Vancouver politicians can't afford a break this summer

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

7 comments

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It's rather doubtful many politicos will be hanging out here next month

It may be the dog days of “bummer summer,” but that doesn’t mean your civic politicians have gone to sleep. With less than four months left until they head to the polls, many of them are busy preparing for an election battle that may yield some interesting results.

In Vancouver, a number of lengthy reports are making their way onto council’s agenda faster than you can ride into downtown on a separated bike lane.

First Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision caucus introduced a new 162-page green manifesto. It’s a high-level wish list that its political supporters say will transform an already green Vancouver into an urban old-growth forest.

Although he may be well intentioned, the mayor’s latest attempt to halt global warming is very light on specifics. It’s also void of a bottom line that would provide voters with some certainty regarding how much all this is going to cost.

The lack of financial details in Robertson’s latest pronouncement is no oversight. If the mayor wants to secure another three-year mandate, he won’t do it by scaring voters with the threat of even higher property taxes.

Another significant report that dropped into the lap of city councillors last week focused on homelessness and housing. If you recall, Robertson promised voters he would “end homelessness” by 2015 if he was elected. That commitment has since been redefined to simply cover people sleeping outside, a.k.a. “street homelessness”.

Despite all of his political rhetoric, Robertson can’t hide from the fact that overall homelessness is getting worse under his watch. You might say it’s the mayor’s own version of an “inconvenient truth.”

Once again, this housing report provides taxpayers will little information regarding what these initiatives will cost. Not surprisingly, what the campaign-style document does include are a series of glossy images of Robertson’s caucus colleagues.

Let’s hope when voters return home from summer vacation they demand answers as to what the mayor’s lofty campaign promises will end up costing them. Otherwise, they’ll have little reason to complain after the election that these plans are breaking the bank.

What remains unclear is whether introducing these types of policy initiatives in the dead of summer will help to erase Vision’s record of goofy initiatives. The mayor may hope so, but for some reason I think the topic of backyard chickens, wheat fields and beehives will remain a point of discussion for some time to come.

- Post by Daniel. This column first appeared in 24 Hours Vancouver on Thursday, July 28th. You can follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus. Or you can "like" us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CityCaucus.

7 Comments

The Thought of The Midnight

"Politicians in Vancouver are... at the movies: 'The Long Hot Summer made The Fiddler follow The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'"

Not to worry. Vision Vancouver wanted to bring their HollyCock extravaganza into the city!? Check! They almost succeeded. Life in the city have become suddenly more expensive, so vacationing at home might be a good bet. You'll say, who cares?
As a matter of fact you'll have to be stoned not to care.
Which brings me back full circle to...HollyCock.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

' If the mayor wants to secure another three-year mandate, he won’t do it by scaring voters with the threat of even higher property taxes.'

****

And when people protest, the old line of ' the people gave us this mandate when they voted us in' will be trumped out again.

Afford a summer break...from what?
Especially when you think of Vision Vancouver, COPE, BC Liberals or NDP BC...LOL

Speaking of 'light on specifics', hope the NPA get around to having some ideas soon. Guess they are waiting to fall, which I suppose makes political sense. Or they may just lack any coherent ideas, even if some of the individuals do have some good ideas (Mike, Sean).

Steven....
It's a long week end... lots of things going on ... go to Pride talk to some politicians...
Seriously...it's summer, September is soon enough for election posturing..don't you think ???

Have a great week end!!

if the feds and the province can have an election in 45 days and publish their platforms within that time frame, surely the civic parties can do the same. When September 30th rolls around and we still have no idea of what the NPA has to offer - we can start complaining, or simply write them off as irrelevant.

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