Category Archives: Vancouver

A New Home

After almost 9 years renting in Olympic Village, we’ve moved into a new home. Yes, we are now property owners in Vancouver’s ridiculously overpriced real estate market.

Keys to our new home

We spent most of the summer looking for a large house to co-buy with good friends of ours. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out but it got us mentally prepared to buy (after all the time we spent going to open houses, creating financial spreadsheets, and exploring East Vancouver neighbourhoods). We found a 3-bedroom townhouse near Trout Lake that we could afford on our own and put in the offer in October.

Signing the New House Paperwork

Buying a house was scary. It’s the largest purchase we’ve made by 2 orders of magnitude. We spent a bit more than we wanted (it was a competitive bid situation) and had to compromise on a few things (there is no garden or personal green space) but it checks almost all of the key requirements we had, like:

  • There is a good, seismically upgraded elementary school a block away.
  • It’s a tight-knit community with a bunch of kids Astrid’s age.
  • The neighbourhood is highly walkable with vegetarian restaurants and grocery stores nearby but without a lot of car traffic.
  • It’s biking distance to downtown Vancouver. Our commutes will be longer than before, but less than 30 minutes.
  • There are 3 bedrooms, so we have a guest room and a bit more space.
  • It has a dishwasher. We lived too long without one.
  • We can see ourselves living here for the next 20 years, with 3 floors of living space to give privacy to a future teenager.

We took possession on December 8 and immediately got to work replacing the carpet on the 2nd and 3rd floors. My dad flew in from Manitoba to help and it took us a week to install new engineered hardwood flooring. It was exhausting work but I’m really happy with how it turned out and it was fun to work with my dad.

Little Helper
First Pieces
Installing Hardwood Floors
Job Well Done

We moved in just before Christmas and are still working on unpacking boxes, but slowly we’re organizing our new home. On Boxing Day we picked up two sharp-looking lighting fixtures for the entryway and living room, and we made the trip to Ikea to get some accessories for organizing.

Installing Lighting
New lights

Astrid and Boo have been handling the transition as well as can be expected. Astrid still misses her old home and neighbours but is excited to meet all the kids in our new building. She loves her new room with it’s big window seat, but wishes her bedroom was closer to ours and has asked if we can put our bed in her room. We’re all dealing with sore muscles as we adjust to 3 flights of stairs and Astrid had a muscle strain in her hip after the first week.

Window Seat

Boo spent the first week exploring all the nooks and crannies and getting into mischief with moving boxes. Now he is aching to get outside and we’ve ordered a tagged collar so he can explore the neighbourhood a bit. I’ve seen two other cats roaming our the courtyard so he’s going to have friends/competition for turf.

Longing for the outside world

The process of buying a house was a bit daunting in the beginning, but we had a good realtor and mortgage broker that helped to break it down into manageable steps. If you’re looking for recommendations, I can highly recommend Naomi Morrison (our realtor) and Leo Addington (our mortgage broker).

Story Time with Naomi
Naomi reading to Astrid at a house showing

We still have a lot of little things to do like putting up shelves and pictures. I’m hoping to have everything on our long to-do list done by the end of January when our first house guests arrive from Kamloops.

More photos

Vancouver 2018 Election Retrospective

I have to say I’m happy the election is over. Now I can get some sleep. But first some analysis.

The key takeaway for me is that the next four years will be very interesting. A progressive slate won a majority yesterday but it is split between 3 parties and an independent mayor who have fairly different ideas in how to fix the housing crisis in Vancouver. The five NPA councillors will likely form a unified opposition, although there is a chance of some collaboration with the other councillors.

General Thoughts

  • There were 5000 fewer votes cast in 2018. That’s disappointing.
  • The city needs to invest in more scantron machines. Even with less people voting on election day this year, almost every polling station had lineups throughout the day and there were several reports of people abandoning their ballots because they couldn’t wait an hour to have it scanned. Double the number of machines and the problem disappears.
  • Even though we didn’t elect our first female mayor, women did extremely well yesterday (8/10 councillors, 2/7 park, 6/9 school), but visible minorities struggled. School board is the only place where there is any diversity. The rest is very, very white, which is not reflective of Vancouver’s cultural diversity.
  • If you add Kennedy Stewart and Shauna Sylvester’s votes together and compare that to Ken Sim, Hector Bremner, and Wai Young you get remarkably similar results to the last election, at least for mayor.vancouver-mayoral-2005_2018
  • The results for every race other than mayor were roughly:
    • Tier 1: Greens – thousands of votes ahead of everyone else
    • Tier 2: NPA, COPE, and OneCity –  fought for the remaining spots and each elected multiple candidates.
    • Tier 3: Vision – elected 1 person, but was otherwise wiped out.
    • Tier 4: Everyone else – took lots of votes from the major parties but didn’t come close to winning.
  • The high number of qualified candidates running for council this year created wider distribution of votes than in 2014. The tail is much longer and fatter this election.council distribution
  • 38% of the votes this year were for someone who wasn’t even in the top 20 (compared to 22% in 2014).
  • Vote splitting affected all the races and lead to some winners having very low vote percentages. We definitely need some form of electoral reform.
    • Mayor Kennedy Stewart won with 28% of all votes.
    • Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung won with 25%.
    • Park Commissioner John Irwin won with 26%.
    • School Trustee Allan Wong won with 27%.

Big Winners and Losers

Green Party (9 elected/10 candidates)

The night’s only big winner was the Green Party. They came within 3000 votes of having 4 city councillors elected. Adrian Carr, Pete Fry, and Michael Wiebe now form the bulk of the progressive slate on council and it will be interesting to see how they use their new power. Adrian Carr has spent the past 7 years opposing a lot of Vision’s actions, especially around housing. Now she has the challenging role of making policy.

NPA (10/20)

They almost did it. After trailing badly in the polls, Ken Sim almost sneaked out a victory for the mayor’s chair, which would have given the NPA a majority. Instead they have the biggest block of councillors (5) and will see if they can swing someone to their side to get their agenda through or just oppose everything for the next four years. They did ok on school board and park board picking up a few seats but are outnumbered by the left-wing parties.

COPE (4/7)

I’m sure COPE is happy to have broken onto council after a long absence but disappointed that their good polling numbers and Jean Swanson’s popularity didn’t translate into more success. Swanson will be another influential vote and it will be interesting to see how she applies her years of protesting to governing.

OneCity (2/5)

I’m disappointed OneCity didn’t do better but I think they’re happy to have broken into council with Christine Boyle’s victory. They also won a school board spot (Jennifer Reddy), but incumbent Carrie Bercic lost her spot which is a huge loss. Just like COPE, it was mixed results for them.

Vision Vancouver (1/10*)

Nearly shut out after 10 years of majority rule, Vision Vancouver was the biggest loser last night. Many people don’t think the party will exist in four years.

New parties and Independents (0)

For all the talk about it being the year of the independent, they struggled yesterday. The only independent who won was Mayor Kennedy Stewart. No one else finished even close, despite lots of attention and some really qualified candidates. The top independent was Sarah Blyth who finished 19th and almost 15,000 votes away from a spot on council.

The new parties also struggled. Vancouver 1st, YES Vancouver, Coalition Vancouver, and ProVancouver had a lot of hype and social media presence but it didn’t translate into votes. The closest any came to winning a seat was Kevin Low of Vancouver 1st who finished in 24th.

Beyond the Results

My favourite way to learn about the candidates and issues this year was podcasts. The Cambie Report and This is VANCOLOUR had some great interviews.

It was cool to be part of the conversation this year. I’ve blogged about elections in the past, and had some traction, but this year I had thousands of page views every day, was averaging 10,000+ impressions a day on twitter, and got mentions in the Vancouver Courier, Globe and Mail, and CBC.

More importantly, I got messages from friends and complete strangers thanking me for the election resources. That made all the late nights compiling charts and summaries worth it.

I’m glad that were thousands of people who took the time to educate themselves and read resources like this blog. But it’s clear from the results that most Vancouver voters vote based only on the party name. That’s why the NPA and Greens did so well, and the new parties and independents struggled. It wasn’t because their candidates weren’t as good. A great example of this is Rob McDowell. He ran in 2014 under the NPA banner and got 53,965 votes and finished in 15th place. This year he ran as an independent and only managed 11,839 votes. Same candidate, same experience, same ideas and priorities but 42,000 votes less.

Update: Some interesting exit polling data from Mario Canseco.

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 7 – Slates

Election Day is in 2 days (October 20) and you’re scrambling to figure out who to vote for.

I have 3 options for you:

  1. Vote for the internet consensus picks.
  2. Vote for my recommended candidates.
  3. Or vote for one of these prebuilt slates. The first 3 are from Allen Pike’s excellent election guide.

vancouver-example-ballots

Stop the NPA West-Side Protectors
The best chance to defeat the NPA (minus Carr and Swanson because they should win anyway) Defending the shrinking populations in Shaughnessy, Dunbar, and Point Grey from renters
  • STEWART, Kennedy
  • BOYLE, Christine (OneCity)
  • CROOK, Adrian
  • FRY, Pete (GREEN)
  • ROBERTS, Anne (COPE)
  • PAZ, Tanya (Vision)
  • BLYTH, Sarah
  • O’KEEFE, Derrick (COPE)
  • YAN, Brandon (OneCity)
  • WIEBE, Michael (GREEN)
  • DEAL, Heather (Vision)
  • SIM, Ken (NPA)
  • TAYLOR, Elizabeth (Vancouver 1st)
  • LOW, Ken (Vancouver 1st)
  • DOMINATO, Lisa (NPA)
  • BLIGH, Rebecca (NPA)
  • MUSSIO, Penny (Coalition)
  • KIRBY-YUNG, Sarah (NPA)
  • GREWAL, David (NPA)
  • CHARKO, Ken (Coalition)
  • JOHL, Jesse (Vancouver 1st)
  • CHERNEN, Glen (Coalition)
I Want to Ride My Bicycle Save a Viaduct, Rip Out a Bike Lane
Cycling infrastructure for ages 8-80 Driving is a right, cycling is a luxury
  • SYLVESTER, Shauna
  • BOYLE, Christine (OneCity)
  • CROOK, Adrian
  • FRY, Pete (GREEN)
  • EVANS, Catherine (Vision)
  • COOK, Graham
  • PAZ, Tanya (Vision)
  • BLYTH, Sarah
  • PORTER, Elke
  • YAN, Brandon (OneCity)
  • DEAL, Heather (Vision)
  • YOUNG, Wai (Coalition)
  • DE GENOVA, Melissa (NPA)
  • HARDWICK, Colleen (NPA)
  • PETA, Franco (Coalition)
  • MIRZA, Raza (ProVancouver)
  • XIE, Jason (Coalition)
  • MUSSIO, Penny (Coalition)
  • LIN, James (Coalition)
  • CHARKO, Ken (Coalition)
  • JOHL, Jesse (Vancouver 1st)
  • CHERNEN, Glen (Coalition)
Build, Baby, Build Developers Are Evil
Pro-density Thomas Falcone (Abundant Housing) Anti-development Justin Fung (HALT)
  • BREMNER, Hector (YES)
  • BOYLE, Christine (OneCity)
  • CROOK, Adrian
  • SHUM, Erin
  • VIRDI, Jaspreet (YES)
  • PAZ, Tanya (Vision)
  • BAINS, Brinder (YES)
  • TANG, Phyllis (YES)
  • YAN, Brandon (OneCity)
  • OSTLER, Stephanie (YES)
  • CHAN, Glynnis (YES)
  • CASSIDY, Sean
  • FRY, Pete (GREEN)
  • ROBERTS, Anne (COPE)
  • CRELLIN, Breton (ProVancouver)
  • MIRZA, Raza (ProVancouver)
  • SWANSON, Jean (COPE)
  • BLYTH, Sarah
  • O’KEEFE, Derrick (COPE)
  • WONG, David HT (GREEN)
  • CARR, Adriane (GREEN)
  • REZEL, Rohana (ProVancouver)
Independents Day No City for White Men
Full of indie street cred Gender-balanced, diversity slate
  • STEWART, Kennedy
  • CROOK, Adrian
  • SHUM, Erin
  • COOK, Graham
  • GRANT, Wade
  • SPIKE
  • BHANDAL, Taqdir Kaur
  • BLYTH, Sarah
  • MCDOWELL, Rob
  • RAMDEEN, Katherine
  • PORTER, Elke
  • SYLVESTER, Shauna
  • BOYLE, Christine (OneCity)
  • FRY, Pete (GREEN)
  • PAZ, Tanya (Vision)
  • GRANT, Wade
  • SWANSON, Jean (COPE)
  • BHANDAL, Taqdir Kaur
  • BLYTH, Sarah
  • CARDONA, Diego (Vision)
  • WONG, David (GREEN)
  • YAN, Brandon (OneCity)
Rainbow Coalition
Full spectrum of collaborative candidates
  • SYLVESTER, Shauna
  • BOYLE, Christine (OneCity)
  • CROOK, Adrian
  • SHUM, Erin
  • GOODRICH, Justin (NPA)
  • GRANT, Wade
  • BLYTH, Sarah
  • MCDOWELL, Rob
  • O’KEEFE, Derrick (COPE)
  • OSTLER, Stephanie (YES)
  • WIEBE, Michael (GREEN)
  • DEAL, Heather (Vision)

It was surprisingly hard to narrow these lists down to 10 candidates, which is a testament to the quality of candidates we have running this year. Some honourable mentions go to:

  • Penny Noble – “I Want to Ride My Bicycle”
  • Abubakar Khan  – “Independents Day”
  • Erin Shum – “No City for White Men”
  • Diego Cardona (Vision) – “Rainbow Coalition”
  • Brandon Yan (OneCity) – “Rainbow Coalition”

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer

vote

Vancouver is about to enter one of the most interesting and uncertain elections in recent history. The mayor and most of the current councillors are not running for re-election, a number of new parties with similar sounding names have formed, and new campaign finance rules are limiting the influence of big moneyed donors like developers.

Here is my collection of resources to help you figure out who to vote for.

vancouver_political_axis

Part 1: The Parties

minor_issues

Part 2: The Minor Issues

VancouverHousingPlatformsV10

Part 3: Housing

my_ballot

Part 4: My Picks

endorsement_leaderboard

Part 5: Endorsements

surveys

Part 6: Survey Says

slates

Part 7: Slates

2018VancouverCandidateMap

Bonus: Candidate Map

Where to Vote – You can vote at any polling station across the city. Polls are open 8am to 8pm.

Other election guides:

Photo credit: City Of Vancouver

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 6 – Survey Says

vote.png

We’re less than a week to go to election day. 18,000 Vancouverites have already voted. If you’re not one of them and are looking for more information, here’s a collection of survey responses that you might find helpful.

Hub’s #VoteToBike Survey on Cycling Issues

  • Need to Know: Shauna Sylvester, Kennedy Stewart, OneCity, Vision, and COPE were the most enthusiastic toward new bike infrastructure. Pete Fry (Green) was positive but more hesitant.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Adrian Crook (Independent) – “If it weren’t for investments in protected bike lanes in Vancouver, my family’s cycling would be severely curtailed. I support the principles of the 8-80 movement, as well as Vision Zero, both of which support modern cycling infrastructure.
  • Notable Omissions: No response from Hector Bremner, Adriane Carr, or anyone in the NPA.

Vancouver Public Space Network on Parks

  • Need to Know: Greens want new pocket parks to increase green space, NPA wants private partnerships.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Matthew Kagis (Work Less Party) – “There are some unique opportunities on the horizon. Hastings Race Course, with their lease about to end & there’s IF the viaducts come down. Both are excellent opportunities to expand our park network.
    • Stuart Mackinnon (Green) – “Community Centres can and should be used for emergency shelters when temperatures become unmanageable on the streets. In the past term some Commissioners wanted to close these facilities and leave the most vulnerable to freeze on the streets. Luckily this was defeated.
  • Notable Omissions: No response from Vision Vancouver.

Patti Bacchus on School Board

  • Need to Know: The survey is long and I didn’t read all the answers, but Patti provides a good summary. SOGI is a divisive issue. Instead of reading all the responses, just read Patti Bacchus’s endorsements.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Patti Bacchus on Janet Fraser (Green) – “It takes a lot of chutzpah to take credit for passing a motion that was never implemented by the board you chair. And not in a good way. At all.”
  • Notable Omissions: NPA

Force of Nature on Environment and Climate Change

  • Need to Know: Everyone that responded is committed to tougher GHG reduction targets and annual reporting.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Shauna Sylvester (Independent) – “Advance the 100% renewable energy targets, support and enhance integrated active transportation into planning, protect and increase the canopy and green space, increase efforts to achieve zero waste, electrify city fleets and enhance community electric charging.”
    • Connie Fogal (IDEA) – Thinks climate change is caused by chemtrails and 5G wireless. And “the little Japanese scooters that operate on one wheel should be encouraged for use by locals who do not have far to travel.”
  • Notable Omissions: No response from Kennedy Stewart, Adriane Carr, the NPA, or Vision Vancouver.

Vancouver Humane Society on Animal Welfare

  • Need to Know: OneCity and the Green Party support Meatless Mondays. Almost all respondents agree with a ban on exotic pets.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Pete Fry (Green) – “I would be agreeable to seeing plant based food options incorporated into targets and goals for our Greenest City Strategy”
    • Carrie Bercic (OneCity) – “We support the core values of Meatless Mondays, but aren’t able to mandate what students eat in school.”
  • Notable Omissions: None of the leading mayoral candidates plus Vision Vancouver.

Continue reading Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 6 – Survey Says

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 5 – Endorsements

France Bula asked, so I collected as many endorsement tweets/Facebook posts/blog posts as I could. Point me in the direction of any endorsements / “I voted for …” tweets that I may have missed. I’ll leave it up to the reader to score the posters on ideology.

Full Spreadsheet link

The spreadsheet above includes (but is not limited to):

Cambie Report – Endorsement Episode

Ian Bushfield – Who He’s Voting For

Patrick Meehan – Endorsements

VDLC – Labour Endorsements

Vancouver Fire Fighters – Endorsements

Ken Ohrm (Price Tags) – Endorsements

Colin Stein (Price Tags) – Endorsements

Bicycle Mansplain – Bike Friendly Council

James Wanless – Endorsements

Civic Elxn Watch – Pro-Transit/Pro-Housing

Emily Chan – Endorsements

Todd Smith – Strategic Vote

Ian Mackinnon – Housing-Friendly YVR Voting Guide

For school board, check out Patti Bacchus’s endorsements.

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 4 – Who to Vote For

The Vancouver election is on October 20 but advanced voting starts today. Do you know who you’re voting for? Don’t panic. I have a few recommendations.

If you’re looking for more detail on the issues, you can check out:

If you just want to know who to vote for, this is the blog post for you.

My Recommended Slate (In Ballot Order)

Mayor  5. SYLVESTER, Shauna
Council  2. BOYLE, Christine OneCity
 6. CROOK, Adrian
27. COOK, Graham
36. PAZ, Tanya Vision Vancouver
45. SWANSON, Jean COPE
54. BLYTH, Sarah
56. CARDONA, Diego Vision Vancouver
59. O’KEEFE, Derrick COPE
65. YAN, Brandon 甄念本 OneCity
71. DEAL, Heather Vision Vancouver
Park  2. DEMERS, Dave GREEN
18. SHIVJI, Shamim Vision Vancouver
22. KAGIS, Mathew Work Less Party
25. ZUBKO, Cameron Vision Vancouver
26. GIESBRECHT, Gwen COPE
29. DUMONT, Camil GREEN
32. MACKINNON, Stuart GREEN
School  2. REDDY, Jennifer OneCity
 7. BERCIC, Carrie OneCity
15. JAAF, Erica OneCity
23. LEUNG, Aaron Vision Vancouver
26. WONG, Allan Vision Vancouver
28. CHAN-PEDLEY, Lois GREEN
30. DAY, Diana COPE
31. ARNOLD, Erin Vision Vancouver
32. OGER, Morgane

Edits

October 10 – original list

October 11 – School Board candidate Lois Chan-Pedley replaces Barb Parrott.

October 13 – Park Board candidate Mathew Kagis replaces John Irwin.

How Did I Pick My Candidates?

I’m looking for a new generation of elected officials to take over city hall. I hope after October 20 there will be more youth and more renters. I’m picking urbanists who are not afraid to make bold changes to the city (more apartments, more density, more bike lanes, more public transit, more public spaces) over conservationists who want to preserve neighbourhood character. I also wanted a gender-balanced council slate with 5 women and 5 men.

I don’t endorse everyone on my ballot with the same enthusiasm. Some I know will be amazing and some I have my reservations about. If I had to break them into tiers there would be:

Tier 1 Candidates: I Wish I Could Vote Them Multiple Times
boyleChristine Boyle (Council) – There’s not enough space to explain how awesome Christine is. She won the Last Candidate Standing Debate where she wowed the crowd with her compassion, smarts, and great ideas on how to make Vancouver better. She’s been endorsed by Dan Mangan and Naomi Klein. Check out This is VANCOLOUR podcast to listen for yourself.
yanBrandon Yan (Council) – I’ve been following Brandon on twitter for over 5 years. He’s young, smart, passionate about urban issues, and a huge advocate for LGBTQ youth. If he’s part of the next generation of leaders at City Hall, then I’m confident in Vancouver’s future. Listen to his interview the the Cambie Report.
crookAdrian Crook (Council) – Better known as the dad behind the 5 Kids and 1 Condo blog, Adrian is another young renter and urbanist running for council. He’s passionate about housing and transit, having co-founded Abundant Housing Vancouver and Abundant Transit BC. Listen to his interview with the Cambie Report.
blythSarah Blyth (Council) – She knows more about the opioid crisis than anyone else running for council. Anyone who’s talking about the issue is just repeating what Sarah has said. She has elected experience (Park Board twice) but also knows what it takes to get things done. She founded the Overdose Prevention Society and is responsible for saving hundreds of lives.
bercicCarrie Bercic (School Board) – Anyone who’s paying attention to Vancouver School Board politics knows the current board has been disappointing but there is one standout – Carrie Bercic. She advocates for students (like getting lead out of drinking water) and stands up to the provincial government (ensuring the VSB gets the proper funding for capital upgrades without having to strike deals with BC Hydro).
jaafErica Jaaf (School Board) – I had the privilege of chatting with both Carrie and Erica about School Board issues. These two women know there stuff. They both have long histories serving on parent advisory committees for their kids and the VSB would be better with them.
dumontCamil Dumont (Park Board) – The only Park Board candidate I’m really excited about. He’s an urban farmer, a cyclist, and is passionate about our parks system.
Tier 2 Candidates: I’m Happy To Vote For Them

Shauna Sylvester (Mayor) – She’s clearly the best mayoral candidate and has brought the most interesting policy ideas to this campaign. Her unflinching defence of cyclists in a hostile crowd won my respect (video here). She would be a Tier 1 candidate if I wasn’t worried I was splitting the left-wing vote and allowing Ken Sim to win.

Tanya Paz (Council) – Knows more about transportation than anyone else running for election. She’s a passionate advocate for active transportation and car sharing. She’s new to elected office but not new to government, having chaired the City of Vancouver’s Active Transportation Policy Council since 2013.

Diego Cardona (Council) – Has one of the most interesting backstories of anyone running for public office. He came to Canada as a refugee, ended up in the foster care system, went to UBC, and is now a champion of immigrants and renters. Oh, and he’s only 22.

Heather Deal (Council) – As one of the few councillors actually running for re-election, she brings some experience to what is guaranteed to be a council full of rookies. She’s hardworking, and an environmentalist and scientist.

Jennifer Reddy (School Board) – As an educator, Jennifer brings an important perspective to School Board (which is usually dominated by parents). I haven’t had a chance to meet her yet, but if she’s anything like the other 4 candidates running for OneCity (and from reading what others have said she is), then she would make an excellent trustee.

Morgane Oger (School Board) – She came within a few hundred votes of knocking off former Mayor Sam Sullivan in the provincial election. She’s a big proponent for Trans rights and SOGI curriculum in schools.

Stuart Mackinnon (Park Board) – One of the longest serving members of the Park Board. I haven’t always agreed with him, but he engages with Vancouverites and is committed to his role as a Park Board Commissioner. He should be re-elected.

Dave Demers (Park Board) – Another Green candidate with seems perfectly suited for Park Board. Dave describes himself as a plant geek, and although I can’t relate I respect that.

Tier 3 Candidates: I Hope I Don’t Regret This

Jean Swanson (Council) – A principled fighter for the poor and marginalized. I have some doubts about COPE from previous elections, but I think with Swanson and O’Keefe they’re moving in the right direction. She’s not a huge advocate for urbanist issues, but she will stick up for people who normally don’t have much influence in City Hall.

Derrick O’Keefe (Council) – I was really impressed with Derrick’s interview on This is VANCOLOUR. He’s a principled socialist but also pragmatic. As a founding member of the Vancouver Tenants Union, he is a great champion for renters.

Graham Cook (Council) – Graham is a last-minute addition to my ballot (replacing Pete Fry). He shares all the same opinions as I do about how to make the city better. I just worry as an independent without much visibility outside of twitter what his chances are. Listen to his excellent interview with the Cambie Report.

Tier 4 Candidates: If I Had More Votes, I’d Vote For

Kennedy Stewart (Mayor) – If I had a ranked ballot it would be Shauna first, Kennedy a close second. The progressive vote is lining up behind Kennedy and many people I respect (including all of OneCity) have endorsed him. His platform is good, he’s an interesting guy, he’s passionate about the environment and housing issues, and will undoubtedly make a good mayor if he wins. I just think Shauna would make a better mayor.

Pete Fry (council) – I debated and long and hard about whether to vote for Graham Cook or Pete Fry as my last vote. In the end I picked Graham Cook because he represents my opinions closer. I might not always agree with Pete but I really respect him. He engages with people and tries to hear all sides of an issue. I hope he wins a seat and transforms what the Green Party is because the party needs more than Adriane Carr (see below). Listen to his interview the the Cambie Report.

Michael Wiebe (council) – For the same reasons as Pete Fry above. Michael Wiebe is an urbanist and would represent a shift away from NIMBY voices in the Green Party. If you’re looking for a Green Party candidate to vote for please choose Wiebe before Carr. Listen to his interview the the Cambie Report.

Stephanie Ostler (council) – From what I’ve seen of Stephanie Ostler, I think she’d make an excellent city councillor. She’s young, a business owner, and passionate about environmental issues. She gave this great TED talk about fashion and the environment. However, she’s running for a new party that has no platform outside of housing and I can’t vote for someone who has no stated position on the other important issues.

Taq Bhandal and Wade Grant (council) – I already have 5 independent votes on my ballot, but Taq Bhandal and Wade Grant are two more who caught my attention. Both have interesting backgrounds and would bring more diversity to council. They’re worth checking out.

Basement Tier Candidates: I’m Specifically Not Voting For

Adriane Carr (council) – The NIMBY voice of the Vancouver Green Party. My gripes with her have existed for many years, as she’s consistently been the voice against density (including social housing) in Vancouver and ignored environmental issues.

Anne Roberts (council) – Anne Roberts was on council back in the early 2000s where she fought against the Canada Line in favour of buses.

Wai Young (mayor) – The bike-lane hating, Stephen Harper loving candidate for mayor running along with a reject coalition of castoffs who were too damaged for the NPA.

Ken Denike and Sophia Woo (school) – The bigoted candidates from Coalition of Vancouver who want to prevent Vancouver students from learning that some kids have 2 mommies.

David Chen (mayor) – He’s quantitatively a twitter troll and has suggested that bike lanes be removed in the winter. His whole ProVancouver party is toxic.

Other Endorsed Slates

But this is just my opinion. You should really seek out other people’s if you’re wondering who to vote for. To make that easier here is a round-up of other endorsements (not all of which I agree with).

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 5 – Endorsements