrastructure.”

At the meeting, Puchmayr noted the mayors’ council’s plan is the first time since 2007 that transportation infrastructure has been planned by elected officials as opposed to the TransLink board.

Nonetheless, he said it’s likely that many Massey Victory Heights residents don’t rely on public transit, which he felt swayed the vote out of the mayors’ council’s favour.

“There didn’t seem to be an appetite from some people about any kind of additional tax,” he said. “They really didn’t see the benefits that reducing single occupancy vehicle growth into our city would have on their quality of life.

“It’s a great plan for the environment, it’s a great plan for future growth, but people there were more content with voting against it and I guess accepting there are probably going to be some dire consequences in the very near future as a million more people move into the region.”

© 2015 New West Record

News Release: Massey Victory Heights Residents’ Association Members
Vote No on the Transportation Plebiscite

March 19, 2015

New Westminster, B.C. – At a special meeting held last night by the Massey Victory Heights Residents’ Association (MVHRA), members voted No on the transportation plebiscite. Members were asked the following yes/no question: do you support the Mayors’ Council Transportation and Transit Plan? Members voted 31 No vs. 10 Yes. Following this result, the official position of the MVHRA is to not support the Mayors’ Council Transportation and Transit Plan.

“This was an important vote for our residents’ association,” says Jason Lesage, President of the MVHRA. “It’s critical to gauge the opinion of residents and help shape our position on important issues that have a direct impact on those residents. There could be a few people who may not be happy with the result of this vote; however, this was a democratic exercise that was available to all residents in Massey Victory Heights. It was open and fair, and members spoke loud and clear that the majority don’t support the Mayors’ Council Transportation and Transit Plan.”

A total of 41 votes were cast, out of 127 eligible voters.

Representatives from the Yes and No sides were invited to attend and answer questions from residents. New Westminster city councillor Chuck Puchmayr represented the Yes side. Although the MVHRA sent invitations to five people in the last few weeks, no one from the No side made themselves available to attend.