Another entrant into the contest for the NPA’s mayoral nomination (along with Bremner, Chernen, and the rumoured Hasek-Watt).

Mr. Coupar has been a Park Board Commissioner since November 2011.

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Reaching into the vast chasm of ephemera, here’s a look at which civic parties are currently attracting people to vie for nominations.   Where do Vancouver’s hopefuls think they’ll get the most voter support for their ambitions?
Actually getting a nomination is an entirely different matter, with vote-splitting permutations being calculated over multiple dimensions in buzz-busy coffee shops all over town, no doubt.   And plenty of hopefuls who have not yet made their plans known.
All of this is subject to change immediately after publication (actually during publication, most likely).  But it’s still fun.

Considering Mayor, Council , Park and School Board hopefuls identified by Ian Bushfield of Cambie Report.

  • NPA:  15
  • Greens:  13
  • OneCity:   7
  • Vision:   4
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Scott de Lange Boom is seeking an NPA nomination for city council. Read his candidate statement HERE.

He is focused, like many other candidates, on housing.  He does propose (what amounts to) massive re-zoning: a major change to land use in Vancouver, although he doesn’t use the word “zone” or its derivatives.
The following words do not appear in his candidate statement:  active (transportation), transit, climate, pipeline, green, bicycle.

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Mr. de Lange Boom is seeking an NPA nomination for city council.
Most candidates in this race will agree that Vancouver has a housing problem. What’s rare is the courage needed to enact the bold and immediate action that must be taken at city hall.
I’m a 28 year old renter, engineer, and housing advocate. I’m seeking a Council nomination because Vancouver’s diminishing affordability also means diminishing opportunity – for young people to build their lives and flourish here, for parents to raise kids here, for disadvantaged people simply to exist.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Vancouver’s housing shortage is not an accident, it’s a deliberate policy choice. Generations of civic politicians have decided to side with a vocal minority who think they have a right to veto homes for other people, forcing residents of townhomes, apartments, and social housing to compete for a tiny sliver of our residential land – 20% of it – while 80% is legally required to be reserved for single family homes. Many candidates understand the above fact, but for political reasons are too afraid to challenge the status quo. Whether your focus is on townhomes, co-ops, apartments, condominiums, social housing (or as I believe, all of the above!), the housing shortage cannot be solved without first expanding the base of land that additional homes can actually be built on. Getting land use right is the key to a comprehensive housing policy that will end costly delays by the city’s bureaucracy, and leverage city land for to build below market housing. This is why I’m running with the NPA: as seen with his motion to allow 6 storey rental, subsidized, or seniors housing buildings in Point Grey, Hector Bremner is the only prospective mayoral candidate proposing meaningful, common-sense reforms to regressive land use policies.
As an engineer and former military officer, problem solving, leadership and getting results by delivering practical solutions has been at the core of my professional life. If you think that city hall needs a city council that combines problem solving skills, leadership ability, and the willingness to address the housing shortage in a meaningful way, please consider joining the NPA to support my candidacy, and that of like-minded candidates.
This election isn’t about old ideological divisions. It’s about electing a council that’s serious about ensuring Vancouver remains a place of opportunity.

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George Affleck provides his amusing view on the changing civic election landscape.  In his mind, the NPA is the new, or is that always, party for the progressive voter.  Angry old white men who love their cars — take note!  Make room.

For Affleck, all this talk about progressives uniting to fend off the NPA is just “fear mongering”.
“In my mind, the word progressive is not owned by the left side of the political spectrum. That’s bullshit,” Affleck told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Monday (March 12).
For Affleck, progressive is neither left nor right.
“Progressive is based on principles and beliefs, and how you approach things,” he explained.
By that measure, according to Affleck, the NPA is a progressive party.

Thanks to Carlito Pablo in the Georgia Straight.
I can’t help but think that, given the rapidly shifting civic political landscape, that we’re heading down the rabbit hole.  What fun!   And we’ll surely meet fascinating creatures there, with even more topsy-turvy quotations like those from Mr. Affleck.  Hold on to your hat, and make some tea.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

Lewis Carroll “Through the Looking Glass”.

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The October civic election in Vancouver will bring one new mayor and around 5 new people to serve as councilors (one councilor wants the NPA mayor nomination, so may not end up in council).  But who’s circling the opportunity? Who’s dancing around the fringes?  Who’s running in earnest?
If you’re catching a sense of volatility, hang on for the ride til October.
HERE’s a handy spreadsheet of names floating through the airwaves in various degrees of certainty.  With thanks to Ian Bushfield.
By my count (March 13, 2018):

  • Mayor:  6
  • Council:  18 (including a few incumbents)
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The NPA won a council seat by running Hector Bremner in the recent by-election.  He’s now an NPA mayoral hopeful. I scraped his web site and produced a word cloud from it.

This helps reinforce the obvious — that so far, the hot topic in the October 2018 civic election is housing. Except for the other NPA mayoral hopeful, Mr. Chernen, whose focus on housing is quite low.
Words missing from Mr. Bremner’s platform statements are:  active (transportation), climate, pipeline, bike, bicycle, walk, pedestrian and green.  These words appear infrequently:  pre-zoning (3), transit (1).
Mr. Bremner continues to advocate for major zoning changes: “Taking the lid off the city, with . . .a citywide plan that pre-zones areas for middleclass families and economic development.”  There are probably a few devils lurking in the details behind the vaguely bureaucratic term “pre-zoning”.
He also seems to think the current Broadway subway plan calls for it to extend to UBC:  “They’re planning a Broadway Skytrain line to UBC, yet they vote against building housing close to where people work or go to school.” 

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Perhaps this could be titled “Rear-view Mirror Politics”.  Other names could be “vision-less politics”, or perhaps “hot-button campaigning”.
I’ve scraped the web site of NPA Mayoral hopeful Glen (“Making the world safe for muscle cars”) Chernen and prepared a word cloud from it. The word “bicycle” and its derivatives appear 4 times; “housing” 3 times. The words “zoning”, “pipeline”, “climate” and “Green” do not appear.

Meanwhile, Chernen has made pledges about the first 100 days of his reign atop City Council.  It looks bad for anything that affects cars.
And an NPA dynamic duo may emerge — Chernen and De Genova — battling for the rights of motor vehicle operators, hitting motor car hot buttons until their fingers bleed.
I do wonder if there are enough angry old white men to elect these two in October. It’s a real gamble on sub-group size, which I suppose is business as usual in the world of civic politics.

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Price Tags will post candidate’s statements – who they are, what they’ll do – for the upcoming civic election.  
I’m Christine Boyle, I’m a young parent, a community organizer and a United Church minister, born and raised on unceded Coast Salish land in Vancouver. I am seeking the OneCity Vancouver nomination for City Council.
This feels like a critical moment in Vancouver. This place we love is becoming more and more of a shiny, empty place. I’m running because I love this city, and because I think we’re running out of time to change the direction that Vancouver is headed.
I’m particularly passionate about tackling the deepening wealth gap here, about ensuring that homes are for housing people rather than profits, and about deepening community engagement and community-level planning to build a better city together.
This means having some pretty bold conversations about housing. Vancouver is a wealthy city with far too many people struggling. We need to figure out the right mix of progressive property taxes and a land-value capture tax that will diminish speculation and raise the revenue we need to preserve and build adequate social, coop, and affordable rental housing.
While all of that happens, we need to prioritize the needs of vulnerable communities, and protect existing affordable housing stock, strengthening tenancy protections, restricting short-term rentals, and much more.
Housing action is critical, and urgent. And it’s not going to be easy. Which is why I am equally passionate about rebuilding trust in government, to strengthen the social contract between those living in Vancouver and their locally elected leaders. This means inviting community groups and cultural groups into city hall, encouraging participation and shaping the future together. Ant it means putting more emphasis on community level planning, to be building and growing at a human scale.
It will require all of the tools we have, and advocacy for those we need from the Province, including cultural and residential land trusts, rental-only zoning and zoning for social housing and coops, stronger tenant protections, progressive property taxes to raise income for affordable housing, land lift tax to reduce speculation, deepened democratic participation, and more.
With a strong progressive City Council, with the contributions of community groups, social movements and working people, and with a provincial government that appears willing to work with the city, together we can change the direction Vancouver is headed. We can push back against the pressures of global capital, and bring about the inclusive, vibrant and affordable city we believe is possible.
A Vancouver for everyone.

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