Tag Archives: municipal election

Vote Vision Vancouver – Reason #2: Separated Bike Lanes

Dunsmuir Bike Lane Opening Day
Reason #2: Separated Bike Lanes
From a numbers perspective, Vancouver’s separated bike lanes have been a huge success, and continue to be even as the weather cools. However, that hasn’t stopped some hotheads from turning bike lanes into a political issue.

Vision Vancouver deserves full credit for having the courage and conviction to create not one, not two, but three separated bike lanes in downtown Vancouver. They’ve also doubled the cycling budget, added traffic calming to residential neighbourhoods (especially along bike routes), and tendered an RFP for a bike share program.

It’s difficult to pin down the NPA’s position on bike lanes. Suzanne Anton originally voted in favour of the bike lanes, but later rescinded her support. The NPA takes offence at being labelled as anti-cyclist, but have suggested a moratorium on downtown bike lanes, ripping out bike lanes, removing bike lanes during the winter, and licensing cyclists. I’m not sure how to classify their plans as anything but anti-cyclist. They need to read this post: Debunked: Arguments Against Cycling.

The future of Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure will be one of the largest outcomes of this election. If the NPA wins, we could lose the separated bike lanes in the downtown. If Vision wins, we will likely see more bike lanes, a bike-share program, and a continued shift away from automobiles.

Vote Vision Vancouver – Reason #1: Street Food

Roaming Dragon
Reason #1: Street Food
I think the single biggest improvement to the city in the past 3 years has been the expanded food cart program. Don’t get me wrong, JapaDog is great, but it is so nice to see more than hot dog carts on the streets of Vancouver.

There are so many awesome new food trucks. My favourites are Tacofino, Cartel Taco, and Arturo’s – I can’t get enough Mexican fusion and they’re all within a few blocks of work. Even if you’re not a taco-fiend like me, there is something for everyone, including a vegan food cart – Loving Hut Express, and too many others to list here. If you’re looking to keep on top of Vancouver’s burgeoning street food scene, I highly recommend Vancouver Street Eats – they even have an iPhone App.

Even though our street cart program is only 2 years old, the quality and variety won high praise from The Guardian’s international food critic. Good-bye hotdog, Vancouver’s street food culture is growing up.

Vote Vancouver

Advanced polls are now open. The election is Saturday, November 19th. If you’re a Canadian citizen living in Vancouver, you are eligible to vote.

This an important election. Over the next week, I’ll be posting a series of reasons why I think you should vote for Vision Vancouver and COPE, but for now you can watch this inspiring video with music from Dan Mangan.

In Defense of Jason Lamarche

Jason Lamarche is an NPA candidate for city council in Vancouver. As much as I despise the NPA for its opposition to bike lanes, they do have 2 likeable candidates Jason Lamarche and Sean Bickerton. Jason is young, dorky, progressive, and most importantly wired-in. He has an extensive online history, and the media (mostly CTV) is using it to hammer the guy.

Last week, CTV reported on a blog post Jason wrote in 2007 that discussed a ‘scandalous’ matrix to rate women. This week, they dug a bit deeper, and found entries on urban dictionary (a website devoted to documenting slang terms, often with racy content) presumably written by Jason between 2005 and 2007. The full list of entries is here, and includes words like binner, click fraud, 337, proverb, phisers, and 3 musketeers. *gasp*

Jason’s response went from “I have a sense of humour; stop smearing me so we can focus on the issues” (paraphrased) to “that wasn’t me, you can’t prove anything” (also paraphrased). Sadly, he’s now pulled down most of his online content, including a video feature he had on YouTube called Liberal Minute that showed off his personality and opinions on issues much better than any of his campaign material.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the media has gone after a young candidate for online content that really isn’t that shocking. Last provincial election, NDP candidate Ray Lam was forced to resign when Facebook pictures of him pretend groping a female friend were leaked.

If Facebook pictures, old blog posts, and entries in urban dictionary entries are enough to disqualify a candidate from running for public office, no one from my generation will ever be elected. This has to change, but won’t until some young candidate stands up to the media.
Continue reading In Defense of Jason Lamarche