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Frances Bula @fabulavancouver
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First question in mayoral debate tonight on housing: More than 50 per cent of Vancouver residents are renters. What measures will you implement at the city level to bring relief to renters? #vanpoli @vanelxn18
Bremner: Three-year action plan, 50,000 to 70,000 new units on the books. Drop the red tape, get rid of the CACs that were turning rentals into condos. "We cannot wait." #vanpoli #vanelxn18
Kennedy: My plan is to build 85,000 units over 10 years, 60 per cent for renters, 25,000 would be market rents. Also have to look after current renters: I would bring renters' advocate to city to help with legal problems. #vanpoli #vanelxn18
Harding: Now is the time to bring in some kind of grant program (to give lower-cost units money for fixing). Vancouver First is going to reduce the CACs, if not eradicate. #vanpoli
Kennedy: Attacks Bremner, saying all private development in his plan, that would not keep out speculators
Bremner: We said very clearly in our plan ... (and goes off on a tangent) ... don't throw in the words foreigner and speculator just to scare people #vanpoli
Now candidates arguing over date of the Barthlomew Plan. #vanpoli
Q: Public hearing tomorrow to allow duplexes everywhere. Triplexes, etc., on the boards. What forms of housing do you support? #vanpoli
NPA Ken Sim: "I really like everyone here. But I am the only one here with experience running a large organization. Re housing, there has been no real consultation process. It will fundamentally change the way our city looks like"
Sim: I want to leave it up to the residents to decide. Bunch of NIMBYs? That is not my experience. I think we underestimate the residents of Vancouver. #vanpoli #vanelxn18
Sylvester: "This is not a new idea but it is wrong in one particular way. It does say upzone ... but what it fails to do is provide an affordability mechanism for that upzone. We're increasing supply and we're not ensuring that the affordability is there." #vanpoli
Sylvester: "But we can't wait for years while we wait for every resident to decide what kind of housing we should have." #vanpoli
Chen, ProVancouver: We have to have a cohesive plan first, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. #vanpoli
Sim: Your party rammed this through (to Sylvester) Sylvester: 2011? Get over it
Sylvester: Continues to argue we can't spend years on consultation when have a housing crisis.#vanpoli Chen: If you don't go to the duplex hearing tomorrow, "you are not for the people. It's an undemocratic process." #vanpoli
Q: (to Buday and Young): Why do you think bike lanes are discriminatory? Do cyclists have a place?
Young: Just last night, I received an email, woman was taking husband to emergency, she was shocked to find she could no longer park on West 10th in front of the hospital. "Why is it that we're not protecting our seniors? That encapsulated our stance on the bike lanes." #vanpoli
Young: We're going to get rid of hospital lane, Cambie Street bridge lane, Kits beach lane and will audit the rest. #vanpoli
Young: two per cent of the people are cycling and using those lanes to the detriment of 98 per cent. We should not have a road just for the elite.
Young: The true cyclists do cycle on the road because they go according to the rules of the road. Our mutual-respect policy is so we can increase the knowledge and awareness of the rules of the road. #vanpoli
Q to Sim, Young, Bremner: You criticized Robertson for not reducing homelessness. What would you do?
Sim: I will camp out in Victoria and Ottawa to get funding from our partners. We are going to solve, to improve this issue. You see how much people suffer. We have to be empathetic. I know how to get things done. #vanpoli
Bremner: I'm really proud of the team we put forward. We're going to get the job done. One of the biggest inspirations, the homelessness crisis. I walk to work. The thing we hear in our neighbourhood is loud cars, super-cars, enormous amt of wealth, we have $97 b in mortgage ?
Young: It's clear those two have no answers. I fostered seven children in my home, one died of an overdose in the Downtown Eastside. We need to press Victoria to get treatment programs; I love the Portugal example. An excellent example of what I will do. #vanpoli
Bremner: The solution is no-barrier housing. We have a lot of wealth in this city. (Everyone talking over each other, something about Portugal.) I have been on the front lines of this issue for a long time. Communities have ended homelessness, they got away from the politics.
Sim: No-barrier housing is not the solution. It's multi-faceted. Young: And where has the NPA been on this? #vanpoli
To Harding: Public street disorder. Three mayors have all made attempts to reduce homelessness, mayhem in community. It persists. Harding: "I have experience in this. I dealt with this in London. We have to start with getting rid of the crime market."
Harding: I have a plan to deal with fentanyl and opiod crisis. I don't have time in 10 seconds to explain. #vanpoli
Q to Kennedy: You want to tackle housing but you said nothing in Burnaby? Stewart: "It's been a smear campaign." (Boos) Says a failed NPA columnist in Courier has started this. Says he asked residents what they wanted most, to stop pipeline, so he focused on that.
Q to Chen: What are your priorities first 90 days, given won't have a majority. Chen: Common to all groups, concern about the budget. So start a forensic audit. No. 2, the housing crisis. We looked at using temp modular housing for those who are in the middle class as a stopgap
Chen. Third thing, helping business. Would alter the commercial tax to help them. (Don't think city has the power to do that, says me.) #vanpoli
Q re corporate taxes, economy. Sylvester: Vancouver and Toronto leading the economy. We need an innovation strategy. We have an innovation super-cluster forming in the city. We've got to look at all the things in terms of zoning. Create a health zone? #vanpoli
Stewart: We're in the middle of an economic storm. Ottawa doesn't pay attention to British Columbia unless we make a lot of noise. And I can do that. Number one thing can do for business is sort out affordable housing. #vanpoli
Sylvester: We also have to deal with transportation and transit. Can talk to corporations about what they're doing about wages. A safe haven here for immigrants, new corporations coming here because of those employees, cuz of laws Trump has put in place. #vanpoli
Stewart: Have another recession coming. We need people who can go and talk to people in Ottawa, I've been doing it for seven years. Sylvester: You're a partisan, you're NDP. #vanpoli
Q re illegal cannabis dispensaries. Would you shut them down? Harding: We need some commonsense around dispensaries. IN 2015, were 115 seeking licences, now 19 licenced. I've already engaged a lawyer to be a special adviser, Robert Laurie (sp?). We need the world leading advice
I have to say, I'm really enjoying Harding's plummy British accent.
Chen: "The problem is that when you want enforcement, you have to follow the law. If you have wiggle room ... nobody respects the authority. You're electing us to create the rules, enforce the rules." Need to push the provincial govt to turn fines into tax-lienable fines.#vanpoli
Harding: The city, by ignoring these businesses, has created a morass. Have to deal with the problem that this current administration has left with us. If you don't get a licence, you must close. #vanpoli
Chen: One concern is bad pot coming to businesses, from bad people who have done bad things. (Paraphrase.) "We want to maintain a clean pipeline and a clean operation." #vanpoli
Q to Bremner and Sylvester: Re mobility pricing, would you champion it?
Bremner: I was skeptical that the govt would have the wherewithal to bring it in. The best way to reduce congestion is we need to implement a city-wide plan, make our communities more walkable, transit-family. But if city built on 1927 plan ...
Sylvester: Citizens wanted to know where the money was going to go (in the consultations we had before). Used words like deliberative. Aagh.
"We've got a transportation plan. One of things in that plan, Broadway corridor to UBC." #vanpoli
Sylvester: In your 47 pages, you have so little about transit. Bremner: Because it's a housing plan. #vanpoli
Q to Chen, Stewart, Young: How would you (Stewart) allay concerns from corporations that you would push back against other big infrastructure plans?
Stewart: I had a conversation with Kinder Morgan CEO, I asked my constituents what they wanted, the majority wanted me to oppose the pipeline. (paraphrase) #vanpoli
Stewart: I will tell people I can fight for the city. I don't make it personal, I make it about policy issues. Been meeting with large and small business. Hearing: I have a coffee shop, lost two employees, can't find housing. What will help is solving housing. #vanpoli
Young: "Vancouver doesn't have a housing issue, it has an affordability issue. We have enough housing. We've seen increased supply in the city, we've seen that it makes Vancouver unaffordable. They're all luxury townhouses." #vanpoli
Young: Under Coalition Vancouver, we would not sell any more city land. Chen: Things need to be balanced. Look at bike lanes. We've created gridlock. #vanpoli
Young: Vision and NPA have dictated to neighbourhoods what is going to happen. They wake up and there is a 52-storey building next to them. (Don't believe there is any 52-storey building in Vcr, says me.) #vanpoli
Stewart: We're about to be hit by a lot of crises. You need someone experienced. Chen: Neither of you has answered the question about infrastructure. #vanpoli
Q to Sylvester about building permits. She says need to simplify the process. Then look at how to use the permitting process to incentivize what we want, like purpose-built affordable rental. #vanpoli
Q to Harding, Sim, Buday: We could be a global culinary city but high rents and staffing prevent new restaurants from getting off the ground. How change?
Harding: Have to make the city stable, predictable. Talked to a restauteur with salaries at $20 an hour. He can't find people to fill them. Says there needs to be a subsidy for some jobs. #vanpoli
Sim: It comes down to affordable housing. When we have secondary suites throughout the city, people can afford to live near where we work. (He's talking like this doesn't exist already, it's a new idea.) #vanpoli
Buday: It's all about ensuring the elites can get the riffraff to serve their meals. (He is providing the audience with lots of comic relief tonight.) #vanpoli
Sim: We need to go to BC Assessment to look at how they're assessing the properties where businesses are. When a condo goes up, a one-storey business gets taxed the same. #vanpoli
Q to Sylvester, Harding, Young re public art: Your favourite pieces, how it should be funded. Sylvester: I'm not going to pass judgment (on individual pieces). Art is fundamental to the vibrancy of our city. #vanpoli
Harding: We have to fund this privately. I don't see any other way to do it. (He doesn't like the stacked cars on the tree stump. Sylvester likes it.) Young: My daughter is an artist. This city does not have enough public art. Where is our new art gallery? #vanpoli
Young: I do not agree with Mr. Harding that there is no place in the city for public art. Sylvester: There is an economic dimension to the arts. We have clusters here of artists. But strata councils don't like the smell, the sounds. We've lost live-work studios. #vanelxn18
Harding: Manchester has a massive art exhibition but it's privately funded. It's not coming out of the taxpayers' pocket. #vanpoli #vanelxn18
Q to Bremner/Buday/Chen re streetcar line. Chen: The streetcar line through Granville Island okay because not affected by traffic, but problem with LRT is controlled chaos. You have a dedicated line, you have an impact with a vehicle, nothing else can get through. #vanpoli
Chen: We might have to get rid of TransLInk, says it doesn't deal with the municipalities' different needs. #vanpoli #vanelxn18
Bremner: Streetcars romanticized by some, feared by others. Question is, are our neighbourhoods sustainable for public transport. (And goes off in all directions) #vanpoli
Chen and Bremner arguing about what to invest in re transit. Chen says a subway line indebts three generations. Bremner says that's okay because three generations will use it.
Q to Sim, Stewart: What makes Vancouver awesome, what would you do to boost the city's profile. Stewart: Came here to be a musician and drove beer trucks. This city was so vibrant and why? Because I could live in a basement and invest in music equipment. All about housing.
Sim: Thank you for supporting our secondary suite platform. Says the party looking at live events plan, etc. Promises will be able to buy beer and wine at corner stores. (Not in city's jurisdiction.) #vanpoli
Sim: One thing we're going to do as well, if we do not address commercial property taxes, it will lead to the gutting of our cities. Stewart: So would you put money into arts spaces? Your plan is all about cutting services. Sim: What are you talking about? #vanpoli
Sim: Stop heckling, let me answer the question. (And debate is cut off.)
Q to Young re bike lanes: Why are single mothers troubled by them? Have you priced the cost of removing bike lanes? Young: I actually had twins. To drop one child at soccer and then another at art class. It was impossible for me to cycle. People need free roads to get safely.
Young: We are not going to tear down the viaducts. (And will save other money from cutting other waste.)
Q to Bremner. Your face all over on billboards but you say you don't know who. Would you rather the people behind come public? Bremner: The campaign finance laws, written by the NDP, supported by Greens, etc., the reality is they created this PAC system. #vanpoli
Bremner: People groaning in disbelief as Bremner says he doesn't know who funded billboards. He starts talking about funding from Tides and district labour council to activists. #vanpoli
Q to Sim: We've seen the problems of a businessman with no political experience in the U.S. How would you avoid those problems? Sim: I'm in the business of keeping people at home. We take care of seniors. We set up a foundation, the Dream On Foundation, make a wish for seniors
Sim: Will walk around city hall for first three months talking to people. #vanpoli
Closing statements. Bremner first. "At the end of the day, we're all angry about a lot of the same things. We're frustrated." "What I'm really proud of is we've been able to create this new organization, bring five small business owners on a slate ...with real hope for our future
Bremner: We're more than arguing about a bike lane, a pipeline, who is NDP, Liberal. We've had a 30-per-cent increase in homelessness. Have seniors who have to leave because we act as though a four-storey building near us is (unacceptable.)
Stewart: "I'm really worried about this city. That's why I stepped down (as MP). This city has given me everything. I love it and I think it's in real trouble." Nov. 5, we're going to have a very fractured council. This is what change looks like, kind of messy.
Stewart: "I have the experience to bring people together." Encourages people to vote for OneCity, Jean Swanson, "other great candidates in Vision"
Harding: "We need to return to common-sense government. We've been failed miserably the last 10 years. We have to get our permits cut by 90 per cent. We're going to bring back the NBA. Don't say where, say how." (Audience erupts)
Harding: "We need a great transport system. We need safety. People are feeling unsafe. (Audience member shouts out: That's not true.)" #vanpoli
Sim: "These candidates are great. We're going to grab a beer at the end of the campaign." "Vancouver is at a crossroads. Mr. Stewart, you say you can work with people. Then you went and said vote for these different groups. That's not inclusive." #vanpoli
Sim: Boasts about NPA slate, five women, socio-economic diversity, a bus driver running for parks, there is no left or right in our party. Will leave partisan behaviours at the door and work for the city. #vanpoli
Sylvester: Will we create a city where people feel like their kids can live. Who is this city for? Will it be for us? I entered into this race because I feel like this is the one time in our history where we need an independent voice experienced in working in good government
Sylvester: We're divided and we're fragmented. Forty-one per cent of people in this region don't think democracy is the right way forward. We have to turn the corner. #vanpoli
Chen: Working 25 years in the community, I've learned you have to listen. We know things will be fractured. If you're going to create unity, they're not opponents. I'm a home-grown kid, I'm a very simple person. #vanpoli
Chen: I grew up on the poor side of Point Grey. Am a certified financial planner, kept young entrepreneurs out of trouble. The leader needs to listen to you (the voters). #vanpoli
Young: I'm running for mayor because Vancouver has lost its soul. Everywhere we go, there are people struggling to live in the city. Businesses are closing. Our youth are fleeing. My children may not be able to come back. This is why I am running for mayor. We can do better.
Young: I've lived here for over 50 years and so many of us have looked through the dictatorship of the last 10 years where we wake up the next day and things have happened. @CoalitionVan has formed for the people who have been ignored. We are the only ones that are for the people
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