We need a rethink of our housing policy in Vancouver, which is a major contributor to unaffordability and a lack of housing options. We will pilot new, creative approaches to delivering the housing that Vancouverites need.
I will drive efforts to reform the permitting system, cutting wait times for permits, and slash unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy that holds up the delivery of new housing.
We will also cut wait times for smaller projects such as renovations and alterations to homes and businesses.
A fresh look at zoning and where we are building housing in Vancouver is desperately needed. We need to focus on building all kinds of housing, including below-market, workforce housing, rental housing, affordable ownership as well as strata and co-ops, in more neighbourhoods across the city.
I will lead efforts to leverage city-owned land that can be used to deliver desperately-needed new affordable and below-market housing.
The city will work with the Provincial and Federal governments to build new, dignified social housing with true wraparound supports including mental health support, addictions support and rapid access to treatment.
This new social housing with appropriate supports will minimize impacts on surrounding communities and ensure residents live with dignity.
Many Vancouver residents have expressed they do not feel safe in their communities, particularly in downtown Vancouver where statistics show violent crime is up with police reporting an average of four unprovoked stranger assaults every day, mostly downtown.
As a councillor I will support our police, ensuring they have the tools and funding they need to ensure public safety in our communities.
I will support more police walking the beat in our neighbourhoods with a visible presence on the street, and ensure officers and resources are redirected to crime hot spots such as downtown Vancouver.
I will work with the police board and union to implement different models of policing in Vancouver, including health-focused and community-oriented responses, in addition to enforcement.
I will support efforts to crack down on graffiti, property crime, theft and vandalism – and hold perpetrators accountable.
I will support efforts to hold police accountable to the highest ethical standards, including a zero tolerance policy for racism and all forms of discrimination – and root out ‘bad apples’ to ensure the Vancouver Police continue to be one of the most progressive and diverse police forces in North America.
Introduced in the 1990s by former Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen, the Four Pillars approach consists of harm reduction, prevention, treatment and enforcement, based on successful drug policy models in Europe.
Right now, our drug policy is primarily focused on harm reduction, with the other three remaining pillars receiving little attention. Accessing treatment is difficult, with a lack of spaces and long waits.
While addiction should continue to be treated as a health issue, a lack of enforcement against drug dealing has resulted in open air drug markets and a state of chaos and disorder in the Downtown Eastside. We will work with police to hold drug dealers accountable and shut down drug labs.
Vancouver has long been a leader in harm reduction, with the Insite safe injection site serving as a model for other cities around the world, but we have failed to offer pathways out of a life of drug addiction and misery. In addition to our efforts on harm reduction, as a councillor, I will support an expansion of safe supply to save lives during the opioid and poisoned drug crisis, in tandem with expanded access to treatment and enforcement.
Downtown Vancouver is a jewel, world-renowned for its livability and beauty. But, downtown Vancouver is also facing challenges and is a difficult and expensive place to do business, due to high property taxes, triple net leases, and issues with graffiti and vandalism.
I will support innovative ideas by local business leaders, including street festivals like the Granville Street Promenade, and stop the city’s nonsensical plan to concentrate residential development and social housing on the southern end of the Granville Strip, in our nightlife and entertainment district.
I will nurture Vancouver’s nightlife. arts, culture and entertainment industries through the creation of a “Nightlife Czar” to bring excitement and vibrancy back to downtown.
Gastown needs some love. Despite being the birthplace of Vancouver and a major tourist destination, the streets and sidewalks of the neighbourhood are in a sorry state and give a terrible first impression to visitors. I will accelerate the revitalization of the neighbourhood by prioritizing improvements to the public realm, including a new street surface and sidewalks, and upgrades to lighting and street furniture. No more excuses about difficulties finding paving tiles -- let's get it done.
I would explore the possibility of closing Water Street in Gastown to traffic, from Columbia to Cordova to create a pedestrian-first, vibrant neighbourhood with expanded patios and programming, and convert Cordova to two-way traffic from Water Street to the Powell Street overpass to handle the re-directed traffic volume.
Chinatown has also suffered greatly during the pandemic with a lack of support from the city. This historic and culturally-significant neighbourhood is in desperate need of investment and new energy, but first, we need to create the conditions in the neighbourhood to encourage this. This means upgrades to the public realm and a focus on safety and cleanliness with support for small businesses in combating graffiti and vandalism.
I would explore a property tax break for small businesses in the Downtown Eastside to encourage new businesses to move into the neighbourhoods including Gastown and Chinatown, filling vacant storefronts and revitalizing these important areas of our city.
I will encourage investment in our public realm, through upgrades to lighting, street furniture, landscaping, and redirect funds to increase street cleaning and maintenance, so Vancouver can continue to put its best foot forward for residents as well as visitors.
I want to hear your ideas and feedback, and could also use your help volunteering and door knocking!