Candidates respond to four CVN questions for Vancouver election 2018 (Mayor + Council)

Voters in British Columbia vote in civic elections on Saturday, October 20, 2018. (Official city information is here.)

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) asked the candidates for Mayor and Council to each answer four questions of great importance to all Vancouver neighbourhoods. Here are the questions and responses.

Download PDF: CVN_2018 Vancouver election responses from candidates

To ensure there is no confusion, please note that we, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) are exactly what the name says and have existed for years, and we have absolutely no association with the political party recently created for this election, named Coalition Vancouver.

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The Questions

Trust: What specific actions would you take to increase the public’s trust in Vancouver’s governance?

Participation: What specific actions would you take to increase neighbourhood participation in planning changes to their own neighbourhoods?

Affordability: What specific actions would you take to increase affordability, retain the city’s most affordable housing, and reduce homelessness in Vancouver?

Liveability: What specific actions would you take to enhance liveability in Vancouver?

Candidates were strongly encouraged to:

  • Be brief
  • Avoid generalities
  • List as bullet points the specific actions that they would commit to if elected.

The Responses

Responses to date (as of 17-Oct-2018 evening) have been received from some, but not all of the candidates. Candidate responses are listed below in alphabetic order, first for Council, then for Mayor.

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Responses by Council Candidates

Christine Boyle, One City

Trust

We believe that trust comes from keeping promises and holding fast to values. As elected Councillors, we’ll work hard to bring forward policy motions that reflect our policy, connect with and listen to Vancouverites across the city, and maintain our values.

Participation

We believe that the current consultation process could be improved. We want to work harder to reach people in their communities, and talk to all residents, not just those who are able to show up to a public hearing and speak publicly. We believe that access to the planning process could be improved through increased access to translation services, training for planners to work across cultures, and improving rates of participation for families with young children and people with disabilities.

Affordability

We have extensive policy on affordability, all viewable at http://www.onecityvancouver.ca/affordable_city. In general, it focuses on raising funds through strategic taxes like a Land Value Capture to build non-market housing on city-owned land and with non-profit and co-op partners.

Liveability

We believe that small businesses and culture organizations are central to livability, which is why we’re proposing a plan to waive property taxes for arts and culture organizations and offer differential property tax rates for independent businesses.

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Barbara Buchanan, Independent

Trust

I will and can work with everyone with respect and tolerance. I hope the council can treat each other with respect and set a tone that will inspire confidence. Once that is achieved and demonstrated it
should reflect in our decisions and raise confidence with the public.

Participation

I suggest that each council take an east side and west side area and be their champion. It will increase the contact with the neighbourhoods and the planning process.

Affordability

City land and leases can be looked at. Public private partnerships and working with the other levels of government to achieve common goals of affordability.

Liveability

Keeping the city liveable is a top priority, that includes setting the goals for affordability,
transportation which including walking, biking, driving and transit and encouraging the arts. The Arts make the city liveable and are being squeezed out. There is a shortage of studio space and housing.

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Adriane Carr, responding for Green Party candidates

Trust

If re-elected, I, along with fellow Green Councillors, will champion:

  • Putting public good, not developer or special (including partisan) interests, first
  • Full transparency in all public decision-making, including line-by-line operating budgets and making public details including pro formas regarding negotiations with developers

Participation

If re-elected, I, along with fellow Green Councillors, will champion:

  • a new, fast-tracked city-wide plan for Vancouver, to be co-created with residents, with a liveable, affordable city as its goal. The new plan will review recent city-wide zoning changes such as to the RS zones.
  • establishing neighbourhood advisory committees that will be involved in the planning and implementation of the new city-wide plan
  • new guidelines for all public engagement to authentically and democratically engage residents so their input is ultimately reflected in plans and decisions. Incorporate a focus on genuine listening, collaborative decision-making and sufficient time for public review of reports well before decisions are made so people have the time to determine if their input has been incorporated.
  • empowering communities through neighbourhood-based city planning offices that enable communities to provide input at the start of and throughout city planning processes and local land use developments.

Affordability

If re-elected, I, along with fellow Green Councilors, will champion:

  • Defining affordability in city by-laws in relation to local incomes (people paying no more than 30% of their pre-tax income on housing), not fixed to market rents as it currently is. (I’ve tried to do this before…hopefully there will be a more sympathetic set of Councillors!)
  • Setting a goal of 50% below-market-rate housing overall for all new multi-residential development, achieved through adopting the “Whistler Model” of resident-worker housing where developers produce a large share of every multi-residential development at lower cost and lower sale and rental price for local resident-workers.
  • Changing building by-laws and the building code to enable less expensive building construction and favour the retention of currently affordable older housing through providing more density for retention and much less density for demolition and new construction.
  • Allowing two or more secondary suites as incentives for retention and conversion of character homes, and changing building codes and bylaws to make it easier to build, upgrade and legalize secondary suites
  • Fast-tracking permits for construction and retrofits of affordable housing.
  • Ramping up retrofits of SRO hotels, including purchasing them if necessary.
  • Placing a moratorium on demolition of affordable purpose-built rental housing unless replacement units rent at the same affordable rates, or until new plans to protect existing affordable purpose-built rental housing are in place.
  • Prioritizing city land and negotiations with senior governments for supportive housing for the homeless, including temporary and long-term modular housing. Consider, until long-term housing is in place, establishing a sanctioned, supportive, well-serviced area for homeless campers to replace the use of doorways, streets, parks, boulevards and other public or hidden spaces.

Liveability

If re-elected, I, along with fellow Green Councilors, will champion:

  • Fast-track, and co-create with residents, a city-wide plan that has a liveable city, not a growth strategy, as its goal.
  • Require cumulative assessment impacts of growth and development on all city services and public amenities and re-adjust the need for public services accordingly. (As a Councillor, I’ve been asking for this for the last 7 years!)

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Dr. Hamdy El-Rayes, Independent

If elected I commit to:

Trust

  • Ensure public consultations on all issues that affect the community.
  • Make decisions based on the public input
  • Reply to any concerns or complaints, and immediately resolve them.

Participation

  • Hold public consultations to discuss any plans for the neighborhood.
  • Directly receive community concerns and interests regarding various issues of importance to them.
  • interact with the public on various issues

Affordability

Rental inventory:

  • Make low-rise areas Rental Zone to protect existing inventory.
  • Ban Airbnb until we have enough rental inventory.
  • Encourage having secondary suites in single home areas.
  • Encourage & support UBC of building dorms on campus to accommodate its students who occupy low-rent housing in Vancouver (50,000 students).
  • Protect seniors from demo-evictions or reno-evictions. Developer should provide a substitute apartment with the same rent or subsidize a new rental units for the evicted tenant.
  • Prioritize rental property permits

Ownership:

  • BAN selling housing properties to foreigners until needs of our citizens are satisfied.
  • Encourage coop housing
  • Lower cost of permitting and fees CACs to increase affordability
  • Audit the City to examine where its taxes are spent and lower taxes for small businesses to help them survive

Liveability

  • Increase funding of community centres, arts, increase childcare centres
  • Lower cost of transportation (Translink) by auditing the corp. and cut excesses in its spending.
    Improve green public areas in the city.
  • develop a plan to eliminate drug addictions from the city of Vancouver
  • turn the drug addiction into a health issue and focus on prevention of drug addiction.
  • provide treatment and recovery for drug addicts
  • provide substitute medication for drug addicts to weed out drug trade
  • Make police enforce the law and arrest bosses of drug dealers
  • Urge federal & provincial government to slow down immigration and temporary foreign workers to give the city enough time to digest the large immigrant numbers in the past 10 years.

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Larry Falls; Independent

If elected I commit to :

Trust – being honest and transparent when engaging with individuals and community groups.

Participation – encourage community celebrations, notifications and personal involvement.

Affordability – Rent freeze to increase higher housing density to stabilize and preserve the character of the interior of the neighbourhoods

Livability – To improve the quality of life by planning, transportation, community development, education and resilience.

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Pete Fry, Green Party

Trust

Trust can only be achieved through transparency. We call for:

  • Transparent proformas on rezonings and public benefit negotiations.
  • City budgets with clear line items.
  • Audits on affordability and performance of tax-payer subsidized housing
  • Review of third party city communications contractors
  • Reinstating third party appeals at the Board of Variance
  • Establishing a Vancouver ombudsperson
  • Improve FOI process with less r
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