Biographies and Stories  
  Biographies and Stories

Jenny Kwan (1998 - 1999)

Jenny KwanIn 1998, Jenny Kwan became the 20th Minister of Municipal Affairs (1998-1999), and B.C.’s first Chinese-Canadian cabinet minister. Kwan presided over a round of municipal funding cuts, but made progress on outstanding issues such as revenue sharing from traffic fines and gaming. A major achievement during her tenure was the passage of Bill 31. Bill 31 legally recognized local government as an independent, responsible and accountable order of government and granted them broad corporate powers. The Bill also provided greater flexibility for public-private partnerships. In the same legislative session the government put forward the Homeowner Protection Act, which enabled regulation of the residential construction industry. The following year, Kwan presided over the second phase of the Municipal Act Reform process. Bill 88 enacted over 300 legislative amendments and provided municipalities with broad service powers. The Bill also stipulated open-meeting rules and made changes to election and election finance provisions.

Kwan began her political career as the youngest councillor in Vancouver's history. She was elected to the legislature in 1996 as the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant. She was re-elected in 2001, 2005 and 2009. Kwan acted as minister for Municipal Affairs; Women's Equality; and Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers. Since 2001, she has served as an opposition critic and caucus chair.

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“36th Parliament Members at dissolution on April 18, 2001: Hon. Jenny Kwan, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. 29 July 2008 <http://www.leg.bc.ca/Mla/36thparl/Kwan.htm>
Bancroft, Wendy, et al. Union of British Columbia Municipalities: The First Century. Vancouver, B.C.: Granville Island Publishing, 2006.
Bellett, Gerry. “Municipalities told to expect share of fines, gambling take”. The Vancouver Sun 24 Sept 1998, Final ed: B7.
British Columbia, Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Annual Report 1998-1999. Victoria: Province of British Columbia, 1999.
“Gaming Policy Agreement”. City of Vancouver Website. 6 July 1999. 5 Aug. 2008 <http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/990706/a13.htm>
McLintock, Barbara. “UBCM president praises changes to Municipal Act” The Province [Vancouver, B.C.] 5 Jun. 1998, Final ed: D48.