Chaos on Vancouver's streets delayed approval of the "lawns to loaves" program
What follows is a copy of my column published in 24 Hours Vancouver this week. Mayor Gregor had originally planned to debate his "lawn to loaves" initiative on Thursday, but the Canucks riots have delayed those plans. It is expected the new green schemes will be approved sometime next week.
Over the past few years, more than a few goofy ideas have been hatched by the current Vision Vancouver government. Whether it’s the installation of beehives on the roof of City Hall, or the construction of a homeless shelter for backyard chickens, nothing seems beyond the realm of possibility.
The driving force behind all of these initiatives has been Mayor Gregor Robertson and his so-called “green” agenda. Heck, if Robertson had his way, we’d all be revisiting our agrarian roots and nothing would be put into our stomachs unless we had grown it ourselves.
If ripping up the north lawn at City Hall and replacing it with a costly veggie and flower garden wasn’t interesting enough, the mayor is now proposing a number of new green schemes. The latest price tag for his effort to transform Vancouver into an urban farm is $100,000. This is in addition to the $200,000 he spent over the last two years.
Some of the initiatives being considered by Vision Vancouver will likely raise the eyebrows of more than a few taxpayers. For example, a staff report is recommending a grant of $5,000 to the Environmental Youth Alliance for “a pilot project to explore small-scale grain production by converting conventional grass lawns.”
In other words, they want to determine whether it’s feasible to grow wheat on the front lawns and boulevards of Vancouver homeowners.
Council is also being asked to provide $15,500 in tax dollars to the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition to develop “a courier business using cargo bikes.”
I’d be interested in knowing what the existing courier companies in Vancouver think of their tax dollars being used to fund one of their competitors. I suspect it would have them seeing red, rather than green, when it comes to this one.
NPA opposition leader Suzanne Anton is making hay of Gregor’s green scheme to grow wheat. She called a news conference earlier this week to present him with a ceremonial pitchfork and set of overalls before announcing she wouldn’t support his plan.
In response, Vision Vancouver’s Raymond Louie told the media that Anton jumped the gun and his party hadn’t decided whether they were going to support any of the green schemes being discussed.
So if you thought beehives, homeless chicken shelters and Gregor’s garden were the total sum of goofiness coming out of City Hall, you may want to think again.
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