In 2008 Vision Vancouver was elected on a platform to end homelessness and build affordable housing. After three years of NPA rule, Vision was supposed to be the progressive alternative to NPA’s developer-friendly politics at City Hall. Today many Vancouverites feel they were given a raw deal. Basic affordability has worsened and homelessness is higher than when Vision started. What was promised as a political “paradigm shift” turned out to be one of the most aggressively pro-corporate, tax-cutting municipal governments seen in the history of Vancouver.
Now yet another ‘new’ party is appealing to people who are frustrated with corporate-class civic politics and want to see real change. David Chudnovsky and RJ Aquino, former COPE politicians, yesterday announced the formation of OneCity. Some progressives have expressed tentative optimism about the announcement, while some Vision backers have also endorsed the party.
Kelvin Bee, Kwakwaka’wakw Aboriginal Front Door elder, his son Hank,
and Victoria Bull, stand before Vancouver City Council on Saturday
Photo by Erica Holt
After three days of public hearings, Vancouver city council has approved the Downtown Eastside local area plan. The LAP is a 30-year plan for real estate development in the Downtown Eastside, with the aim of accommodating more than 8,850 new condominium dwellers and 3,300 high income renters while dispersing at least 3,350 low-income residents out of the neighbourhood.
Councillors from the rightwing NPA and Vision Vancouver unanimously voted in favour of the plan.
A dissenting vote was cast by Adriane Carr of the municipal Greens, along with more than eighty low-income residents and their supporters. Throughout the public hearings, residents and community activists called for the protection of affordable housing, a definition of social housing that does not exclude poor people, the replacement of run-down SROs and the construction of new social housing in the Downtown Eastside. These demands circulated through a 3,000-signature petition.