Suzanne Anton isn't the only mayoral candidate who needs to explain policy flip flops
As each day passes we are starting to see the narratives for each campaign begin to emerge. When it comes to the NPA, they want us to believe Vision Vancouver are a bunch of left-wing idealogues who want nothing more than a flock of chickens in every backyard. They are also pushing the message that Mayor Gregor Robertson and his team don't listen to neighbourhoods and are bad stewards of our local economy in troubled times.
In response, Vision Vancouver have been trying to label NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton as a big flip-flopper. They claim she has switched her position on a number of key issues including everything from bike lanes to fan zones.
It's a message that has resonated with some members of the media who appear more than eager to reprint this flip-flopper messaging. However, is it wise for Vision Vancouver's campaign to focus so heavily on Anton's so-called flip-flops when they have so many of their own?
Like any government that's been in power for three years, we can now review what Vision said they were going to do versus what they actually did. In that spirit, here are some of Vision's big flip-flops that haven't made major headlines in the mainstream media:
Commitment: Gregor Robertson said he would end homelessness in 2015
Flip-flop: Robertson changed that to "street" homelessness (a.k.a people sleeping outside) and quietly had the Vision Vancouver website changed to reflect the broken promise. The overall rate of homelessness is up slightly since Robertson took office.
Commitment: Vision Vancouver would support opening up new supervised injection sites throughout the city
Flip-flop: Subsequent to the Supreme Court decision on Insite, Gregor Robertson told the Vancouver Courier "the city’s not going to initiate more sites".
Commitment: Before the last election Vision candidates condemned the building of a privately-run restaurant at English Bay.
Flip-flop: Once elected the Vision Park Board voted to approve the project.
Commitment: Before the election Gregor Robertson condemned the cut of 2/3 non-market housing at the Olympic Village down to 20%.
Flip-flop: Once elected Robertson and Vision slashed social housing at the Olympic Village to half of what the previous NPA administration promised.
Commitment: Gregor Robertson blasted NPA for discussing sensitive negotiations on Olympic Village financing in-camera, and promised he would be open and transparent.
Flip Flop: Gregor Robertson held as many if not more in-camera meetings than the previous NPA administration. They held a series of in-camera meetings about the Olympic Village and this was subsequently leaked to the media. He also chaired an in-camera meeting where council provided a $1 million backroom bailout of the Vancouver Playhouse.
Commitment: Vision promised to create 20,000 "green jobs" by 2020.
Flip-flop: Vision moved the goal posts by altering the UN definition of green jobs, then dropped that jobs commitment by nearly half.
Commitment: Councillor Raymond Louie and Vision opposed the business tax shift saying they wouldn't implement it unless it could only be targeted to small merchants.
Flip-flop: Once they took power, Vision proceeded to provide property tax breaks to all businesses in Vancouver - including the big banks!
Commitment: Vision voted against the BC Place re-development deal between PavCo and the City of Vancouver.
Flip-flop: Vision elected officials were on-hand for the BC Place opening ceremonies.
Commitment: In 2008 Vision Park Board candidates promised to keep the Mount Pleasant pool open.
Flip-flop: Once elected they approved the demolition of that pool
As you can see, Anton doesn't have the market cornered on policy flip-flops. However, Gregor Robertson should count his blessings the NPA haven't spent much time talking about his shaky record on a number of issues. Perhaps the bigger question is why the NPA have sat idly by while Vision have been successfully branding their leader as the queen of flip flops?