September 10, 2018 5:23 pm
Updated: September 19, 2018 3:48 pm

PROMISE TRACKER: What Vancouver mayoral candidates are promising voters

Statue of Captain George Vancouver outside Vancouver City Hall.

Chester Ptasinski/Global News
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Leading up until the Oct. 20 municipal election you will be hearing a lot of promises from mayoral candidates. Global News will be tracking these promises to provide a one-stop shop to prepare yourself before you vote. The promises will be from social media posts, platforms, media releases and public forums. If you heard a promise that isn’t here, please send it to richard.zussman@globalnews.ca.

Hector Bremner, YES Vancouver

Bremner has provided a five-point plan on his website. Some of the commitments are very specific, some are more vague.

Housing

This is the cornerstone of Bremner’s run for mayor. His campaign slogan has been Let’s Fix Housing from the beginning and is now using the “Let’s Fix” as a catch-all for his policies.

He has promised the following fixes on housing:

  • City-wide pre-zoning for housing projects. Bremner pledges that this change would take politicians out of the permit process and end building-by-building rezoning to replace it with pre-zoned areas.
  • Using incentives, 99-year leases, and city-owned land to add to middle class and affordable housing.
  • Create a wait-time cap for permit applications.

Taxes

Bremner’s specific policies on taxes are vague, including this statement on his website: “A simple solution would be to add more homes, which would help solve our housing crisis, and reduce the share of taxes that each of us pays.”

Other promises include:

  • “Stop taxing small business out” of Vancouver
  • Promising to “restore good management” to Vancouver’s economy

Transportation

Once again, this all comes down to housing for Bremner. His website reads, “with the lack of density and affordable housing close to where we work, they (Vision Vancouver) have forced our city on to highways, and into traffic.”

Other promises include:

Flooding the market with options like car sharing and improved transit.

READ MORE: Full coverage of the 2018 municipal election

David Chen, ProVancouver

Housing

  • Implement 1:1 ratio of market vs. non-market housing
  • Zone new developments for at least 50 per cent purpose-built rentals
  • Improve housing security by preventing demovictions and renovictions
  • Celebrate and protect heritage buildings
  • Improve community amenities financed with transparent funding for projects
  • Amend short terms rental (eg. Airbnb) bylaws to protect long-term housing stock and to address legal and safety concerns
  • Work towards rent control legislation for municipalities
  • Push for taxation models crediting time lived here to avoid speculative global investor abuse

Transportation

  • Modernize bylaws for advancements, such as autonomous vehicles and future lifestyle innovations.
  • Implement a Regional Public Transportation Strategy for Metro Vancouver Region to address congestion, not mobility pricing.

Accessibility and affordability

  • Create and protect shared community spaces and playgrounds.
  • Increase childcare access, spaces in schools, and regulation and monitoring of private caregivers.
  • Address shortage of out-of-school care services.

Local business

  • Encourage customers to support local businesses.
  • Create commercial property tax formulas that help small businesses compete.
  • Develop permanent spaces for farmers’ markets, artists, and entertainers.
  • Increase programs to encourage entrepreneur development.

Government Accountability

  • Increase budget for service-oriented roles and decrease public relations budget.
  • Implement open public data for transparency.
  • Fast-track purpose-built rentals.
  • Hire more staff in anticipation of retirement waves.
  • Develop and fund effective disaster plans for extreme events.

Environment

Create practical garbage, recycling, and organic pick up to improve city health and sanitation.

READ MORE: B.C. municipal election 2018: Vancouver

Ken Sim, NPA

The NPA has released major platforms pieces on housing and the economy.

Housing

  • Allow two secondary suites in detached homes. For renters, this brings up to 40,000 new units within reach. For homeowners, this means new options to pay their mortgage.
  • Fast-track housing for low-income Vancouverites, vulnerable seniors, and people with disabilities.
  • Reduce municipal taxes, fees, and charges for laneway homes and new secondary suites that house long-term renters.
  • Renew outstanding co-op rental leases.
  • Designate City-owned lands for constructing attainable rental accommodation. maintaining municipal ownership of that land.

Economy

  • Make small business taxes more consistent, predictable, and fair.
  • Simplify and accelerate new business processes. This reduces the barriers to starting and growing the independent businesses that make Vancouver neighborhoods vibrant and unique.
  • Develop a fast-track process for businesses in duress. A business that suffers from a flood or fire should not face additional challenges from city hall.

Kennedy Stewart, Independent

Stewart has released half of his housing plan. So far, the independent candidate for mayor has released some policy points online but has not released a platform.

Housing

  • Build 25,000 new non-profit affordable rental homes over the next ten years
  • Focus on building affordable rental homes for those making $80,000 a year or less.
  • Speed up the permitting process by increasing staff and reducing red tape.
  • Protect 6,000 cooperative housing units by renewing city-held leases.
  • Expediting the construction of triplexes and fourplexes on standard lots and removing barrier to converting large homes into multi-family residences.
  • Build 35,000 new condominiums, coach houses, and townhouses over the next decade.
  • Create long-term housing funding from province and federal government and bring back tax rules to encourage the construction of rental buildings.
  • Allow duplexes across the city
  • Revise Community Amenity Contributions
  • Bring in a real time, online dashboard to track key affordability metrics.
  • Triple the empty homes tax
  • Protect between one-third and one-half of all new homes from foreign speculation.
  • Will extend federal and provincial laws to the municipal level on conflict of interest.
  • Create a new Renters Advocate Office.
  • Fast-track purpose-built rentals through a new Purpose-built Rental Housing Office to provide a single point of contact.
  • Better enforce existing right of first refusal and relocation policies.
  • Expropriate troubled Single Room Occupancy buildings, in partnership with senior governments and not-for-profit housing providers will replace all privately owned SROs with self-contained social housing and use its ability to expropriate ownership of those SROs that are being negligently managed and operated.
  • Use new rental zoning powers to build secure rental housing developments and renovations.
  • Issue a report within the first year outlining how to make life more affordable for renters, including reviewing current policies and examining new measures such as freezing rents.

Government Accountability

  • Require all elected officials and civic political parties be subject to the existing provincial regulations governing campaign finance between elections, including annual disclosure of donations.
  • Require all local election candidates and local third-party advertisers provide regular disclosures of donations between January 1 and election day during an election year.
  • Bring in rules requiring elected officials to proactively disclose assets and prohibit them from working outside City Hall, if these activities are likely to conflict with their public duties.
  • Prohibit elected officials and key staff members from accepting government contracts or lobbying for 12 months after leaving their positions.
  • Require lobbyists declare details of their activities on an online registry and make this information available for the public to view free of charge and levy fines for non- compliance.
  • If city residents vote in the November provincial referendum to change to a proportional representation system, then future local elections will be conducted using Pro Rep.
  • If Pro Rep is rejected in the fall referendum, then future local elections will be conducted using neighbourhood constituencies, similar to those used at the federal and provincial level.
  • Launch an online petition system to enable residents to write petitions for others to sign online or in-person.

Equality

  • Fully fund and implement the City of Vancouver’s women’s equity strategy and use an intersectional lens to make the city better for women, Indigenous people, the LGBTQ2s+ community, visible minorities, cultural communities, people living with disabilities, and other equity-seeking groups.

Environment

Stewart has promised to “use all available resources to fight the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project,” which could include taking the company developing the project to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Shauna Sylvester, Independent

As of Sept. 6, Sylvester has released five major platform pieces — the most of any of the mayoral candidates so far.

Small Business

  • Strengthen and expand Business Improvement Associations
  • Simplifying permitting and fee transparency
  • Appointing a Small Business Ombudsperson

Government Accountability

  • Releasing a public financial report on where tax revenue has been spent within first 100 days as mayor.
  • Producing a financial report on the Property Endowment Fund.
  • Lobbyist registry for Vancouver city hall and implementing a ban on former city staff and officials from lobbying for a one-year period.
  • Creating a ward-based system that also includes at-large councillors for Vancouver city hall.

Transportation

  • Advocate for the extension of the Broadway subway line to UBC.
  • Electrifying all city-owned vehicle fleets and developing centralized infrastructure for electric vehicles.
  • Support a regulated and safe ride-hailing industry and push for car-sharing and autonomous vehicle infrastructure.

READ MORE: New B.C. municipal election finance rules haven’t stopped big ad spending

Wai Young

Young’s Coalition Vancouver party has posted an 11-point platform on the party’s website.

Transportation

  • No new bike lanes in Vancouver
  • Tear out bike lanes at West 10th in front of VGH and the bike lane across the Cambie Bridge.
  • Cancel the bike lane near Kits Beach.
  • Undertake a review of all separated bike lanes down major arterial roadways.
  • Will not tear down the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts.
  • Immediately reopen the Adanac Street Overpass to vehicles.
  • Free parking on Sunday and free parking after 8 p.m. every day of the week.
  • 50 per cent of all City of Vancouver Parking Enforcement Officers will be retrained or let go.
  • Parking Enforcement officials that remain will be re-directed toward congestion issues and will focus upon ticketing and towing vehicles impeding rush hour traffic on main arterial roads.

Housing

  • Not sell any city land.
  • Focus on purpose-built rental housing and smaller, non-luxury affordable housing units for Vancouverites.
  • Ensure new rental and affordable units are built in and around major transportation hubs.
  • Heritage rules of each and every community are amended so that they work for each neighbourhood and the city as a whole.
  • Create committee to determine what pre-1940 houses should be preserved and which should not to ensure neighbourhoods maintain their heritage.
  • Support the zoning of 1 additional rental unit per stand-alone home and a laneway house in neighbourhoods that support it.

Taxes

Take province to court over the 0.2 per cent school tax increase on the residential homes assessed between $3 million and $4 million and 0.4 per cent tax on homes assessed over $4 million.

Government Accountability

Undertake a full forensic review of the City of Vancouver’s finances.

Environment 

Rolling out specific initiatives to clean up Vancouver from “needles in parks, to overflowing public trash cans, to graffiti.”

Vision Vancouver, the Greens and COPE are not running mayoral candidates.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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