Eric's professional planning practice began shortly after receiving his Masters in Urban and Economic Geography from UBC in 1981. He spent the next 11 years working in the management consulting group of Coopers & Lybrand Chartered Accountants, rising from Associate Consultant to Senior Manager. From there he went to the City of Port Moody where he served as Director of Planning for three years before launching Eric Vance & Associates, Planning and Management Consultants. As the Director of Planning for the City of Port Moody for three years, and then as a consultant to the City since 1995, Eric has acted as the City's lead planner on a number of major award-winning developments, including Newport Village. Eric's work with the City of Port Moody on its last four Official Community Plans speaks to the longevity of his projects and relationships. Eric has also acted as a consultant to many other public and private sector organizations in Canada, including dozens of local governments throughout Metro Vancouver and the rest of BC, some of whom have been clients for many years.
Eric is a passionate advocate for advancing planning knowledge and practice and he does this through a variety of roles. He is a frequent speaker at planning conferences on planning ethics and professional conduct. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the planning program in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He was formerly a long-time Adjunct Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. Eric's commitment to SCARP went beyond his role as an Adjunct Professor. Eric served on committees that shaped new course proposals. By doing this important work, Eric helped SCARP to reach agreements on innovations that would otherwise have not come forward.
Eric has quietly and effectively provided inspiring leadership to the Canadian planning profession on ethical principles and practice. His pragmatic-not-dogmatic approach has enlightened many early and mid-career planners and has helped keep everyone on their toes over the years. As a practicing professional planner, Eric works tirelessly to build and maintain dialogue between planners, developers, academics and the larger community. He served two terms as a member of the Planning Institute of BC Council, from 1997-2001, where he took the lead in establishing the first PIBC Mentoring Program and also establishing the PIBC Professional Practice Review Committee on which he continues to serve.
Eric has served on CIP task forces, including the Ethics Task Force and rewrote/updated the Code of Professional Conduct and addressed implementation of the new accreditation system as a member of the CIP Accreditation Implementation Task Force.