Follow the money on university district
Editor: I’m sure most people familiar with this dispute know what it is about.
The official story that is.
But like all things political and monetary, a closer look is necessary.
Who benefits, who might be harmed?
What makes it so important that Metro Vancouver must assert its dominion over Langley Township, after a decisive loss in the courts over the Trinity Western Univesity district?
It must be something so important that a further court loss, not to mention tens of thousands of dollars more of taxpayers’ money, would seem insignificant by comparison.
It can’t be political power or political gain, as those folks come and go quite regularly.
That leaves money. Money in the form of real estate.
Not the real estate around Langley’s university district. That will take decades to appreciate.
I’m talking about the real estate around Vancouver’s UBC, and to a lesser extent Burnaby’s SFU.
Residents in these areas form a powerful if seemingly silent lobby.
They believe their proximity to their major downtown universities justifies and maintains their property values.
This is very true.
And the very real possibility of another university district scares them.
Vancouver real estate is some of the priciest (read: best investment) in the world.
These downtown universities and the investors who covet that land are a big part of that price.
They will lobby hard to prevent Langley’s university district from going ahead.
So while Metro scrambles through the courts with assertions about this and that, do yourself a favour and remember to “follow the money.”