“In the past three decades Canada has become an increasingly urban country. 82% of Canadians now live in urban communities, yet we have no national urban strategy let alone a ministry of urban affairs to look at our country's challenges and opportunities through an urban lens. Our senior levels of government continue to fail Canadians with this incredible oversight. As the Green Party's new Critic for Urban Affairs and Housing I will work in Parliament to strengthen the working relationship between Ottawa and municipalities to ensure that the challenges and opportunities our cities and regions face will receive the type of resources, engagement and partnership a 21st century Canada requires.”
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Background: Wes Regan
Wes Regan has called Vancouver home for nearly twenty years, the majority of which he has lived in communities on the city’s Eastside. An urban geographer, community economic development leader, environmentalist and instructor, until recently he was the founding Executive Director of the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association (HxBIA). As Canada’s first Social Innovation Business Improvement Association Wes’s work with HxBIA involved: overseeing the development of a range of socially inclusive community programs, engaging in advocacy for small businesses and social enterprise, reducing carbon footprints of businesses and industries, supporting the cultural vibrancy and accessibility of public spaces, and developing numerous partnerships with non-profits, government organizations and the private sector to create low-barrier jobs.
As Executive Director of HxBIA he also served on the City of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside Local Area Planning Committee, and was Chair of the Vancouver BIA Partnership’s local economic development committee, which engages multiple levels of government on policy issues affecting the economic health of communities and commercial districts throughout the city.
Wes is a part-time Instructor at Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development, and a part-time Course Facilitator and Mentor at Groundswell, a grassroots “alternatives to business” school.
Passionate about food security and green collar job creation, Wes is a co-founder of an award winning green tech company, Urban Stream, which develops food systems technology to aid in urban food scraps diversion. He is also a founding director of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society, a capacity building, research and policy advocacy organization that engages communities and government in the interest of building a more inclusive and sustainable food system, and supporting commercial urban food growers.
Wes has received extensive training in community development and urban studies including an Associate's Degree in Geography from Langara College, a B.A. in Urban Geography from Simon Fraser University where he also completed the Certificate for Community Economic Development Professionals. He is currently completing his Master's in Urban Studies at Simon Fraser.
Wes’s thoughts on urban issues, technology, sustainability, housing and Canadian politics have been featured in the Vancouver Observer, National Observer, Georgia Straight and TechVibes. In his spare time he enjoys tour cycling, climbing up into the hills surrounding the lower mainland, and relaxing on the Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast with his wife of 11 years Bronwen.