We’re less than a month away from the election and we now have platforms to judge the candidates by. Last month, I did a high level overview of the parties. Here are some of the more interesting ideas floating around in their platforms.
Alcohol in Parks and Beaches
It’s a pretty simple idea. Adults should be able to indulge in a glass of wine on the beach or growler of beer in the park responsibly without risking $230 fine. Supporters of allowing alcohol in parks, at least on a trial basis include:
Subway to UBC
Funding is now secured for the Broadway subway line, from VCC-Clark to Arbutus, with construction beginning in 2020 and finishing in 2025. Some local politicians are arguing that we should build it right the first time and extend it all the way to UBC. Normally transit priorities are set by Translink which is a regional body and needs buy in from other cities in Metro Vancouver, but as outgoing councillor George Affleck points out, the Broadway line is not funded by Translink so the city could fund the extension to UBC without regional buy-in.
Pushing for the Broadway Line all the way to UBC in a single construction phase are:
Considering that opioid overdoses are killing hundreds of Vancouverites every year, it’s surprising how little attention politicians are giving it. Here’s a roundup of the ideas proposed by the politicians who are brave enough to tackle what is obviously a complicated issue.
Leading the charge for a better response to the opioid crisis is Sarah Blyth, the founder and executive director of the Overdose Prevention Society and independent candidate for council. She’s proposing more overdose prevention sites, street drug checking programs, and a wider range of treatment options.
The other politicians who are talking about the issue mostly agree with Sarah Blyth, and are also calling for various degrees of drug decriminalization.
There are a few groups talking about changing the way we vote in Vancouver.
- COPE wants to see a ward system introduced and permanent residents given the right to vote
- OneCity wants to have a citizens assembly to propose an alternative voting system, and lower the voting age to 16.
- Shauna Sylvester has proposed a hybrid system of 5 wards and 5 at-large councillors, with ranked ballots.
- Kenedy Stewart has suggested using proportional representation or wards depending on the outcome of the provincial referendum
- Independent candidates Graham Cook and Katherine Ramdeem support PR.
Unlike in past elections where bike lanes were one of the major issues, few parties are talking about them, other than Coalition Vancouver who wants to rip them out. I guess that’s progress but I still want to know where the parties stand. Hopefully we’ll know more when Hub releases its survey results in early October.
In general, some of the strongest champions for cycling and active transportation are:
- Tanya Paz, from Vision Vancouver has chaired the Active Transportation Policy Council since 2013.
- Both Brandon Yan and Christine Boyle are regular cyclists and OneCity has a good active transportation policy.
- Camil Dumont, Green Party parks board candidate, is another cycling advocate.
- Independents Shauna Sylvester, Adrian Crook, and Graham Cook are advocating for all ages bike routes.
Housing deserves its own blog post considering how much attention its been getting this election. Stay tuned.