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Posts Tagged "passes"

11Sep

Vancouver passes a culture plan for the next decade — with no major increase in funding | CBC News

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The City of Vancouver has passed a new arts and culture plan for the next 10 years that is bold in ambition, if not in funding. 

Entitled “Culture | Shift,” the plan aims for “blanketing the city in arts and culture” and prioritizes affordable and accessible spaces, cultural equity, accessibility, reconciliation and decolonization. 

The full report can be read here

But while there are dozens of recommendations in the report, the amount of additional money budgeted over the next four years is just $3.2 million and would leave cultural service funding as a smaller percentage of the city’s budget in 2023 than it was in 2010. 

“It seems like not a like a lot of money to me,” said Vancouver Coun. Adrianne Carr, who nonetheless voted in favour. “Is the amount of money being recommended sufficient?”

Cross-collaboration

Jessica Wadsworth, co-chair of the Vancouver Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, said “we wanted to make a reasonable request, but certainly we can ask for more.” 

The City of Vancouver wants to add 800,000 square feet of new cultural spaces over the next 10 years. (Boombox)

However, she applauded the overall plan — which came after months of consultation with hundreds of artistic groups — and said the lack of major funding increases was mitigated by the city’s commitment to move more efficiently across different departments. 

“The collaboration with urban planning, with people that do business with real estate and development … I think that collaboration is worth more than the dollars,” she said.  

The city hopes to build 800,000 square feet of cultural space in the next decade, including 400 spaces that double as housing. In addition, the report calls for a a music task force, as well a hired person within city hall to lead its music strategy.

But the committee was equally as excited around the decolonization and equity recommendations, which included developing Indigenous grant programs and increasing investment and leadership opportunities for Indigenous arts and culture. 

“If we articulate land acknowledgements, than we should decolonize arts and culture,” said Megan Lau, the committee’s other co-chair.

“If we say Vancouver values culture, we have to find a way for artists … of every type to make a living wage.”

Drummers who call themselves Star Child at the Squamish Nation 32nd Youth Pow Wow in West Vancouver on Sunday, July 14, 2019. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC) (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

‘Mission creep’

The plan was applauded by most councillors, who said it was a necessary step to ensure artists could continue to live in Vancouver. 

But Colleen Hardwick abstained from the vote, saying that while she had worked in the creative sector for over three decades, the plan was a sign of the city’s “mission creep.” 

“I’m supportive of the creative industries. I eat, live and breathe it. But I’m also very mindful … that we have to live within our means,” she said.

“We are continuing to ask for more and more on things that fall outside the scope of local government.”

However, all other councillors voted in favour. 

“This isn’t mission creep,” said Pete Fry. “This is how we build pride in our city. This is how we build the economy, [and]  how we build a city for everyone.” 

Vancouver’s new plan looks to “blanket the city in arts and culture,” with an emphasis on reconciliation, decolonizing, cultural equity and accessibility. (City of Vancouver )

19Dec

Pushing for greener policies? Then give up free parking passes, Victoria city councillor urges colleagues

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Victoria city councillors need to put their green policy talk into practice and give up their free city parking passes, says Coun. Jeff Young.

Young is proposing changes to the parking privileges currently offered to Capital Regional District representatives, arguing that actions speak louder than words.  

“I’ve just been getting a little tired of what seems to me to be slightly sanctimonious or even hypocritical motions by the council, for example, decrying investment in fossil fuel firms,”  Young said.

“We do use automobiles. We need fuel, and for us to say we want to blame the fossil fuel companies for producing fuels seems seems a little odd.”

He pointed to the push to reduce emissions and resistance to projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and number of tankers in B.C. waters as examples of simply talking the talk.

“If we are going to keep making these pronouncements, we should look look at to our own home first,” Young told Gregor Craigie, the host of CBC’s On The Island.

“When we say we don’t want to invest funds in fossil fuel companies, are we really saying we want them to stop producing gasoline?”

Not everyone can cycle to work, argues Coun.Charlayne Thornton-Joe. Others have proposed offering bus passes or other remuneration if the parking passes are removed. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Concerns about accessibility

Young occasionally drives to work, himself, rather than cycling, he admits, and knows first-hand that having free parking at work is an incentive to hop in the car.

But not all members of council are able to cycle to work, countered Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe. Some may have health issues or drop children off at school along the way or have meetings in several different locations around the city.

“As councillors, we need to walk the talk,” she agreed. “But one of the things we have to make sure of is that … council is accessible to all.”

The parking permits are also part of a larger remuneration package for staff, which is why some councillors have proposed changing the parking passes for bus passes or higher wages instead, Thornton-Joe said.

She said she’s open to the idea but would need more information on how the changes would play out.

“Each and every one of us have different needs,” she said.

“[We need] a little bit more information on what does that entail.”

Council has requested a staff report on the financial implications of eliminating parking passes as part of a review of council remuneration

“I have no problem looking at the the reports,” she said.

“Councillor Young brings up larger issues of how councillors conduct themselves, the motions they bring forward and [whether they are] practicing that.”


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