Dear members of the UBC community.
I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am speaking to you from the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.
Thanks to an unprecedented global effort, including leading work by UBC researchers to develop vaccines and strategies to combat COVID-19, the end of the pandemic is hopefully within reach. I am looking forward to the rhythm and vibrancy of daily life returning, and at UBC, to campuses energized by students, faculty and staff.
UBC’s impact on B.C. is vast and its roots run deep, educating the leaders of tomorrow, driving world-leading research and innovation, injecting billions of dollars into the local economy and employing tens of thousands of people as the region’s third-largest employer.
We are tackling the greatest challenges of our time—from climate change to inequality—and developing the talent required to drive B.C.’s economy.
We are connected to BC and its people in many ways, but the long-ago decision to build the Vancouver campus on the Point Grey peninsula has, over time, resulted in ever more congested roads and packed buses. It’s time to strengthen our connection by extending SkyTrain all the way to UBC’s Point Grey campus.
Better transit access to the Vancouver campus will enhance mobility, affordability, sustainability and access to education for people living throughout Metro Vancouver.
A rapid transit connection to UBC would be transformative for the region and for UBC. On a typical day, there about 80,000 people on the Vancouver campus—students, faculty and staff, residents and visitors. As anyone who has ever visited campus knows, getting to and from UBC can be a challenge.
There is currently no high-capacity rapid transit link to UBC, instead, a network of buses brings commuters from all over Metro Vancouver. The current system falls well short of meeting the demand. Every year, there are more than 500,000 pass-ups on the Broadway-UBC corridor, meaning people waiting at bus stops watch full buses pass them by.
We can change this. Planning for an extension of SkyTrain from Arbutus Street to UBC is underway and TransLink has been evaluating potential route options and station locations and is now seeking input from the community to shape the project’s future.
I encourage you to get involved by visiting TransLink’s engagement site at bit.ly/transitubc and completing the UBC Millennium Line Survey. Let’s bring SkyTrain all the way to UBC.
My unsung hero shoutout this week goes to the Faculty of Forestry’s Victoria Farahbakhchian . Victoria started the Wild Learnings Program in 2016 while she was a graduate student intern at the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest. The program offers children from ages 5 to 18 the chance to connect with forests.
Thanks to Victoria’s exceptional drive and passion, the Program enrollment has doubled every year since its inception in 2016. Thank you, Victoria for continuing to establish a sense of wonder and respect for nature in local children and youth as they grow and eventually look to their futures.
And now, for my #songsofcomfort selection this week, I’m pleased to present School of Music Adjunct Professor Elizabeth Volpé Bligh performing Rameau’s Menuet from Castor et Pollux on harp.
Stay safe and best wishes.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor