Join Our Mailing List

Be the first to find out about free events, workshops, partnership opportunities, and get the latest news from our regular and guest contributors. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Print

By John Kurucz, published on Vancouver Courier. Photo Credit Dan Toulgoet

Jean Swanson (standing) addresses the audience at Thursday's all candidates' meeting, presented as part of Simon Fraser University’s SFU City Conversations dialogue series.

October 10, 2017

Vancouver City Council Hopefuls Talk Housing, Affordability and Small Business

Housing and affordability, transportation and the small business sector were the predominant themes in Thursday’s all-candidates’ meeting for council hopefuls ahead of the Oct. 14 byelection. Nine candidates are vying for a council seat left vacant earlier this year when former Vision councillor Geoff Meggs took a job in Victoria as Premier John Horgan’s chief of staff.

The format of the event, presented as part of Simon Fraser University’s SFU City Conversations dialogue series, gave each candidate a two-minute introduction, followed by questions from the roughly 60 people in attendance.

Vision Vancouver candidate Diego Cardona didn’t attend, nor did independent Joshua Wasilenkoff.

The following list is in alphabetical order and includes party affiliation. The answers have been condensed for clarity.

ON HOUSING

Bremner, Hector  (NPA)

  1. build the housing supply that’s most needed — change zoning regulations to allow more middle-class earners to live in the city
  2. increase the amount of multi-residential housing stock
  3. expedite the building permit process from city hall

Dunsdon, Mary Jean (Sensible Vancouver)

  1. add more affordable housing stock
  2. lower rental rates so employees can live closer to the places they work

Fry, Pete (Green Party)

  1. establish offices/departments for renters and small business owners
  2. expedite the building permit process
  3. place a moratorium on the demolition of purpose built rentals

Graves, Judy (OneCity)

  1. ensure that rents do not exceed 30 per cent of a person’s income
  2. reduce transit costs so employees can live near their place of employment
  3. build purpose built rental stock

Lee, Gary (Independent)

  1. build more rental housing  
  2. change zoning policies to allow for more rental stock

Murphy, Damian J. (Independent)

  1. build more mixed use — residential and retail — facilities
  2. bolster the housing types allowed in the city: laneway and infill (secondary suites, duplexes, for example)
  3. institute a tax on foreign-owned retail properties

Swanson, Jean (Independent)

  1. institute a “mansion tax” — it  won’t apply to properties assessed at less than $5 million; those valued between $5 and $10 million would be taxed an extra one per cent annually, while properties north of $10 million would be taxed an additional two per cent per year
  2. rental freeze
  3. a graduated business tax scheme that charges larger companies more and smaller business less
  4. increased social and co-op housing

ON TRANSIT, CYCLING AND GETTING AROUND THE CITY

Bremner, Hector (NPA)

  1. increase the amount of modes of transportation available to residents
  2. change urban planning policies to allow residents more choice

Dunsdon, Mary Jean (Sensible Vancouver)

  1. bolster ride-share services
  2. adapt driverless, A/I technologies
  3. free transit in downtown

Fry, Pete (Green Party)

  1. free transit in downtown
  2. improve cycling connectivity in the city and across Metro Vancouver. An example he cited was to connect the Arbutus Greenway to Kent Avenue.
  3. increase reliance on electric vehicles

Graves, Judy (OneCity)

  1. eliminate cars from downtown
  2. expand the bus fleet, specifically electric buses
  3. lower transit costs

Lee, Gary (Independent)

  1. build the proposed subway line out to UBC
  2. invest more money in cycling infrastructure
  3. invest more money in local transit

Murphy, Damian J. (Independent)

  1. free transit in downtown
  2. expand the cycling network in the city and across Metro Vancouver

Swanson, Jean (Independent)

  1. free transit in downtown
  2. $5 monthly bus passes for low-income earners

ON SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS

Bremner, Hector (NPA)

  1. modify the taxation scheme for small business owners
  2. change zoning policies to better align taxation levels with the amount of income that business generates

Dunsdon, Mary Jean (Sensible Vancouver)

  1. add more affordable housing so employees can live closer to where they work

Fry, Pete (Green Party)

  1. create a small business office at city hall
  2. expedite the permitting process at city hall

Graves, Judy (OneCity)

  1. add more affordable housing so employees can live closer to where they work
  2. lower transit costs

Lee, Gary (Independent)

  1. add more affordable housing so employees can live closer to where they work
  2. add more rental stock

Murphy, Damian J. (Independent)

  1. implement a tax on foreign ownership of retail buildings

 Swanson, Jean (Independent)

  1. slow down condo development
  2. a graduated business tax scheme that charges larger companies more and smaller businesses less
  3. lobby the province to establish rent controls for local businesses
  4. offer social/co-op housing options to employees so they can live closer to where they work

 

Voting day is Oct. 14.

This article was originally published on the Vancouver Courier on October 5, 2017. 

Join Our Mailing List

Be the first to find out about free events, workshops, partnership opportunities, and get the latest news from our regular and guest contributors.

Choose your subscription(s):