Why is it ‘retired businessman’ running in a municipal election typically means someone who wants to lead his community back to the last century – about when W.A.C. Bennett was Premier, life was good for the Kerry Morris’s, and, they believe, with some business-like common sense it would stay that way.  The measure of success: North Shore residents should be able to drive everywhere in free-flowing traffic, with lots of free parking – and no damn bike lanes.  

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At last count, 11 Metro Vancouver mayors will not be returning to council chambers in the fall; with some mayors having served multiple terms, the changeover accompanying the October 20 province-wide municipal elections represents a unique, and perhaps unprecedented, loss of institutional memory at city hall after city hall.

As such, Price Tags will publish exit interviews from mayors wishing to share their lessons learned from their public service.

Our debut Mayoral Exit Interview features Darrell Mussatto of the City of North Vancouver; this is the first of a three-part post from our chat.

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There are already nine declared candidates for mayor in Vancouver.  More to come – maybe many more.  Will a long list of unknown names confuse and discourage voters?  Will it chop the vote into small slices, with no candidate getting a big enough bite to claim legitimacy?  Or will it give, as argued in the previous Civic Savvy, a better path for Independents to get elected with a smaller, but sufficient, slice of the vote?

A long list of names – how about 58? – didn’t seem to bother people too much in 1996 (though afterwards higher fees thinned out the count.)  Here’s what that ballot looked like, according to Wikipedia:

Zippy the Circus Chimp did rather well at ninth.  And today L. Ron Moonbeam would likely poll higher.  But Philip Owen won decisively, and all the serious contenders had a party association.

That suggests the power of the brand will be even more evident this time around.

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Price Tags has written extensively about the fact that, like all humans, people who walk, cycle and take transit sometimes need to use the washroom. This is simply a basic human right; any transit network MUST include access to public washrooms, and they must also be equally accessible by children, seniors, and people requiring universal access facilities.

Now Paris has stepped into the fray, but not in a good way; the design of some absolutely horrid eco-friendly urinals suggests that only men are “number one”.

You can’t make this up — they look like little boxes on posts, and men are supposed to mosey up and urinate into them. As an added touch of class, each has a little “garden” growing on the top of the boxes. Now, originally these urinals faced walls, and were thus a bit discreet. But the newest installations in Paris allow men to urinate into freestanding boxes, facing a view.

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Birds are what Vancouver is all about this week, as both the Vancouver International Bird Festival and the 27th International Ornithological Congress flock to the city to talk about, well, birds.

And all this activity comes hot on the heels of the poll conducted by Justin McElroy to establish the unofficial brand ambassador for Vancouver.

It wasn’t Mayor Gregor Robertson (who failed to make it out of the first round), nor adopted son and hockey great Trevor Linden. With thousands of Twitter votes cast, and capturing 81 per cent of them, Canuck the Crow “defeated” Michael J. Fox for the championship.

Should you be unaware, Canuck the Crow is a human-reared crow living on the east side, and making his presence known to the locals, including neighbourhood friends, such as those delivering the mail and local passers-by. He was also implicated in a police investigation for taking a knife away from a crime scene, supposedly because it was shiny and he liked it. Canuck the Crow also has his own twitter account.

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“Housing Policy in the 2018 Vancouver Civic Election: A Candidates’ Panel”

How do the parties running for Vancouver’s City Council and Mayor plan to address housing affordability, high commercial taxes, and a regulatory process in need of streamlining?

Join us for a lively discussion and great networking opportunity as representatives of the leading municipal political parties take on questions about these pressing issues.

Panelists include:

Christine Boyle, One City
Ian Campbell, Vision Vancouver
Pete Fry, Green Party
Ken Sim, NPA
Shauna Sylvester


Introductory Remarks
Tom Davidoff
Director, Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

5:00 – 6:00 pm – Reception
6:00 – 7:45 pm – Panel Discussion, Q&A
(Light food & drinks will be served at the reception)

Star Sapphire Ballroom, Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel – 1038 Canada Place

Regular: CAD $20 + GST
Current Full-Time Student: CAD $10 + GST

RSVP by register on-line before noon on September 11th, 2018.

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Michael Alexander sees something curious from his balcony:

I’m not certain what set off this cavalcade of cyclists rolling for over 15 minutes past the Roundhouse. I expect it was associated with the celebratory takeover of David Lam Park a block away, where a few hundred cyclists ended their ride from Seattle. Food, music, (heavily filtered) sun, and a parade.



What’s not to like? I bet mayoral candidate Wai Young can think of something, like having the event but banning the bikes.

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You want data on housing?  The City has data on housing – 150 pages worth.

And hence the problem.  Who is going to skim that amount of information, much less take the time to find the specific data they need if it’s not searchable on something other than a dense pdf document?  For that matter, for a topic on everyone’s tongue, how many people even know there is a “Housing Vancouver Strategy”, much less what it aims to achieve?

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