Have two of the third rails of Vancouver politics become the new main track?
Is it now possible, if not imperative, that our Council consider fundamentally rezoning the single-family neighbourhoods in a way that would change their character, while at the same time considering a fundamental change in the property tax in order to tap the extraordinary increase in the asset value of those same homes?
You bet – if you go by the results of recent byelection.
Two candidates at either end of the political spectrum who topped the polls both put forward what not long ago would have been unthinkable policies in any serious party platform: Jean Swanson proposed a variable property tax targeted at increasing rates on high-value properties; Hector Bremner proposed a city-wide plan that would open single-family zones places to multiple dwellings.
Both candidates now have credibility, one as an elected official, the other as a serious contender in the next election. They both have a mandate to push forward with ideas that everyone else in civic government and all parties (even at the provincial level) must now take seriously.
Let the real debate begin.