Straight talk

GREEN’S CARR HITS A SNAG IN MAY­ORAL BID

The Georgia Straight - - Straight talk -

Green city coun­cil­lor Adri­ane Carr ad­mits that she has suf­fered a “set­back” in her po­ten­tial bid for the may­oralty of Van­cou­ver.

Whether or not it will be the end of her ten­ta­tive plan to put her name on the Oc­to­ber 2018 bal­lot, Carr can’t say just yet.

Carr ear­lier wrote the rul­ing Vi­sion Van­cou­ver party, the Coali­tion of Pro­gres­sive Elec­tors (COPE), and Onecity to ask for their sup­port. She said she re­quested replies be­fore the start of May as to whether or not they were go­ing to run or en­dorse another can­di­date for mayor.

Ac­cord­ing to Carr, Vi­sion didn’t give an an­swer. COPE, for its part, in­formed her that it wants more dis­cus­sions with her about poli­cies, and that it hasn’t ruled out run­ning its own can­di­date. Onecity told her it isn’t ready at this time to back her be­cause the Greens have not pre­sented a plat­form.

“It’s a set­back, cer­tainly, in terms of time,” Carr told the Straight in a phone in­ter­view.

How­ever, Carr also noted that COPE and Onecity were “clear in their re­sponses” that they con­sider her a con­tender who is in the “best po­si­tion to pos­si­bly win as a may­oralty can­di­date”.

“It’s im­pos­si­ble to de­velop a plat­form un­til you’ve nom­i­nated your can­di­dates, be­cause the can­di­dates have to par­tic­i­pate in that process. So that won’t hap­pen for a while for us, un­til June, and I think for most par­ties un­til June,” Carr said. “So it does cre­ate a bit of a bind. I un­der­stand that bind, but I just can’t wait for­ever, not know­ing what the out­come might be.”

Carr said she needs to make a de­ci­sion and that this may come next week. That will be after the May 6 and 7 talks be­ing hosted by the Van­cou­ver and District Labour Coun­cil with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Vi­sion, COPE, Onecity, the Green Party of Van­cou­ver, and an­tipoverty ad­vo­cate Jean Swan­son’s team about a pos­si­ble elec­toral deal to thwart ei­ther a may­oral can­di­date or re­turn to power of the Non-par­ti­san As­so­ci­a­tion (NPA).

Asked how dis­ap­pointed she was about her fail­ure to win the sup­port of the par­ties within her time frame, Carr said: “I’m sort of more cu­ri­ous and in­ter­ested in their ex­pla­na­tion. So…at this point, I’m still, as I say, very open to run­ning for mayor, and I’m open to run­ning for mayor be­cause I’ve been urged to do it. And I feel that I would make a good mayor and I re­ally could con­trib­ute to the city that way.” Thou­sands of peo­ple have signed up to vote in the Van­cou­ver may­oral-nom­i­na­tion process of the Non­par­ti­san As­so­ci­a­tion (NPA). How­ever, they won’t find the name of for­mer Con­ser­va­tive MP Wai Young on the list of prospec­tive can­di­dates.

Young, who pre­vi­ously ex­pressed in­ter­est in rep­re­sent­ing the NPA, did not sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion for the nom­i­na­tion, ac­cord­ing to party pres­i­dent Gre­gory Baker.

Young may run with a new or­ga­ni­za­tion called Coali­tion Van­cou­ver, but Baker in­di­cated that he is “not too con­cerned” about a split in the cen­tre and cen­tre-right vote that could arise from such a move.

“Our can­di­date will be the log­i­cal choice, and I have faith in our con­stituency to sup­port the NPA,” Baker told the Straight in a phone in­ter­view.

Baker said five hope­fuls have sub­mit­ted ap­pli­ca­tions for the nom­i­na­tion: coun­cil­lor Hec­tor Brem­ner, park-board com­mis­sioner John Coupar, fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst Glen Ch­er­nen, en­tre­pre­neur Ken Sim, and engi­neer George Steeves.

Baker said all five have to go through in­ter­views by a “green-light com­mit­tee” in the com­ing days. They will be as­sessed based on fac­tors that in­clude in­tegrity and electabil­ity.

The com­mit­tee will sub­mit a re­port to the NPA board next week about who it rec­om­mends. The fi­nal list of con­tenders will be re­leased af­ter­ward; the party’s may­oral nom­i­na­tion is on May 29.

Ac­cord­ing to Baker, the NPA’S ranks have swelled from only about 100 mem­bers last sum­mer to more than 5,000 with the sign-ups this year for the may­oral race.

> CARLITO PABLO

TREE COVER BE­ING LOST TO UR­BAN DEVEL­OP­MENT More than 20 years ago, a fifth of Van­cou­ver was cov­ered by trees.

But since 1995, the city has been grad­u­ally los­ing its tree cover as prop­er­ties are cleared for new devel­op­ments. A re­port that went to the Van­cou­ver park board on April 30 notes that the ur­ban for­est canopy is “in­cre­men­tally de­creas­ing”.

“While many trees run their nat­u­ral course of life and die, the re­cent ac­cel­er­ated de­crease in ur­ban for­est canopy cover is pri­mar­ily due to the loss of trees to ur­ban devel­op­ment,” it states.

The re­port—by Nick Page and Dave Hutch, both with the plan­ning and re­search de­part­ment—re­veals that the cur­rent ur­ban for­est canopy cov­ers 18 per­cent of the city.

“A re­cent im­proved es­ti­mate in­di­cates that Van­cou­ver has lost canopy cover over the last 20 years (18% in 2014 from 20% in 1995) but for­tu­nately the rate of loss has not been as rapid as first re­ported,” the re­port says.

The ur­ban for­est en­com­passes all trees in the city, in­clud­ing those on pri­vate prop­erty. Pub­lic lands, in­clud­ing streets, are home to 63 per­cent of trees.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, about 147,000 street trees and 68,000 large­canopy park trees are main­tained by park-board work­ers. The park board does not have author­ity over trees on pri­vate land.

City hall’s plan­ning, ur­ban de­sign, and sus­tain­abil­ity de­part­ment is “re­spon­si­ble for tree pro­tec­tion, devel­op­ment plan­ning, and per­mit­ting on pri­vate land”, the re­port notes.

“Van­cou­ver’s ur­ban for­est is not equally dis­trib­uted across the city,” the re­port also ex­plains. “Neigh­bour­hoods vary from 6% to 28% canopy cover.”

The res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hoods with the least ur­ban-for­est cover are: Strath­cona, six per­cent; Down­town, eight per­cent; Sun­set, nine per­cent; and Ren­frew Colling­wood, 10 per­cent.

> CARLITO PABLO

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