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Category "Bike Lanes"

30May

Bike lanes to nowhere: Fraser Valley communities working to create cycling networks

by admin

It’s GoByBike week in B.C. But in Mission, most go by car.

A “pop-up” bike lane along 7th Avenue appears to be doing little to change that, as it was almost deserted Thursday afternoon.

“It’s just a pain,” said Michelle Leggett as she walked her six-year-old daughter Madeline Lutz home from school. “I think I’ve seen four bikers all week, and I’m pretty sure they’re regulars.”


Michelle Leggett and daughter Madeline Lutz.

Francis Georgian /

PNG

To create the lane, city staff closed one side of the street to parking from Monday to Friday. As a result, the side streets around the high school have been overwhelmed with parents dropping off their kids.

“We’re just too far out here,” said Leggett. “People commute to Vancouver or Burnaby, and they need a car.”

But despite public reluctance, bike lanes are being built in some of B.C.’s most car-centric communities. Earlier this week, the provincial government announced $10 million in cycling infrastructure funding across the province. It will be up to municipalities to change public perception — and tackle the challenges that come along with building a cycling network in the suburbs.

Mission’s pop-up bike lane is part of that. Council has already approved a permanent bike lane along 7th Avenue, and the temporary lane is designed to increase public engagement and gauge public reaction to the idea, said  Mission Community Cycling Coalition member Rocky Blondin.

“The design work on a permanent bike lane will be informed by what happens this week,” said Blondin, who is president of the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association.

The lane’s usage was “modest” at the start of the week, but seems to be increasing as people realize there is another option to get to school or the recreation centre. It’s the city’s first east-to-west bike lane and its first protected bike lane.

“It takes time for people to start thinking differently,” said Blondin.

Related

There are several challenges to increasing cycling in the Fraser Valley, according to advocates. While the number of bike lanes in cities outside Vancouver is increasing, many communities still lack a comprehensive network that can safely and efficiently take cyclists where they want to go.

“The strength in Vancouver is in a cycling network that’s connected and can get people from Point A to B,” said Erin O’Melinn, executive director of non-profit advocacy group, HUB Cycling. “The Fraser Valley is not yet at that point.”

Unused bike lanes give critics fodder for their fight against more cycling infrastructure during public consultation on the issue, she said.

“But cities need to understand that you can’t build a north-to-south route and expect it to be used. You need east-to-west too. The network is the game-changer.”

Some Fraser Valley cities are also challenged by the fact that their main roads are highways. Many cyclists aren’t comfortable biking on the shoulder of King George Highway or Lougheed Highway. Side roads often end in cul-de-sacs.


The “pop-up” bike lane along 7th Avenue in Mission.

Francis Georgian /

PNG

In Mission, where up to 70 per cent of residents leave town for work, it’s difficult to increase bicycle commuting when people must travel long distances.

But O’Melinn said progress is being made. With funding contributions from other levels of government, many cities are beginning to create cycling infrastructure, which remains cheap compared to other transportation options.

Surrey, in particular, has made significant strides in connecting its downtown core, she said, although the municipality’s size presents a challenge for linking the entire community.

Abbotsford signalled its intentions to make cycling a priority earlier this year with a new pedestrian and cycling bridge over Highway 1 connecting the University of the Fraser Valley to a main thoroughfare. The bridge is adorned with dozens of recycled aluminum bike wheels.

Related

Elsewhere in the Fraser Valley, progress on bike lanes is “hit and miss,” said University of the Fraser Valley urban geography professor John Belec. “It depends on the interest of each particular council to move forward on it.”

There is also significant backlash from a segment of the population that believes “roads are primarily for cars, and as a public space, cars have priority,” he said.

While councils may not be able to push through a comprehensive bike network all at once, many are beginning to lay the groundwork and put small segments in place.

“It takes courage and energy — and a faith that they will be used,” said Belec.

In Chilliwack, cycling advocates are working to fill in the “gaps on the map,” said David Swankey, co-chair of Cycle Chilliwack. Using a rail corridor that loops through the community, the challenge is to develop clear and safe routes from there. The city is still working to determine what those routes will look like.

Swankey said advocates want to see routes that are accessible and safe for everyone, including seniors and kids on their way to school, which would increase their use.

“It’s an ongoing to process to see how it will roll out in the years to come,” he said.

Related

BikeBC funding

Earlier this week, the provincial government announced $10 million in funding for cycling infrastructure projects across B.C. Municipalities must apply for the grants, which cover between 50 to 75 per cent of project costs, depending on population.

The BikeBC money helps communities pay for new bikeways, or improve safety and accessibility on existing pathways.

Several cities on the South Coast received funding for 2019-20, including:

• The City of Abbotsford is approved to receive $299,685 for a separated two-way cycle track connecting elementary, middle and high schools to the recreation centre, library and the Discovery Trail.

• The City of Chilliwack is approved to receive $437,263 to extend a separated pathway between Airport Road and Hocking Avenue on the Valley Rail Trail, providing a north-south connection for all ages and abilities.

• The City of North Vancouver is approved to receive $1 million toward the Casano-Loutet cycling and pedestrian bridge over Highway 1.

• The City of Pemberton is approved to receive $7,500 to develop a cycling network plan that addresses active transportation within the community.

• The District of Squamish is approved to receive $210,450 for upgrades to the Dentville section of the Discovery Trail, which will include a separated paved path with lighting.

• The City of Vancouver is approved to receive $150,925 for cycling and pedestrian safety improvements at the 800 Robson Street Permanent Plaza.

• The City of Vancouver is also approved to receive $1 million for upgrades to the downtown bike network.

• The District of West Vancouver is approved to receive $50,700 for separated bike lanes between the districts of West Vancouver and North Vancouver.

Related

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7Apr

Popularity of electric bikes growing on city roads and bike paths

by admin

At first, David Mallory thought riding an electric bike was the equivalent of cheating.

Things started to change when his wife Deb bought one about nine years ago. She decided it was the best way to conquer the hill to their home on West 10th in Vancouver.

As she zoomed up the hill, Mallory remembers pedalling on his 21-speed bike as fast as he could, trying to catch her. She won every time.

So he took her bike for a ride. When he engaged the motor, he felt like he was defying gravity.

Mallory was hooked.

“It’s hard to believe I’ve had an electric bike for that long — since 2011,” he said. “Not once have I gone: ‘I wish I hadn’t bought a bike.’ I would never go back to a regular bike. It’s just so much more fun.”

The experience Mallory and his wife have had with their electric bike isn’t unusual in Metro Vancouver. As the number of cyclists riding bicycles for commuting and recreation continues to increase, the kind of bikes they are using is also changing. More people than ever are riding electric bicycles, which also have functional pedals.

Both David and Deb are 63 and very active. Not only do they ride their e-bikes, they swim, play tennis and golf.

David has become particularly conscious of the importance of staying active as a way to keep his symptoms of multiple sclerosis at bay.


David Mallory has an electric bike that he rides everywhere he can with his wife Deb.

Francis Georgian /

PNG

This year, for example, he couldn’t wait for the snow to melt so he could use bigger panniers (a pair of bags or containers) on his bike to carry groceries. He estimates he has ridden 200 km this year — including a couple of trips to Richmond.

The Mallories have just upgraded their bikes to new German-made Kalkhoff bikes from Cit-E-Cycles. They bought them on sale for about $4,000.

“You see a lot of older people, a lot of seniors, riding electric bikes,” said Mallory, who retired five years ago on disability. “We ride as much as we can. We’ll ride to Granville Island to pick up something and come back. It’s really been a huge thing for us.”

The growth in the sale of electric bikes around the world is the “largest and most rapid uptake of alternative-fuelled vehicles in the history of motorization,” according to the Transport Reviews article E-bikes in the mainstream.

China leads the world in e-bike sales, followed by Netherlands and Germany. In 10 years, more than 150 million e-bikes have been sold worldwide.

The article concluded that since market penetration is low in most countries, there is little evidence to suggest that the sale of electric bikes will slow in coming years.

One example of the growth in e-bikes in Metro Vancouver is Cit-E-Cycles. Since opening its first location in 2011, the company has expanded to four outlets in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley and Victoria.

Doug Sutton, sales and service manager at the West Broadway store, said e-bike technology has improved in the past few years.

A big part of the market used to be conversion kits to adapt regular bikes to electric bikes. More recently, the location of motors has moved from the front or back wheels to the centre of the bike, which provides power to the wheel via the chain drive. Batteries have become more efficient as well.

The top price for an electric bike in his store is $10,000, although Sutton said he recently had a special order for a $20,000 bike. He said the sweet spot for most e-bike sales is between $3,500 and $5,000.

Everyone from grandparents to college students are buying e-bikes, he said. One growing segment is parents buying large, extended “cargo” bikes to pick up their children from school.

“Most people are looking for all-rounders,” he said. “They’re looking to ride to work, or ride on a gravel track, and people who are on a budget looking for the least expensive bike.”


Doug Sutton, a manager at Cit-E-Cycles, with a Riese and Muller electric bike in Vancouver. Cit-E-Cycles is one of the larger electric bike retailers in Metro Vancouver.

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

Erin O’Melinn, executive director of bicycle advocacy group HUB Cycling, said while e-bikes represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the transportation market, she knows of no systemic estimate of their share of the overall bike numbers in Metro Vancouver.

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of people cycling to work increased from 4.4 per cent to 6.1 per cent, according to 2017 statistics from the City of Vancouver. More people ride to work in Vancouver than any other major city in the country.

Overall, the 2017 report card on walking and cycling said that “56 per cent of Vancouver residents are interested in cycling more often.

“This marks a significant increase citywide in a short period of time. In 2014, only 30 per cent of Vancouver residents were interested in cycling more often.”

O’Melinn said research into electric bikes and other micro-mobility devices such as scooters, mopeds and electric skateboards is in its infancy.

“HUB’s members have indicated a strong interest in this area and we are ramping up our efforts to understand how such technologies may be effectively encouraged and regulated to increase access to cycling to a broader range of ages, abilities and trip types,” she said by email.

Lon LaClaire, director of transportation for the City of Vancouver, believes electric bicycles have huge potential to create more cycling trips.

“We’re seeing it already with goods movements,” he said. The worker co-operative Shift Delivery in East Vancouver, he said, uses e-bikes.

“For others who don’t have the strength or don’t want to get sweaty, an e-bike is an option that previously wasn’t practical for them. … We’ll be looking at ways to support e-bikes.”

[email protected]


Biking in Metro Vancouver

• The City of Vancouver has a bike lane and path network of 322 km, 25 per cent of which are classed as top-AAA, which means for all ages and abilities. The longest segment is the 31.5 km seawall.

• Mobi, the City of Vancouver’s bike share, started in 2016 with 250 bikes at 23 stations. It now has 1,250 bikes in 125 stations. The goal is 1,500 bikes at 150 stations.

• Bike sharing has spread around Metro Vancouver. Locations include Richmond, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam, and soon in Burnaby. On the North Shore, the City of North Vancouver is part of an initiative with the District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver to introduce electric bike share by this June.


What is an electric bike?

In B.C., an electric bike is a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a seat, functional pedals and an electric motor of up to 500 watts. It can’t be gas powered or travel faster than 32 km/h on level ground without pedalling. Anyone riding an e-bike has to wear a helmet and be 16 years of age or older.


Biking in Vancouver: By the numbers

The City of Vancouver maintains automated bike counters at 10 locations around town, and reports monthly volumes rounded to the nearest thousand.

Science World

July 2013: 167,000

July 2014: 187,000

July 2015: 195,000

July 2016: 193,000

July 2017: 227,000

July 2018: 239,000

Union and Hawks

July 2013: 101,000

July 2014: *

July 2015: 115,000

July 2016: 111,000

July 2017: 120,000

July 2018: 127,000

Burrard Bridge

Jan 2010: 46,000

Jan 2011: 41,000

Jan 2012: 35,000

Jan 2013: 35,000

Jan 2014: 54,000

Jan 2015: 62,000

Jan 2016: 53,000

Jan 2017: 40,000

Jan 2018: 47,000

* Data not available due to technical problems with counter

Data from City of Vancouver’s automated bike counters are available online


A move to fill ‘gaps in the map’

Burnaby’s decision to eliminate an unsafe bottleneck for cyclists is an encouraging move toward creating a connected bike network in the region, says bicycle advocacy group HUB Cycling.

HUB says safer bike routes will in turn persuade more people to start riding bikes.

The big change coming for cyclists in Burnaby is on the Gilmore Overpass above the Trans Canada Highway. Built in 1964, the overpass is one of 400 spots in Metro Vancouver identified by HUB as obstacles that discourage an estimated 40 per cent of people from riding their bike.

Burnaby council recently approved spending more than $2 million to add to about $900,000 from TransLink to build a protected bike path on the west side of the overpass by the end of the year.

Joe Keithley, a Green Party councillor, said Burnaby has been able to act quickly on the project because a plan for the overpass came before council more than three years ago but was shelved.

Keithley said he and Mayor Mike Hurley, both elected last fall, wanted to do something as soon as possible to encourage cycling and sustainable transportation in Burnaby.

“We have to get more north-south and east-west bike paths in Burnaby,” he said. “We’re way behind Vancouver.”

The permanent changes to the road mean restricting motor vehicles to one north bound lane to create a 3.5-metre-wide path for pedestrians and northbound and southbound bikes. The lane closure would stretch from Myrtle Street to Dominion Street.

Keithley said the city lobbied the province to replace the overpass, which has been hit several times by trucks since the Trans Canada Highway was widened, but Victoria said it wasn’t going to spend millions of dollars on a new overpass for another 20 to 25 years.

“We thought this would be an expedient and economical way to help people,” Keithley said by phone.

“If you want to encourage a generation of cyclists, start them early. If you want to ride with your kid or grandson, you’d feel totally safe with this new plan.”

Erin O’Melinn, executive director of HUB Cycling, said research has shown that unsafe spots, such as the one on Gilmore, are the top reason that people are discouraged from riding a bike.

HUB calls them gaps in the map — specific locations where bike routes end abruptly without any safe alternative for cyclists.

Citing data from TransLink’s trip diary survey, O’Melinn said many people want to ride their bikes but are held back by unsafe and disconnected bike routes.

“There are gaps all over the region where people do not feel safe and there is no reasonable way to get from A to B,” O’Melinn said.

“Imagine if there were streets for cars that ended abruptly and you couldn’t get to where you had to go, and had to get out and walk your car.”

“It happens all the time when you’re on a bike. When we ungap the map, the region will have safe, direct, paved bikeways that will allow people of all ages and abilities to get where they want to go.”

HUB Biking has an interactive map identifying gaps in the cycling routes in Metro Vancouver. People can adopt gaps in their neighbourhood by making a $50 contribution to help “ungap the map,” or commuters can tell a story about why the gap matters to them.

HUB’s recent successes in eliminating some of the gaps in the map include a one-way protected bike lane along 80 Avenue from 128th Street to 132nd Street in Surrey and a commitment from Langley Township to match TransLink’s $500,000 to expand commuter bike lanes to include Murrayville.


Source link

7Apr

Popularity of electric bikes growing on city roads and bike paths

by admin

At first, David Mallory thought riding an electric bike was the equivalent of cheating.

Things started to change when his wife Deb bought one about nine years ago. She decided it was the best way to conquer the hill to their home on West 10th in Vancouver.

As she zoomed up the hill, Mallory remembers pedalling on his 21-speed bike as fast as he could, trying to catch her. She won every time.

So he took her bike for a ride. When he engaged the motor, he felt like he was defying gravity.

Mallory was hooked.

“It’s hard to believe I’ve had an electric bike for that long — since 2011,” he said. “Not once have I gone: ‘I wish I hadn’t bought a bike.’ I would never go back to a regular bike. It’s just so much more fun.”

The experience Mallory and his wife have had with their electric bike isn’t unusual in Metro Vancouver. As the number of cyclists riding bicycles for commuting and recreation continues to increase, the kind of bikes they are using is also changing. More people than ever are riding electric bicycles, which also have functional pedals.

Both David and Deb are 63 and very active. Not only do they ride their e-bikes, they swim, play tennis and golf.

David has become particularly conscious of the importance of staying active as a way to keep his symptoms of multiple sclerosis at bay.


David Mallory has an electric bike that he rides everywhere he can with his wife Deb.

Francis Georgian /

PNG

This year, for example, he couldn’t wait for the snow to melt so he could use bigger panniers (a pair of bags or containers) on his bike to carry groceries. He estimates he has ridden 200 km this year — including a couple of trips to Richmond.

The Mallories have just upgraded their bikes to new German-made Kalkhoff bikes from Cit-E-Cycles. They bought them on sale for about $4,000.

“You see a lot of older people, a lot of seniors, riding electric bikes,” said Mallory, who retired five years ago on disability. “We ride as much as we can. We’ll ride to Granville Island to pick up something and come back. It’s really been a huge thing for us.”

The growth in the sale of electric bikes around the world is the “largest and most rapid uptake of alternative-fuelled vehicles in the history of motorization,” according to the Transport Reviews article E-bikes in the mainstream.

China leads the world in e-bike sales, followed by Netherlands and Germany. In 10 years, more than 150 million e-bikes have been sold worldwide.

The article concluded that since market penetration is low in most countries, there is little evidence to suggest that the sale of electric bikes will slow in coming years.

One example of the growth in e-bikes in Metro Vancouver is Cit-E-Cycles. Since opening its first location in 2011, the company has expanded to four outlets in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley and Victoria.

Doug Sutton, sales and service manager at the West Broadway store, said e-bike technology has improved in the past few years.

A big part of the market used to be conversion kits to adapt regular bikes to electric bikes. More recently, the location of motors has moved from the front or back wheels to the centre of the bike, which provides power to the wheel via the chain drive. Batteries have become more efficient as well.

The top price for an electric bike in his store is $10,000, although Sutton said he recently had a special order for a $20,000 bike. He said the sweet spot for most e-bike sales is between $3,500 and $5,000.

Everyone from grandparents to college students are buying e-bikes, he said. One growing segment is parents buying large, extended “cargo” bikes to pick up their children from school.

“Most people are looking for all-rounders,” he said. “They’re looking to ride to work, or ride on a gravel track, and people who are on a budget looking for the least expensive bike.”


Doug Sutton, a manager at Cit-E-Cycles, with a Riese and Muller electric bike in Vancouver. Cit-E-Cycles is one of the larger electric bike retailers in Metro Vancouver.

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

Erin O’Melinn, executive director of bicycle advocacy group HUB Cycling, said while e-bikes represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the transportation market, she knows of no systemic estimate of their share of the overall bike numbers in Metro Vancouver.

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of people cycling to work increased from 4.4 per cent to 6.1 per cent, according to 2017 statistics from the City of Vancouver. More people ride to work in Vancouver than any other major city in the country.

Overall, the 2017 report card on walking and cycling said that “56 per cent of Vancouver residents are interested in cycling more often.

“This marks a significant increase citywide in a short period of time. In 2014, only 30 per cent of Vancouver residents were interested in cycling more often.”

O’Melinn said research into electric bikes and other micro-mobility devices such as scooters, mopeds and electric skateboards is in its infancy.

“HUB’s members have indicated a strong interest in this area and we are ramping up our efforts to understand how such technologies may be effectively encouraged and regulated to increase access to cycling to a broader range of ages, abilities and trip types,” she said by email.

Lon LaClaire, director of transportation for the City of Vancouver, believes electric bicycles have huge potential to create more cycling trips.

“We’re seeing it already with goods movements,” he said. The worker co-operative Shift Delivery in East Vancouver, he said, uses e-bikes.

“For others who don’t have the strength or don’t want to get sweaty, an e-bike is an option that previously wasn’t practical for them. … We’ll be looking at ways to support e-bikes.”

[email protected]


Biking in Metro Vancouver

• The City of Vancouver has a bike lane and path network of 322 km, 25 per cent of which are classed as top-AAA, which means for all ages and abilities. The longest segment is the 31.5 km seawall.

• Mobi, the City of Vancouver’s bike share, started in 2016 with 250 bikes at 23 stations. It now has 1,250 bikes in 125 stations. The goal is 1,500 bikes at 150 stations.

• Bike sharing has spread around Metro Vancouver. Locations include Richmond, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam, and soon in Burnaby. On the North Shore, the City of North Vancouver is part of an initiative with the District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver to introduce electric bike share by this June.


What is an electric bike?

In B.C., an electric bike is a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a seat, functional pedals and an electric motor of up to 500 watts. It can’t be gas powered or travel faster than 32 km/h on level ground without pedalling. Anyone riding an e-bike has to wear a helmet and be 16 years of age or older.


Biking in Vancouver: By the numbers

The City of Vancouver maintains automated bike counters at 10 locations around town, and reports monthly volumes rounded to the nearest thousand.

Science World

July 2013: 167,000

July 2014: 187,000

July 2015: 195,000

July 2016: 193,000

July 2017: 227,000

July 2018: 239,000

Union and Hawks

July 2013: 101,000

July 2014: *

July 2015: 115,000

July 2016: 111,000

July 2017: 120,000

July 2018: 127,000

Burrard Bridge

Jan 2010: 46,000

Jan 2011: 41,000

Jan 2012: 35,000

Jan 2013: 35,000

Jan 2014: 54,000

Jan 2015: 62,000

Jan 2016: 53,000

Jan 2017: 40,000

Jan 2018: 47,000

* Data not available due to technical problems with counter

Data from City of Vancouver’s automated bike counters are available online


A move to fill ‘gaps in the map’

Burnaby’s decision to eliminate an unsafe bottleneck for cyclists is an encouraging move toward creating a connected bike network in the region, says bicycle advocacy group HUB Cycling.

HUB says safer bike routes will in turn persuade more people to start riding bikes.

The big change coming for cyclists in Burnaby is on the Gilmore Overpass above the Trans Canada Highway. Built in 1964, the overpass is one of 400 spots in Metro Vancouver identified by HUB as obstacles that discourage an estimated 40 per cent of people from riding their bike.

Burnaby council recently approved spending more than $2 million to add to about $900,000 from TransLink to build a protected bike path on the west side of the overpass by the end of the year.

Joe Keithley, a Green Party councillor, said Burnaby has been able to act quickly on the project because a plan for the overpass came before council more than three years ago but was shelved.

Keithley said he and Mayor Mike Hurley, both elected last fall, wanted to do something as soon as possible to encourage cycling and sustainable transportation in Burnaby.

“We have to get more north-south and east-west bike paths in Burnaby,” he said. “We’re way behind Vancouver.”

The permanent changes to the road mean restricting motor vehicles to one north bound lane to create a 3.5-metre-wide path for pedestrians and northbound and southbound bikes. The lane closure would stretch from Myrtle Street to Dominion Street.

Keithley said the city lobbied the province to replace the overpass, which has been hit several times by trucks since the Trans Canada Highway was widened, but Victoria said it wasn’t going to spend millions of dollars on a new overpass for another 20 to 25 years.

“We thought this would be an expedient and economical way to help people,” Keithley said by phone.

“If you want to encourage a generation of cyclists, start them early. If you want to ride with your kid or grandson, you’d feel totally safe with this new plan.”

Erin O’Melinn, executive director of HUB Cycling, said research has shown that unsafe spots, such as the one on Gilmore, are the top reason that people are discouraged from riding a bike.

HUB calls them gaps in the map — specific locations where bike routes end abruptly without any safe alternative for cyclists.

Citing data from TransLink’s trip diary survey, O’Melinn said many people want to ride their bikes but are held back by unsafe and disconnected bike routes.

“There are gaps all over the region where people do not feel safe and there is no reasonable way to get from A to B,” O’Melinn said.

“Imagine if there were streets for cars that ended abruptly and you couldn’t get to where you had to go, and had to get out and walk your car.”

“It happens all the time when you’re on a bike. When we ungap the map, the region will have safe, direct, paved bikeways that will allow people of all ages and abilities to get where they want to go.”

HUB Biking has an interactive map identifying gaps in the cycling routes in Metro Vancouver. People can adopt gaps in their neighbourhood by making a $50 contribution to help “ungap the map,” or commuters can tell a story about why the gap matters to them.

HUB’s recent successes in eliminating some of the gaps in the map include a one-way protected bike lane along 80 Avenue from 128th Street to 132nd Street in Surrey and a commitment from Langley Township to match TransLink’s $500,000 to expand commuter bike lanes to include Murrayville.


Source link

11Oct

Vancouver Election: 8 hot topics and where mayoral candidates stand

by admin

Vancouver residents will choose a new mayor and council in the Oct. 20 election. To help voters choose among an unusually high number of candidates, city columnist Dan Fumano has compiled brief summaries on where they stand on key issues facing the city. The following responses were submitted by seven top mayoral candidates (presented in alphabetical order) and four parties running council candidates, and have been edited for clarity and length.


Clockwise from top left: David Chen, Hector Bremner, Fred Harding, Ken Sim, Wai Young, Shauna Sylvester and Kennedy Stewart.

PNG

Housing Affordability

Hector Bremner (Yes Vancouver): Vancouver’s current plan is 91 years old and does not allow modern forms of housing in 75 per cent of the city. Vancouver is way behind comparable cities in terms of process and technology. Yes Vancouver wants to revolutionize the way housing is planned, zoned and approved in Vancouver.

David Chen (ProVancouver): Require 50 per cent rentals for all new builds, use rental-only zoning around transit corridors, build larger temporary modular housing units to accommodate families, switch co-ops to five-year automatic renewals after first 50 years, build more co-ops and social housing. Fix maximum social housing rents at 30 per cent of median area household pre-tax income.

Fred Harding (Vancouver 1st): Vancouver 1st is committed to building affordable rental housing on city-owned land that will be targeted at costing the tenants monthly rents of $400, $900 and $1,300, for a bachelor, one- and two-bedroom unit, respectively.

Ken Sim (NPA): We need solutions that will make an impact immediately to relieve pressure on limited supply. That’s why the NPA would immediately allow two secondary suites in every detached home — of which there are around 40,000 in Vancouver. The NPA would also build dedicated rental buildings on city-owned land, fast-track housing for those who need it most, and clean up the development approval process.

Kennedy Stewart (Independent): We need housing that’s affordable for everyone. My platform includes building 85,000 homes over the next 10 years, including 25,000 affordable, non-profit run rental units, 25,000 market rental units, and 35,000 new condominiums, coach houses, and townhouses. I’ll also streamline the development process for purpose-built rental, and create a new renters’ advocate office.

Shauna Sylvester (Independent): We can’t rest until we have a three per cent rental vacancy rate and the price per square foot for housing is a better match with typical wages. I will support more purpose-built housing to create thriving neighbourhoods for children, working professionals, seniors and businesses by using City resources, renewing leases on all co-ops, and encouraging purpose-built housing through faster permitting and fee waivers.

Wai Young (Coalition Vancouver): Coalition Vancouver will not sell one square inch of city land. To decrease pressure we will allow one additional rental unit per home. Longer term we will focus on purpose-built rental buildings and co-ops. Alongside rentals and co-ops, we have a plan to build entry-level homes intended to be within reach for millennials.

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE): Over the past year Jean Swanson and COPE have been building a movement for a Rent Freeze, helping to reduce the 4.5 per cent rent increase for 2019. COPE will use all city powers to protect renters and small business tenants, and will tax mansions over $5 million to end homelessness in one year and build city-owned non-market rental housing in subsequent years.

Green Party of Vancouver: We will amend Vancouver’s Charter to recognize the right to housing, and redefine affordability in bylaws to be 30 per cent of income. We will set a goal of 50 per cent below-market-rate housing for new multi-residential developments and launch a city-funded, city-built housing program on city-owned land. We will change bylaws to enable affordable construction, encourage secondary suites and fast-track permits for affordable housing.

Vision Vancouver: Vision will speed up permits, zone to allow more housing options and deliver more city-built affordable housing, including co-ops, as part of a comprehensive plan for 88,000 new homes over 10 years. Vision’s school board candidates are working to pilot housing for teachers.

OneCity: OneCity believes housing is a human right. We are committed to renewing co-op leases and supporting more co-ops and co-housing. OneCity will utilize rental-only zoning and incentivize purpose-built rental housing across the city, attentive to the needs of urban Indigenous people, seniors, families, people with accessibility requirements, pet owners, and more. OneCity will strengthen tenant protections and build 25,000 truly affordable non-market housing units.

 

MORE ABOUT HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

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Empty Homes Tax

Hector Bremner (Yes Vancouver): While the tax is generating some revenue for social housing, the 25,000 homes that were apparently empty have not materialized and local residents are being trapped in complex and invasive audits. Yes Vancouver wants to review it and focus on building middle-class housing.

David Chen (ProVancouver): Modify the tax to have a laser focus on speculators. Increase the tax on a graduated scale, heavily increasing for properties over $5 million. Credits would be graduated, so that after 20 years of living in the home, the tax would be zero for residents who have lived in their community for close to a generation.

Fred Harding (Vancouver 1st): Vancouver 1st has pledged to remove the empty homes tax, saying it is ineffective and punishes those it was not intended to tax. Vancouver 1st has also pledged to file a lawsuit against the NDP government to fight and end the new school tax surcharge on properties valued at more than $3 million.

Ken Sim (NPA): The idea that we can tax our way out of this housing crisis is wishful thinking. A much better approach is to bring new units on to the market right away — which the NPA will do by allowing two secondary suites in every detached home – while working on further increasing supply in a way that does not destroy neighbourhoods.

Kennedy Stewart (Independent): I would triple the empty homes tax. We need to take tough measures to fight the speculation that is rampant in our city and protect our local housing market from global financial forces and speculators. Homes need to be used for housing people, not sitting empty as speculative investments.

Shauna Sylvester (Independent): I would triple it. Housing is more than an asset class, and we can’t afford to let desperately needed real estate sit there unused because someone wants to park their cash here without contributing to our community. Tripling the Empty Homes Tax will help ensure homes are used to house people, not to make a speculative investment.

Wai Young (Coalition Vancouver): This was a poorly designed tax and poorly implemented. It would be something we would address in office. Simply repealing it would be reckless at this delicate stage in the housing market cycle.

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE): COPE was the first to propose the Empty Homes Property Tax in the 2014 civic elections. Other parties said it wasn’t possible, but now it’s common sense. COPE’s proposal included extending the tax to vacant commercial properties and empty lots. We support increasing the tax and targeting all revenues toward city-owned non-market housing.

Green Party of Vancouver: We will not remove the empty home tax, but will further clarify rules regarding exceptions. Pending a full report after the first year of implementation, we may consider increasing it. We will develop a strategy to expand the empty home tax to include commercial storefronts as a measure to reduce vacancies and prevent the hollowing out of commercial streets.

Vision Vancouver: Vision wants to triple the empty homes tax, from one per cent to three per cent, to get more people into vacant homes, to crack down on speculation that’s driving prices up, and to put more money into affordable housing initiatives in every neighbourhood.

OneCity: OneCity supports increasing the Empty Homes Tax, to ensure that homes in Vancouver are for living in, not just for investing in.

 

MORE ABOUT HOUSING TAXES

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Housing Density

Hector Bremner (Yes Vancouver): Yes Vancouver appreciates the angst about the recent rezoning of single-family neighbourhoods to allow duplexes. Coun. Bremner voted for it as density was kept within the current limits for homes with basement suites and laneway houses, so this is not a big change. It allows for more affordable home ownership options in Vancouver beyond multi-million-dollar houses.

David Chen (ProVancouver): ProVancouver opposes the city’s recent rezoning of single-family neighbourhoods to allow duplexes. There was insufficient community consultation, and no community plan was done. Most of Vancouver’s sewer, water, electrical grid and street widths were based on single-family homes with low density. Increasing density without upgrading infrastructure and amenities first isn’t smart.

Fred Harding (Vancouver 1st): Density must be undertaken mindfully. Vancouver 1st is pledging to revoke Vision’s misguided mass rezoning policy to allow duplexes (in single-family neighbourhoods). Vancouver 1st has also committed to developing a comprehensive official city plan so that there is a clear and transparent plan with a new core of density to be established in South Vancouver.

Ken Sim (NPA): The NPA agrees in principle with adding more housing for the “missing middle.” But the move by a lame-duck administration to mass re-zone much of the city to allow duplexes in single-family neighbourhoods isn’t just bad for democracy, it’s bad policy. We need to have proper city-wide planning that respects individual neighbourhoods. And we need to be more transparent about decisions at City Hall.

Kennedy Stewart (Independent): Council’s recent decision to rezone single-family neighbourhoods to allow duplexes was of such magnitude that it should have been left for the next council. That said, building duplexes brings more affordable options for first-time homebuyers while retaining neighbourhood character. I would expand opportunities for ground-oriented housing in our least dense neighbourhoods.

Shauna Sylvester (Independent): While I support gentle densification, we need to make sure that any changes have the support of the people who live in that area. Homeowners who want to add affordable units should get faster permitting and fee waivers, and we need to complete neighbourhood plans for the 75 per cent of neighbourhoods that don’t have one so we can move quickly.

Wai Young (Coalition Vancouver): We are against the Making Room Policy passed by council (allowing duplexes in single-family neighbourhoods). We will repeal it. There is not a housing shortage, there is an affordable housing shortage. This policy perpetuates the problem. We will ensure every neighbourhood is consulted before reckless policies like this one are passed. We will focus on purpose-built rental housing and co-ops.

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE): COPE opposed the rezoning (to allow duplexes in single-family neighbourhoods) because there’s no city protection for tenants in these areas, some of which include a majority of renters. The duplex zoning doesn’t provide housing for people earning under $50,000 a year, and will likely trigger speculation. COPE supports density in neighbourhoods that have not taken their fair share of rental and social housing.

Green Party of Vancouver: Green Coun. Adriane Carr voted against rezoning (to allow duplexes in single-family neighbourhoods) because of the lack of prior public consultation regarding this city-wide rezoning, plus the simplistic focus on one housing form that may escalate land prices, and the threat of tear-downs and loss of currently affordable housing, was unsupportable. Greens support a comprehensive city-wide plan, co-developed with residents.

Vision Vancouver: Vision supports duplexes in single-family areas. We are committed to implementing the Making Room initiative and creating even more affordable housing options, including opening low-density neighbourhoods for townhouses, low-rise apartments, and other forms of housing that support affordable options for renters and families looking for affordable ownership opportunities.

OneCity: We imagine a Vancouver with more balance in housing options, including apartments, social and supportive housing, multiplexes, and co-ops in all parts of the city. However, unrestrained development will not fix the housing crisis. That is why we will prioritize affordable housing options, because people of all income levels should have access to good schools, transit, jobs, and green spaces.

 

MORE ABOUT HOUSING DENSITY

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Overdose Crisis

Hector Bremner (Yes Vancouver): We need to reinvest in the Four Pillars office at City Hall and Yes Vancouver will support programs that replace street drugs with safer alternatives so long as it moves people to care and long-term treatment. No-barrier housing is critical to this, therefore Yes Vancouver will ensure significant investment in this area.

David Chen (ProVancouver): Increase the amount of temporary modular housing and push to decriminalize drug use as in the Netherlands. ProVancouver would also employ other streams of therapy like Beauty Night Society’s long-standing method of building self-esteem through wellness, life skills and makeovers.

Fred Harding (Vancouver 1st): Vancouver 1st will focus on treatment and rehabilitation. We intend to build a state-of-the-art mental care facility on city property with more than enough beds for today and tomorrow, because so much of addiction and street living is caused by an inadequacy in mental health services. Vision and the NDP have failed these people.

Ken Sim (NPA): An NPA working group is seeking new ideas to tackle homelessness, the opioid crisis, and mental health. We also need to get needles off our streets and out of our parks. Three hundred dirty needles a month are picked up at Andy Livingstone Park, which is also a playground for Crosstown Elementary School.

Kennedy Stewart (Independent): I would form an emergency task force to work with the community to improve the health and quality of life of Downtown Eastside residents. The task force will focus on preventing more deaths from fentanyl, negotiating a new Vancouver Agreement to foster greater cooperation between all levels of government, supporting front-line workers and identifying substance substitution programs.

Shauna Sylvester (Independent): We have allowed the opioid poisoning crisis to get worse by inaction towards addressing addiction issues through a comprehensive public health approach. My strategy supports the proven Four Pillars approach, community support models, comprehensive care access, and collaboration with senior levels of government. We need to move beyond misinformation, discrimination, stigma, and fear and deliver empathetic and effective responses.

Wai Young (Coalition Vancouver): This is a heartbreaking issue and it affects many more families than most people understand. I lost a son to this very crisis. We have a plan, to be released soon, to approach this from a new perspective that has never been tried before.

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE): COPE will advocate for senior governments to decriminalize drugs and to ensure access to safe, clean and free drugs so people who use drugs don’t have to die. The city can also put oxygen tanks in community centres to help revive people who overdose and can fund community groups who support harm reduction and ending stigma against drug users.

Green Party of Vancouver: We will call on the federal government to decriminalize drug possession in order to treat addiction as a health issue. This means displacing the poisoned drug supply with clean drugs to be administered under medical supervision as the first step to treatment. We will push for more treatment beds and a comprehensive strategy including long-term treatment and stable housing.

Vision Vancouver: Vision will build on the City’s integrated opioid response plan by championing new Overdose Prevention Sites in supportive housing, an Opioid Crisis Fund to support first responders, a renewed focus on mental health and addiction, the decriminalization of drug possession in small amounts while getting tougher on trafficking, de-stigmatization and prevention among kids, and clean, prescription options for people suffering from addiction.

OneCity: OneCity believes that the “war on drugs” has failed, resulting in disproportionately high incarceration rates in Indigenous and black communities and an epidemic of overdose deaths. We support evidence-based, public-health solutions that address the root causes of the overdose crisis, including decriminalizing all drugs, and taking a housing-first approach. We will strengthen supports for front line responders, expand city-wide needle collection and advocate for more provincial and federal supports.

 

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Broadway Subway

Hector Bremner (Yes Vancouver): The plan must include housing and jobs along the line that can both ensure this major investment is capitalized on and funded. That includes looking to UBC and ensuring we have a plan to unlock equity in the surrounding area to help generate funds to complete the line.

David Chen (ProVancouver): If the money is there and the deal is done, it should go to UBC. Stopping at Arbutus is illogical. For a more affordable option, switching to hydrogen fuel cell electric buses will keep costs down, increase capacity without trolley wires, and empty buses won’t impede full buses. The hydrogen fuel cell can be swapped out faster than recharging times needed for battery-powered buses.

Fred Harding (Vancouver 1st): Vancouver 1st wants the subway to go all the way to UBC. The party wants a bored  tunnel; not cut-and-cover. Because it’s going to be going to UBC, which will benefit greatly from it, it should pay in a suitable portion of the final bill.

Ken Sim (NPA): The NPA is 100 per cent in favour of the Broadway subway. It should go all the way to UBC. But we need a solid plan with UBC and TransLink to get us there. Too many billions are wasted because politicians make big promises before the details are ready.

Kennedy Stewart (Independent): I support SkyTrain along Broadway to UBC. We need to invest in our transit infrastructure, but we need partners to make this happen. I would work hard to secure federal, provincial, and UBC funding to extend SkyTrain along the Broadway corridor to the university.

Shauna Sylvester (Independent): I’m committed to working with all levels of government and partners to ensure we build the Broadway Subway all the way to UBC. We can’t create a choke hold at Arbutus. UBC represents a key economic centre and a major employer. Once we have started the digging process we need to complete the extension to UBC.

Wai Young (Coalition Vancouver): Coalition Vancouver is in favour of the subway extension all the way to UBC. We want to decrease the number of cars on the road, reduce pollution, and reduce congestion. Alongside what will be an extensive cut-and-cover building operation, we are also committed to helping businesses deal during the construction phase.

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE): Vancouver needs a drastic expansion of rapid transit and buses, but transit must be affordable. COPE has a plan for a “U-Pass for the working class,” which includes free transit for kids and low-income transit users, and $41-a-month U-Pass for middle-income Vancouverites, taking 40,000 cars off the road. This program could be fully funded by Vancouver’s portion of B.C.’s recently announced carbon tax increase.

Green Party of Vancouver: The Greens would not seek to change the plan for the Broadway Subway to Arbutus, which is supported by regional mayors and significantly funded by senior governments — both of which are hard to get. Greens will push to protect businesses, heritage buildings and rental housing along the route, reduce the $500 million projected cost overrun and require studies to ensure the best transit options city-wide.

Vision Vancouver: Vision will fight to get the Broadway Subway built all the way to UBC, to improve commutes, reduce congestion, and make life better. We will make sure Vancouver seizes this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve our transportation infrastructure, boost our local economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

OneCity: OneCity supports more robust, affordable and accessible public transit in every part of Vancouver. We support the Broadway Subway plan, and will work with the Province and UBC to ensure it goes all the way to UBC. In addition, we support the #AllOnBoard campaign’s call for free transit for children and youth under 18, and a sliding scale monthly pass system based on income.

 

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Governance

Hector Bremner (Yes Vancouver): The electoral system is fine, Yes Vancouver says, we just need to stop passing decision-making to only two core groups: left and right, or Vision and the NPA. We need fresh perspectives that come from outside the status quo political thinking.

David Chen (ProVancouver): Before tinkering with established electoral systems, we need to work on reconnecting city hall to the people. Committed to holding town hall meetings once a year in all 23 sub-districts of Vancouver as  two-way, face-to-face communication between the residents and council.

Fred Harding (Vancouver 1st): Vancouver 1st wants more voices added to the debates.The province’s new election finance laws have stifled discourse by handcuffing candidates. Vancouver 1st wants more millennials out there participating, not just voting.

Ken Sim (NPA): The NPA says it is worried about the impact that secret money has had on this election. Labour groups paid for 100,000 flyers promoting Kennedy Stewart, and four full-time union staff are working to support Stewart and the rest of the labour council’s endorsed candidates, without being required to count it as part of his campaign expenses. We need to re-think the new electoral finance rules.

Kennedy Stewart (Independent): We need to end anonymous advertising. Candidates and third-parties need to disclose donations. Our current at-large system lacks community representation. I promise this election will be the last under this system. Voters need to have confidence that city staff and politicians don’t have conflicts of interest. I will prohibit elected officials and key staff from accepting government contracts or lobbying for 12 months after leaving.

Shauna Sylvester (Independent): My platform proposes a new Hybrid Ward system where five City Council members are elected to represent specific wards in the city, and five are elected to represent the city at-large to ensure that Council pays attention to local communities while still deciding on larger city-wide issues. I will also use my experience with facilitation to build a culture of collaboration and cooperation on council.

Wai Young (Coalition Vancouver): We have to get big money out of politics. Unions, developers and big business have been shaping policies for years and even this very election. This is wrong. With no ties to special interest groups, we will ensure that our electoral system is fair and operates in a way that benefits the very people we are meant to serve.

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE): COPE has been fighting for a ward system for over 40 years because the current at-large voting system benefits parties with big money funding and makes it nearly impossible for neighbourhood activists to be elected. Wards can be introduced by a simple majority vote at city council. It may also be possible to introduce proportional representation in Vancouver, especially if the November referendum supports PR.

Green Party of Vancouver: We will require more transparency in budgeting and negotiations with developers, new guidelines for public engagement and more efficient permitting. We will increase access to Council with regular “open mic” sessions. We will push the province to amend local election financing legislation to close loopholes, cap donations and ban corporate and union donations all the time, not just in election years.

Vision Vancouver: Vision will take action to ensure residents are part of decision-making. We would call a Citizens Assembly on Local Election Reform to focus on these issues. In addition, Vision will improve inclusion by prioritizing engagement with people who are underrepresented in decision-making, including millennials, newcomers and urban Indigenous people.

OneCity: We support Vancouver’s 2017 Independent Election Task Force recommendation that the City convene a citizens assembly to make recommendations on switching to a proportional election system. Adopting a proportional election system would better reflect how Vancouverites cast their votes, and would create more diverse and representative city councils.

 

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Walking and biking

Hector Bremner (Yes Vancouver): The politics over the last 10 years have been very divisive as we were not allowed the housing forms we need to support active transportation, but good transportation and good planning are linked. We need a city plan that people feel engaged in to build a Vancouver that makes them less reliant on a car.

David Chen (ProVancouver): Bike lanes are needed, but not on arterial routes. Idling cars create worse exhaust than cars moving from start to destination. All future bike infrastructure would be part of the complete community plan that includes planning recommendations, community and user input.

Fred Harding (Vancouver 1st): Vancouver 1st believes cycling routes on the side streets should remain, and that all other cycling routes should be seasonal, with two exceptions: the West 10th Avenue cycling route in front of the hospital should be removed and the Adanac Overpass should be reopened to all traffic.

Ken Sim (NPA): Over the last 20 years our streets have gotten more congested, even though the number of cars hasn’t changed much. Bike lanes are important, and the NPA supports them, but there are some cases where bike lanes may be in the wrong places, such as near hospital entrances. The NPA will also review barriers to traffic flow, because we are all suffering from poor planning decisions.

Kennedy Stewart (Independent): Bike lanes are key to reducing road congestion. I support separated bike lanes as a way to encourage more people to cycle, and keep them safe. Ensuring people can afford to live close to where they work is the best way to encourage active transportation, and when we expand infrastructure we need to do it in a way that keeps all modes of transport moving.

Shauna Sylvester (Independent): I support the expansion of the City’s bicycle infrastructure. Having separated bike lanes is a safety issue. I support making cycling infrastructure safe for children, families, and seniors who might not otherwise feel comfortable using it. I commit to updating the Mayors’ Council Transportation 2040 Plan to increase the target for share of trips by bike from 12 per cent to 25 per cent.

Wai Young (Coalition Vancouver): No new separated bike lanes unless one is removed from some place else. That said, we love intelligent bike lanes, just not bike lanes intentionally placed to obstruct traffic. We will audit all bike lanes for use and effectiveness. Common sense solutions, and we will get Vancouver moving again.

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE): The expansion of bike lanes increased dramatically starting in 1998 under the advocacy of COPE city councillor and climate scientist Fred Bass. COPE will continue to strongly support expansion of cycling and pedestrian safety infrastructure because these measures get people out of cars and are essential components in fighting climate change.

Green Party of Vancouver: We will aim to make Vancouver the most walkable city in North America. We support the expansion of Vancouver’s bicycle infrastructure, but would like to see improvements including connecting routes to increase efficiency; promoting safe cycling in public schools; a clear cost reckoning of city-subsidized bike share; and slower, safer residential streets with a mandated 30k speed limit.

Vision Vancouver: Vision supports protected bike lanes that keep people safe. Under Vision, Vancouver has seen tremendous growth in cycling in our city, especially among women and children. This is good for people’s health and the environment. Vision will continue to lead on active transportation by widening sidewalks and by expanding bike share in Vancouver.

OneCity: OneCity supports making the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and transit users a priority. We will also initiate a city-wide accessibility audit and increase the city budget for curb ramps. OneCity believes a city that works for eight-year-olds and 80-year-olds is a better place for all.

 

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Taxation

Hector Bremner (Yes Vancouver): We need to conduct a review to ensure we are spending taxpayer dollars wisely, implement a new city plan that unlocks new revenue streams, and split residential from commercial (small business) and non-profit property assessments. This would level out tax increases and get us back on to a healthy financial track.

David Chen (ProVancouver): Lowering taxes without lowering expenses leads to deficits, borrowing and increased liability on the tax payer. A complete audit of the finances, core review and private contracts review needs to be done along with a switch from in-kind development amenity transfers to cash-only to normalize finances, then lower taxes if possible.

Fred Harding (Vancouver 1st): Residential taxes for seniors will be frozen and reduced. An ombudsman for business will be set up to address on a case-by-case basis taxes paid by shopkeepers. Property taxes will be reviewed, and Vancouver 1st  aims to significant cut property tax cuts as Vancouver’s fiscal situation is turned around.

Ken Sim (NPA): The NPA goal is to cap property tax increases to the rate of inflation. Right now, residents are seeing increases that are too high, without a corresponding increase in services. We will also do a much-needed full review of all the programs and policies at City Hall to find efficiencies. I think we’ll find a lot of room for improvement.

Kennedy Stewart (Independent): Tax policies would remain about the same if I were mayor. I have met with local business improvement associations and understand their concerns. I am committed to conducting a review of all city policies that impact small business, including taxation and permitting, to help support and grow our neighbourhood-based economy.

Shauna Sylvester (Independent): I will call for the appointment of a Small Business Ombudsperson. I also commit to delivering a financial report to the public on where tax revenue has been spent within 100 days as mayor to inform discussion about taxation. I’m also looking at working with B.C. Assessment and the provincial government to create a new assessment category for small businesses.

Wai Young (Coalition Vancouver): Immediately, city taxes and fees will be lowered. We will be ordering a full forensic review of the city’s books and be requesting that every department outside of sanitation find a five per cent reduction in costs.

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE): COPE believes in progressive property tax, with a higher rate on more expensive properties. The Mansion Tax is a progressive tax whose revenues will be targeted to build modular and non-market housing. COPE will protect small neighbourhood businesses by seeking to establish progressive tax brackets for small, medium and large businesses.

Green Party of Vancouver: Residents can expect taxes to stay relatively the same. They can also expect more transparency, with detailed line items on city budgets — so that taxpayers know their money is being well-spent. We would seek to lighten the tax load for business through split assessment and targeted property tax reductions for long-term independently owned neighbourhood small businesses.

Vision Vancouver: Under Vision, council invested in priorities and public services that matter to people while balancing budgets. This approach has served people well. One provincial tax change we do want fixed is how small businesses are assessed at the much higher rate of a potential condo development. This is unfair for businesses and needs to be fixed.

OneCity: OneCity is proposing a Land Value Tax to dampen speculation while ensuring that real increases in land value create benefits for everyone. Revenue raised will fund affordable housing and expanded public transit. We will also work to make arts and cultural spaces affordable through a targeted tax exemption, and will support local businesses by creating a new classification of tax rates that differentiate between local independent businesses and chain stores.

 

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