HOT TOP­ICS 2018

As Van­cou­ver res­i­dents pre­pare to choose a new mayor on Oct. 20, seven may­oral can­di­dates and three par­ties vy­ing for coun­cil seats share where they stand on key is­sues fac­ing the city, in­clud­ing hous­ing, trans­porta­tion and the over­dose cri­sis.

Vancouver Sun - - FRONT PAGE -

Van­cou­ver res­i­dents will choose a new mayor and coun­cil in the Oct. 20 elec­tion. To help vot­ers choose among an un­usu­ally high num­ber of can­di­dates, city colum­nist Dan Fu­mano has com­piled brief sum­maries on where they stand on key is­sues fac­ing the city. The re­sponses were sub­mit­ted by seven top may­oral can­di­dates and three par­ties run­ning coun­cil can­di­dates, and have been edited for clar­ity and length.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

Van­cou­ver’s cur­rent plan is 91 years old and does not al­low mod­ern forms of hous­ing in 75 per cent of the city. Van­cou­ver is way be­hind com­pa­ra­ble cities in terms of process and tech­nol­ogy. Yes Van­cou­ver wants to rev­o­lu­tion­ize the way hous­ing is planned, zoned and ap­proved in Van­cou­ver.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

While the tax is gen­er­at­ing some rev­enue for so­cial hous­ing, the 25,000 homes that were ap­par­ently empty have not ma­te­ri­al­ized and lo­cal res­i­dents are be­ing trapped in com­plex and in­va­sive au­dits. Yes Van­cou­ver wants to re­view it and fo­cus on build­ing mid­dle-class hous­ing.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

Yes Van­cou­ver says it ap­pre­ci­ates the angst about the re­cent re­zon­ing of sin­gle-fam­ily neigh­bour­hoods to al­low du­plexes. Coun. Brem­ner voted for it as den­sity was kept within the cur­rent lim­its for homes with base­ment suites and laneway houses, so this is not a big change. It al­lows for more af­ford­able home own­er­ship op­tions in Van­cou­ver be­yond mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar houses.

OVERDOSECRISIS

Van­cou­ver needs to rein­vest in the Four Pil­lars of­fice at City Hall and Yes Van­cou­ver will sup­port pro­grams that re­place street drugs with safer al­ter­na­tives so long as it moves peo­ple to care and long-term treat­ment. No-bar­rier hous­ing is crit­i­cal to this, there­fore Yes Van­cou­ver will en­sure sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in this area.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

The plan must in­clude hous­ing and jobs along the line that can both en­sure this ma­jor in­vest­ment is cap­i­tal­ized on and funded. That in­cludes look­ing to UBC and en­sur­ing Van­cou­ver has a plan to tap eq­uity in the sur­round­ing area to help raise money to com­plete the line.

GOV­ER­NANCE

The elec­toral sys­tem is fine, Yes Van­cou­ver says, Van­cou­ver res­i­dents just need to stop pass­ing de­ci­sion­mak­ing to only two core groups: left and right, or Vi­sion and the NPA. The city needs fresh per­spec­tives that come from out­side the stan­dard po­lit­i­cal think­ing.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

The pol­i­tics over the last 10 years have been very di­vi­sive as Van­cou­ver was not al­lowed the hous­ing forms needed to sup­port ac­tive trans­porta­tion, but good trans­porta­tion and good plan­ning are linked. Van­cou­ver needs a city plan that peo­ple feel en­gaged in, in or­der to build a city that makes them less re­liant on a car.

TAX­A­TION

The city needs to con­duct a re­view to en­sure it’s spend­ing tax­payer dol­lars wisely, to im­ple­ment a new city plan that taps new rev­enue streams, and to split res­i­den­tial from com­mer­cial (small busi­ness) and non-profit prop­erty as­sess­ments. This would level out tax in­creases and get the city back on a healthy fi­nan­cial track.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

ProVan­cou­ver would re­quire 50 per cent ren­tals for all new builds, use rental-only zon­ing around tran­sit cor­ri­dors, build larger tem­po­rary mod­u­lar hous­ing units to ac­com­mo­date fam­i­lies, switch co-ops to five-year au­to­matic re­newals af­ter the first 50 years, build more co-ops and so­cial hous­ing. Max­i­mum so­cial hous­ing rents should be set at 30 per cent of me­dian house­hold pre-tax in­come.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

Mod­ify the tax to have a laser fo­cus on spec­u­la­tors. In­crease the tax on a grad­u­ated scale, heav­ily in­creas­ing for prop­er­ties over $5 mil­lion. Cred­its would be grad­u­ated, so that af­ter 20 years of liv­ing in the home, the tax would be zero for res­i­dents who have lived in their com­mu­nity for close to a gen­er­a­tion.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

ProVan­cou­ver op­poses the city’s re­cent re­zon­ing of sin­gle-fam­ily neigh­bour­hoods to al­low du­plexes, ar­gu­ing there was in­suf­fi­cient com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion and no com­mu­nity plan was done. Most of Van­cou­ver’s sewer, wa­ter, and elec­tri­cal util­i­ties and street widths were based on sin­gle-fam­ily homes with low den­sity. In­creas­ing den­sity with­out up­grad­ing in­fra­struc­ture and ameni­ties first isn’t smart.

OVER­DOSE CRI­SIS

ProVan­cou­ver would in­crease the amount of tem­po­rary mod­u­lar hous­ing and push to de­crim­i­nal­ize drug use as in the Nether­lands. ProVan­cou­ver would also em­ploy other ther­a­pies, such as Beauty Night So­ci­ety’s long-stand­ing method of build­ing self-es­teem through well­ness, life skills and makeovers.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

It should go all the way to UBC. Stop­ping at Ar­bu­tus is il­log­i­cal. For a more af­ford­able op­tion, switch­ing to hy­dro­gen fuel cell elec­tric buses will keep costs down and in­crease ca­pac­ity with­out trol­ley wires. The hy­dro­gen fuel cell can be swapped out faster than recharg­ing times needed for bat­tery-pow­ered buses.

GOV­ER­NANCE

Be­fore tin­ker­ing with es­tab­lished elec­toral sys­tems, ProVan­cou­ver wants to work on re­con­nect­ing city hall to the peo­ple. ProVan­cou­ver is com­mit­ted to hold­ing town hall meet­ings once a year in all 23 sub­dis­tricts of Van­cou­ver as two-way, face-to-face com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the res­i­dents and coun­cil.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

Bike lanes are needed, but not on ar­te­rial routes. Idling cars cre­ate more ex­haust than cars mov­ing from start to des­ti­na­tion. All fu­ture bike in­fra­struc­ture would be part of the com­plete com­mu­nity plan that in­cludes plan­ning rec­om­men­da­tions, com­mu­nity and user in­put.

TAX­A­TION

Lower taxes with­out lower ex­penses leads to deficits, bor­row­ing and in­creased li­a­bil­ity on the tax­payer. A com­plete au­dit of the fi­nances, pro­grams and pri­vate con­tracts re­view is needed, plus a switch from in-kind de­vel­op­ment amenity trans­fers to cash-only de­vel­op­ment fees to nor­mal­ize fi­nances, then lower taxes if pos­si­ble.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

Van­cou­ver 1st is com­mit­ted to build­ing af­ford­able rental hous­ing on city-owned land that will be tar­geted at cost­ing the ten­ants monthly rents of $400, $900 and $1,300, for a bach­e­lor, one- and two-be­d­room unit, re­spec­tively.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

Van­cou­ver 1st has pledged to re­move the empty homes tax, say­ing it is in­ef­fec­tive and pun­ishes those it was not in­tended to tax. Van­cou­ver 1st has also pledged to file a law­suit against the NDP govern­ment to fight and end the new school tax sur­charge on prop­er­ties val­ued at more than $3 mil­lion.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

Den­sity must be un­der­taken care­fully. Van­cou­ver 1st is pledg­ing to re­voke Vi­sion’s mis­guided mass re­zon­ing pol­icy to al­low du­plexes (in sin­gle­fam­ily neigh­bour­hoods). Van­cou­ver 1st has also com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing a com­pre­hen­sive of­fi­cial city plan so that there is a clear and trans­par­ent plan with a new core of den­sity to be es­tab­lished in south Van­cou­ver.

OVER­DOSE CRI­SIS

Van­cou­ver 1st will fo­cus on treat­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. It in­tends to build a state-of-the-art men­tal care fa­cil­ity on city prop­erty with more than enough beds for to­day and to­mor­row, be­cause so much of ad­dic­tion and street liv­ing is caused by an in­ad­e­quacy in men­tal health ser­vices. Vi­sion and the NDP have failed these peo­ple.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

Van­cou­ver 1st wants the sub­way to go all the way to UBC. The party wants a bored tun­nel; not cut-and­cover. Be­cause it will ex­tend to UBC, which will ben­e­fit greatly from it, it should pay a suit­able por­tion of the fi­nal bill.

GOV­ER­NANCE

Van­cou­ver 1st wants more voices added to the de­bates. The prov­ince’s new elec­tion fi­nance laws have sti­fled dis­course by hand­cuff­ing can­di­dates. Van­cou­ver 1st wants more mil­len­ni­als out there par­tic­i­pat­ing, not just vot­ing.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

Van­cou­ver 1st be­lieves cy­cling routes on the side streets should re­main, and that all other cy­cling routes should be sea­sonal, with two ex­cep­tions: the West 10th Av­enue cy­cling route in front of the hospi­tal should be re­moved and the Adanac Over­pass should be re­opened to all traf­fic.

TAX­A­TION

Res­i­den­tial prop­erty taxes for se­niors would be frozen and re­duced. An om­buds­man for busi­ness will be set up to ad­dress taxes paid by shop­keep­ers. Van­cou­ver 1st aims to sig­nif­i­cantly cut prop­erty tax as Van­cou­ver’s fis­cal sit­u­a­tion is turned around.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

Van­cou­ver needs so­lu­tions to im­me­di­ately re­lieve pres­sure on limited sup­ply. The NPA would im­me­di­ately al­low two sec­ondary suites in ev­ery de­tached home, of which there are around 40,000 in Van­cou­ver. The NPA would also build ded­i­cated rental build­ings on city-owned land, fast­track hous­ing for those who need it most, and clean up the de­vel­op­ment ap­proval process.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

The idea that Van­cou­ver can tax its way out of this hous­ing cri­sis is wish­ful think­ing. A much bet­ter ap­proach is to bring new units to the mar­ket quickly — which the NPA will do by al­low­ing two sec­ondary suites in ev­ery de­tached home — while work­ing on fur­ther in­creas­ing sup­ply in a way that does not de­stroy neigh­bour­hoods.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

The NPA agrees in prin­ci­ple with adding more hous­ing for the “miss­ing mid­dle.” But the move by a lame-duck ad­min­is­tra­tion to mass re-zone much of the city to al­low du­plexes in sin­gle­fam­ily neigh­bour­hoods isn’t just bad for democ­racy, it’s bad pol­icy. A proper city-wide plan is needed that re­spects in­di­vid­ual neigh­bour­hoods. And de­ci­sion-mak­ing at city hall needs to be more trans­par­ent.

OVER­DOSE CRI­SIS

An NPA work­ing group is seek­ing new ideas to tackle home­less­ness, the opi­oid cri­sis and men­tal health. Peo­ple want nee­dles off our streets and out of our parks. Three hun­dred dirty nee­dles a month are picked up at Andy Liv­ing­stone Park, which is also a play­ground for Crosstown El­e­men­tary School.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

The NPA is 100 per cent in favour of the Broad­way sub­way. It should go all the way to UBC. A solid plan with UBC and Tran­sLink will get us there. Too many bil­lions are wasted be­cause politi­cians make big prom­ises be­fore the de­tails are ready.

GOV­ER­NANCE

The NPA says it is wor­ried about the im­pact that se­cret money has had on this elec­tion. Labour groups paid for 100,000 fly­ers pro­mot­ing Kennedy Ste­wart, and four full-time union staff are work­ing to sup­port Ste­wart and the rest of the labour coun­cil’s en­dorsed can­di­dates, with­out be­ing re­quired to count it as part of their cam­paign ex­penses. The new elec­toral fi­nance rules need to be re-thought.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

Over the past 20 years Van­cou­ver streets have be­come more con­gested, even though the num­ber of cars hasn’t changed much. The NPA sup­ports bike lanes, but says there are some cases where bike lanes may be in the wrong places, such as near hospi­tal en­trances. The NPA will also re­view bar­ri­ers to traf­fic flow be­cause all res­i­dents are suf­fer­ing from poor plan­ning de­ci­sions.

TAX­A­TION

The NPA goal is to cap prop­erty tax in­creases to the rate of in­fla­tion. Right now, res­i­dents are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in­creases that are too high, with­out a cor­re­spond­ing in­crease in ser­vices. The NPA says it will do a re­view of all the pro­grams and poli­cies at city hall to find ef­fi­cien­cies.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

Ste­wart’s plat­form in­cludes build­ing 85,000 homes over the next 10 years, in­clud­ing 25,000 af­ford­able, non-profit run rental units, 25,000 mar­ket rental units, and 35,000 new con­do­mini­ums, coach houses, and town­houses. He wants to stream­line the de­vel­op­ment process for pur­pose-built rental, and cre­ate a new renters’ ad­vo­cate of­fice.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

Ste­wart would triple the empty homes tax, ar­gu­ing the city needs to take tough mea­sures to fight the spec­u­la­tion that is com­mon in Van­cou­ver and pro­tect the lo­cal hous­ing mar­ket from global fi­nan­cial forces and spec­u­la­tors. Homes need to be used for hous­ing peo­ple, not sit­ting empty as spec­u­la­tive in­vest­ments.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

Coun­cil’s re­cent de­ci­sion to re­zone sin­gle-fam­ily neigh­bour­hoods to al­low du­plexes was of such mag­ni­tude that it should have been left for the next coun­cil. That said, build­ing du­plexes brings more af­ford­able op­tions for first-time home­buy­ers while re­tain­ing neigh­bour­hood char­ac­ter. Ste­wart would ex­pand op­por­tu­ni­ties for ground-ori­ented hous­ing in our least-dense neigh­bour­hoods.

OVER­DOSE CRI­SIS

Ste­wart would form a task force to work with the com­mu­nity to im­prove the health and qual­ity of life of Down­town East­side res­i­dents. It would fo­cus on pre­vent­ing more deaths from fen­tanyl, on ne­go­ti­at­ing a new Van­cou­ver Agree­ment to fos­ter greater co-op­er­a­tion be­tween all lev­els of govern­ment, on sup­port­ing front-line work­ers and on iden­ti­fy­ing drug-sub­sti­tu­tion pro­grams.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

Ste­wart wants SkyTrain all the way to UBC. He says Van­cou­ver needs to in­vest in tran­sit in­fra­struc­ture, but needs part­ners to make it hap­pen. He says he would work hard to se­cure fed­eral, pro­vin­cial and UBC fund­ing to ex­tend SkyTrain along the Broad­way cor­ri­dor to the uni­ver­sity.

GOV­ER­NANCE

Anony­mous ad­ver­tis­ing needs to stop, Ste­wart says. Can­di­dates and third par­ties need to dis­close do­na­tions. The cur­rent at-large sys­tem lacks com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tion. He prom­ises this elec­tion will be the last un­der this sys­tem. Vot­ers need to have con­fi­dence that city staff and politi­cians don’t have con­flicts of in­ter­est. He wants to ban elected of­fi­cials and key staff from ac­cept­ing govern­ment con­tracts or lob­by­ing for 12 months af­ter leav­ing.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

Ste­wart sup­ports sep­a­rated bike lanes as a way to en­cour­age more peo­ple to cy­cle, while keep­ing them safe. En­sur­ing peo­ple can af­ford to live close to where they work is the best way to pro­mote walk­ing and bik­ing. When in­fra­struc­ture is ex­panded, he says, the city needs to do it in a way that keeps all modes of trans­port mov­ing.

TAX­A­TION

Ste­wart says tax poli­cies would re­main about the same if he were mayor. Ste­wart says he has met with lo­cal busi­ness-im­prove­ment as­so­ci­a­tions and un­der­stands their con­cerns. He is promis­ing a re­view of poli­cies that af­fect small busi­ness, in­clud­ing tax­a­tion and per­mit­ting, to sup­port and grow the neigh­bour­hood-based econ­omy.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

Sylvester says the city can’t rest un­til it has a three per cent rental va­cancy rate and the price per square foot for hous­ing is a bet­ter match with typ­i­cal wages. She would sup­port more pur­pose-built hous­ing to cre­ate thriv­ing neigh­bour­hoods for chil­dren, work­ing pro­fes­sion­als, se­niors and busi­nesses by us­ing city re­sources, re­new­ing leases for co-ops, and en­cour­ag­ing pur­pose-built hous­ing through faster per­mit­ting and fee waivers.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

She would triple it. Hous­ing is more than an as­set class, and she says the city can’t af­ford to let des­per­ately needed real es­tate sit un­used be­cause some­one wants to park their cash here with­out con­tribut­ing to the com­mu­nity. Tripling the tax would help en­sure homes are used to house peo­ple, not to make a spec­u­la­tive in­vest­ment.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

While Sylvester says she sup­ports gen­tle den­si­fi­ca­tion, she says any changes must have the sup­port of the peo­ple who live in that area. Home­own­ers who want to add af­ford­able units should get faster per­mit­ting and fee waivers. Neigh­bour­hood plans must be com­pleted for the 75 per cent of neigh­bour­hoods that don’t have one.

OVERDOSECRISIS

B.C. has al­lowed the opi­oid poi­son­ing cri­sis to get worse by fail­ing to ap­ply a com­pre­hen­sive pub­lic health ap­proach. She sup­ports the proven Four Pil­lars ap­proach, com­mu­nity sup­port mod­els, com­pre­hen­sive care ac­cess, and col­lab­o­ra­tion with se­nior lev­els of govern­ment. Em­pa­thetic and ef­fec­tive re­sponses are needed to counter the mis­in­for­ma­tion, dis­crim­i­na­tion, stigma, and fear.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

Sylvester is com­mit­ted to work­ing with all lev­els of govern­ment and part­ners to en­sure con­struc­tion of the Broad­way sub­way all the way to UBC rather than cre­at­ing a choke point at Ar­bu­tus. UBC rep­re­sents a key eco­nomic cen­tre and a ma­jor em­ployer. Once dig­ging be­gins, it must keep go­ing to UBC.

GOV­ER­NANCE

Sylvester pro­poses a new hy­brid ward sys­tem where five coun­cil­lors are elected to rep­re­sent spe­cific wards and five are elected to rep­re­sent Van­cou­ver at-large to en­sure coun­cil pays at­ten­tion to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties while de­cid­ing on larger city-wide is­sues. She says she will use her ex­pe­ri­ence with fa­cil­i­ta­tion to build a cul­ture of col­lab­o­ra­tion and co-op­er­a­tion on coun­cil.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

She sup­ports ex­pand­ing the city’s bi­cy­cle in­fra­struc­ture. Hav­ing sep­a­rated bike lanes makes peo­ple safer. She sup­ports mak­ing cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture safe for chil­dren, fam­i­lies, and se­niors who may not feel com­fort­able us­ing it. She would up­date the May­ors’ Coun­cil Trans­porta­tion 2040 Plan to in­crease the tar­get for share of trips by bike from 12 per cent to 25 per cent.

TAX­A­TION

She would call for the ap­point­ment of a small busi­ness om­budsper­son. She also plans a fi­nan­cial re­port to the pub­lic on where tax rev­enue has been spent, within 100 days as mayor to open a dis­cus­sion about tax­a­tion. She wants to work with B.C. As­sess­ment and the pro­vin­cial govern­ment to cre­ate new as­sess­ment cat­e­gories for small busi­nesses.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

Coali­tion Van­cou­ver would not sell one square inch of city land. To re­duce short­ages, it would al­low one ad­di­tional rental unit per home. Longer term, it would fo­cus on pur­pose­built rental build­ings and co-ops. It also plans to build en­try-level homes in­tended to be within reach for mil­len­ni­als.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

This was a poorly de­signed tax, poorly im­ple­mented. But sim­ply re­peal­ing it would be reck­less at this del­i­cate stage in the hous­ing mar­ket cy­cle. Coali­tion Van­cou­ver is promis­ing a find a third, bet­ter way.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

Coali­tion Van­cou­ver is against the de­ci­sion to al­low du­plexes in sin­gle­fam­ily neigh­bour­hoods and would re­peal it. There is not a hous­ing short­age, there is an af­ford­able hous­ing short­age. This pol­icy per­pet­u­ates the prob­lem. It would en­sure ev­ery neigh­bour­hood is con­sulted be­fore “reck­less poli­cies” like this one are passed. It would fo­cus on pur­pose­built rental hous­ing and co-ops.

OVER­DOSE CRI­SIS

This is a heart­break­ing is­sue and af­fects many more fam­i­lies than most peo­ple un­der­stand. Wai Young notes she lost a son to this very cri­sis. Coali­tion Van­cou­ver prom­ises a plan, to be re­leased soon, to ap­proach this from a per­spec­tive that has never been tried be­fore.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

Coali­tion Van­cou­ver is in favour of the sub­way ex­ten­sion to UBC. It says it is com­mit­ted to help­ing busi­nesses get through the con­struc­tion phase, es­pe­cially when cut-and-cover build­ing tech­niques are used. It also wants to cut the num­ber of cars on the road, to re­duce pol­lu­tion and to re­duce con­ges­tion.

GOV­ER­NANCE

Coali­tion Van­cou­ver says big money must be ousted from pol­i­tics. Unions, de­vel­op­ers and big busi­ness have been shap­ing poli­cies for years and it con­tin­ues into this elec­tion. Coali­tion Van­cou­ver says it has no ties to spe­cial in­ter­est groups and will en­sure that our elec­toral sys­tem is fair and op­er­ates in a way that ben­e­fits the peo­ple it is meant to serve.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

Coali­tion Van­cou­ver will not build an­other sep­a­rated bike lane un­less one is re­moved from some place else. But the party says it loves in­tel­li­gent bike lanes, just not bike lanes in­ten­tion­ally placed to ob­struct traf­fic. It would au­dit all bike lanes for use and ef­fec­tive­ness, pro­mot­ing com­mon­sense so­lu­tions.

TAX­A­TION

Coali­tion Van­cou­ver would im­me­di­ately cut city taxes and fees. It would or­der an in-depth re­view of the city’s books and would re­quire all de­part­ments, ex­cept san­i­ta­tion, to cut spend­ing by five per cent.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

Over the past year, COPE, in­clud­ing coun­cil can­di­date Jean Swan­son, has been seek­ing a rent freeze. COPE would use all avail­able city pow­ers to pro­tect renters and small busi­ness ten­ants, and will tax man­sions over $5 mil­lion to end home­less­ness in one year and build city-owned non-mar­ket rental hous­ing in sub­se­quent years.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

COPE was the first to pro­pose the empty homes prop­erty tax in the 2014 civic elec­tions. Other par­ties said it wasn’t pos­si­ble, but COPE says it’s now com­mon sense. COPE’s pro­posal in­cluded ex­tend­ing the tax to va­cant com­mer­cial prop­er­ties and empty lots. It sup­ports in­creas­ing the tax and tar­get­ing all rev­enues to­ward city-owned non-mar­ket hous­ing.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

COPE op­posed al­low­ing du­plexes in sin­gle-fam­ily neigh­bour­hoods be­cause there’s no city pro­tec­tion for ten­ants in these ar­eas, some of which in­clude a ma­jor­ity of renters. The du­plex zon­ing doesn’t pro­vide hous­ing for peo­ple earn­ing un­der $50,000 a year, and will likely cause more spec­u­la­tion. COPE sup­ports den­sity in neigh­bour­hoods that have not taken their fair share of rental and so­cial hous­ing.

OVER­DOSE CRI­SIS

COPE will push se­nior govern­ments to de­crim­i­nal­ize drugs and to en­sure ac­cess to safe, clean and free drugs so peo­ple who use drugs don’t have to die. The city can also put oxy­gen tanks in com­mu­nity cen­tres to help re­vive peo­ple who over­dose and can fund com­mu­nity groups who sup­port harm re­duc­tion and end­ing stigma.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

COPE has a plan for a “U-Pass for the work­ing class,” which in­cludes free tran­sit for kids and low-in­come tran­sit users and a $41-a-month pass for mid­dle-in­come Van­cou­verites, tak­ing 40,000 cars off the road. It says this pro­gram could be fully funded by Van­cou­ver’s por­tion of B.C.’s re­cently an­nounced car­bon tax in­crease.

GOV­ER­NANCE

COPE has long fought for a ward sys­tem, ar­gu­ing the cur­rent at-large vot­ing sys­tem ben­e­fits par­ties with big-money fund­ing and makes it dif­fi­cult for neigh­bour­hood ac­tivists to be elected. Wards can be in­tro­duced by a sim­ple ma­jor­ity vote at city coun­cil. It may also be pos­si­ble to in­tro­duce pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Van­cou­ver, es­pe­cially if Novem­ber’s ref­er­en­dum sup­ports pro-rep provin­cially.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

The ex­pan­sion of bike lanes in­creased dra­mat­i­cally start­ing in 1998 un­der the ad­vo­cacy of COPE city coun­cil­lor and cli­mate sci­en­tist Fred Bass. COPE will con­tinue to strongly sup­port ex­pan­sion of cy­cling and pedes­trian safety in­fra­struc­ture be­cause these mea­sures get peo­ple out of cars and are es­sen­tial com­po­nents of fight­ing cli­mate change.

TAX­A­TION

COPE be­lieves in pro­gres­sive prop­erty tax, with a higher rate for more ex­pen­sive prop­er­ties. The man­sion tax is a pro­gres­sive tax whose rev­enues will be tar­geted to build mod­u­lar and non-mar­ket hous­ing. COPE will pro­tect small neigh­bour­hood busi­nesses by seek­ing to es­tab­lish pro­gres­sive tax brack­ets for small, medium and large busi­nesses.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

The Greens would seek to amend Van­cou­ver’s Char­ter to rec­og­nize the right to hous­ing, and re­de­fine af­ford­abil­ity in bylaws to be 30 per cent of in­come. It would set a goal of 50 per cent be­low-mar­ket-rate hous­ing for new multi-res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments and launch a city-funded, city-built hous­ing pro­gram on city-owned land. It would change bylaws to en­cour­age sec­ondary suites and fast-track per­mits for af­ford­able hous­ing.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

The Greens would not re­move the empty home tax, but would fur­ther clar­ify ex­cep­tions. De­pend­ing on a full re­port af­ter the first year of im­ple­men­ta­tion, the Greens might con­sider in­creas­ing it. The party would con­sider ex­pand­ing the tax to in­clude com­mer­cial store­fronts to re­duce va­can­cies and pre­vent the hol­low­ing out of com­mer­cial streets.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

Green Coun. Adri­ane Carr voted against re­zon­ing of sin­gle-fam­ily neigh­bour­hoods to al­low du­plexes be­cause of the lack of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and fears the sim­plis­tic fo­cus on one hous­ing form could es­ca­late land prices, in­crease tear­downs and de­stroy ex­ist­ing af­ford­able hous­ing. Greens sup­port a com­pre­hen­sive city-wide plan, co-de­vel­oped with res­i­dents.

OVER­DOSE CRI­SIS

The Greens would call on Ot­tawa to de­crim­i­nal­ize drug pos­ses­sion in or­der to treat ad­dic­tion as a health is­sue. This means dis­plac­ing the poi­soned drug sup­ply with clean drugs to be ad­min­is­tered un­der med­i­cal su­per­vi­sion as the first step to treat­ment. Greens would push for more treat­ment beds and a com­pre­hen­sive long-term strat­egy.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

The Greens would not seek to change the plan for the Broad­way sub­way to Ar­bu­tus, which has sup­port from re­gional may­ors and sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from se­nior govern­ments, both of which are hard to get. Greens would push to pro­tect busi­nesses, her­itage build­ings and rental hous­ing along the route.

GOV­ER­NANCE

The Greens would re­quire more trans­parency in bud­get­ing and ne­go­ti­a­tions with de­vel­op­ers, and more ef­fi­cient per­mit­ting pro­cesses. It would in­crease ac­cess to coun­cil with reg­u­lar open-mike ses­sions. It wants the prov­ince to close loop­holes in lo­cal elec­tion fi­nanc­ing leg­is­la­tion, cap do­na­tions and ban cor­po­rate and union do­na­tions all the time, not just in elec­tion years.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

The Greens want to make Van­cou­ver the most walk­a­ble city in North Amer­ica. It wants more bike lanes, bet­ter con­nect­ing routes to in­crease ef­fi­ciency, the pro­mo­tion of safe cy­cling at pub­lic schools, a clear cost reck­on­ing of the city-sub­si­dized bike-share pro­gram, and slower, safer res­i­den­tial streets with a 30 km/h speed limit.

TAX­A­TION

With the Greens, res­i­dents can ex­pect taxes to stay about the same. They can also ex­pect more trans­parency, with de­tailed line items on city bud­gets, so that tax­pay­ers know their money is be­ing well-spent. Greens also would seek to lighten the tax load for busi­ness through tar­geted prop­erty tax re­duc­tions for long-term in­de­pen­dently owned small busi­nesses.

HOUS­ING AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY

Vi­sion will speed up per­mits, change zon­ing to al­low more hous­ing op­tions and de­liver more city-built af­ford­able hous­ing, in­clud­ing co-ops, as part of a com­pre­hen­sive plan for 88,000 new homes over 10 years. Vi­sion’s school board can­di­dates are work­ing on a pilot hous­ing pro­gram for teach­ers.

EMPTY HOMES TAX

Vi­sion wants to triple the empty homes tax to three per cent, to get more peo­ple into va­cant homes, to crack down on spec­u­la­tion that’s driv­ing prices up, and to put more money into af­ford­able hous­ing in ev­ery neigh­bour­hood.

HOUS­ING DEN­SITY

Vi­sion sup­ports du­plexes in sin­gle­fam­ily ar­eas. Vi­sion is com­mit­ted to im­ple­ment­ing the Mak­ing Room ini­tia­tive and cre­at­ing more af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing open­ing low-den­sity neigh­bour­hoods for town­houses, low-rise apart­ments and other forms of hous­ing that sup­port af­ford­able op­tions for renters and fam­i­lies look­ing for af­ford­able own­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties.

OVER­DOSE CRI­SIS

Vi­sion will build on the city’s in­te­grated opi­oid re­sponse plan by cham­pi­oning new over­dose preven­tion sites in sup­port­ive hous­ing and a cri­sis fund to sup­port first re­spon­ders. Vi­sion will fo­cus on men­tal health and ad­dic­tion is­sues and sup­port the de­crim­i­nal­iza­tion of drug pos­ses­sion in small amounts while get­ting tougher on traf­fick­ing.

BROAD­WAY SUB­WAY

Vi­sion will fight to get the Broad­way sub­way built all the way to UBC to im­prove com­mutes and re­duce con­ges­tion. Vi­sion will make sure Van­cou­ver seizes this once-in-a-gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­nity to im­prove our trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture, boost our lo­cal econ­omy and re­duce green­house gas emis­sions that cause cli­mate change.

GOV­ER­NANCE

Vi­sion will im­prove in­clu­sion by giv­ing pri­or­ity to en­gage­ment with peo­ple who are un­der-rep­re­sented in de­ci­sion-mak­ing, in­clud­ing mil­len­ni­als, new­com­ers and ur­ban Indige­nous peo­ple.

WALK­ING & BIK­ING

Vi­sion sup­ports pro­tected bike lanes that keep peo­ple safe. Un­der Vi­sion, Van­cou­ver has seen tremen­dous growth in cy­cling in our city, es­pe­cially among women and chil­dren. This is good for peo­ple’s health and the en­vi­ron­ment. Vi­sion will con­tinue to lead on ac­tive trans­porta­tion by widen­ing side­walks and by ex­pand­ing bike share in Van­cou­ver.

TAX­A­TION

Un­der Vi­sion, coun­cil in­vested in pri­or­i­ties and pub­lic ser­vices that mat­ter to peo­ple while bal­anc­ing bud­gets. This ap­proach has served peo­ple well. One pro­vin­cial tax Vi­sion wants to ad­dress is the way small busi­nesses are as­sessed at the much higher rate of a po­ten­tial condo de­vel­op­ment. This is un­fair to small busi­nesses.

May­oral can­di­date: Ken Sim Party: Non-Par­ti­san As­so­ci­a­tion (NPA)Coun­cil can­di­dates: Eight

May­oral can­di­date:Fred HardingParty: Van­cou­ver 1stCoun­cil can­di­dates: Seven

May­oral can­di­date: Hec­tor Brem­nerParty: Yes Van­cou­ver Coun­cil can­di­dates: Five

May­oral can­di­date: David ChenParty: ProVan­cou­ver Coun­cil can­di­dates: Four

May­oral can­di­date: Kennedy Ste­wart Party: In­de­pen­dent

DAR­RYL DYCK/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity is the top is­sue for many vot­ers in Van­cou­ver’s Oct. 20 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion.

May­oral can­di­date: Shauna Sylvester Party: In­de­pen­dent

May­oral can­di­date: Wai Young Party: Coali­tion Van­cou­ver Coun­cil can­di­dates: Seven

Vi­sion Van­cou­ver May­oral can­di­date: None Coun­cil can­di­dates: Five

Party: Coali­tion of Pro­gres­sive Elec­tors May­oral can­di­date: None Coun­cil can­di­dates: Three

Green Party of Van­cou­ver May­oral can­di­date: None Coun­cil can­di­dates: Four

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