Governance & Politics
November 9, 2018

SFU: Want More Skytrain? Do the Numbers (Part II)

Yesterday’s post about the Vancouver Sun op-ed by Alex Boston scraped the surface of what could comprise an effective business case for Skytrain south of the Fraser, let alone what numbers may (or may not) have been used to justify LRT in the first place.

Did Translink miss some data? As I hinted in Part I, perhaps they simply missed communicating the most relevant, top-line numbers the public have an appetite — and capacity — to understand (no offence to all of us).

But let’s assume they made a whole raft of calculations, such as those that can be found in “Regional Transportation Investments: A Vision for Metro Vancouver (Appendices)“, pointed to me by  Boston’s colleague Keane Gruending from the Centre for Dialogue. The Centre’s own analysis on this file is reminiscent of their Moving in a Livable Region program around the time of the 2015 transit plebiscite, which attempted to hold our leaders accountable (and the politics in check), using a facts-first approach.

Boston’s deeper piece on the Renewable Cities website also reminded me that a lot of the debate on whether to pause Phase 2 and 3 of the Mayors Plan to once again deal with the Skytrain question often fails to deal with two important metrics tied to land use: jobs density, and CO2 emissions.

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This week, Alex Boston, the Executive Director of the Renewable Cities program at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, wrote an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun on the proposed two big changes threatening to upend phases 2 and 3 of TransLink’s Mayors Plan.

Boston’s piece is a call, if slightly veiled, to Vancouver’s Kennedy Stewart and Surrey’s Doug McCallum to do what they were elected to do when it comes to regional matters — understand all the issues in a city which are regionally dependent or impactful, obtain support and confidence from your respective councils on big ideas, and work collaboratively with the other mayors and the TransLink Board to realize them.

But of course as you may know, it’s never that easy. And much like the housing crisis, there may not even be agreement on what the two problems are. 

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Poll-topper Kennedy Stewart, Vancouver mayoral candidate for the 2018 civic election, has gone public with a stronger message.

I’m hoping that it’s the result of a few squadrons of analytical minds chewing away at internal polling and, well, reading the tea leaves. He certainly seems to be more confident of the potential number of voters receptive to this message.

See the poll and related material below.

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Vancouver mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart speaks to the Cambie Report. It’s another in a series of hour-or-so-long interviews by these well-informed folks, who are doing great work keeping us all informed and entertained as the October 20 civic election rolls ever closer.

You can listen to the Cambie Report’s podcast of the interview in short form for free HERE, or for a mere pittance of monetary support, the full hour is HERE.

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It’s almost completely an NPA news day in the upcoming 2018 Vancouver civic election.  But the party scene is getting more interesting than that alone.

As a break from these routine lists, how about this goofy and completely made-up item:

Fantasy Headline:   Independents Form Affiliation to Govern City:

There are so many people running, splitting votes into sliver-thin segments, and so many as Independents, it’s remotely possible that Independents could dominate Council and take the Mayor’s chair.  Starting with credible, well-polling mayoral candidates Shauna Sylvester and Kennedy Stewart, and continuing to seven Council candidates (so far) including Adrian Crook, Rob McDowell, and 5 others.

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Long-time Member of Parliament (1997-2015) and well-known Vancouver politician Libby Davies has endorsed fellow NDP member Kennedy Stewart in his bid for the Vancouver mayor’s job in the October 2018 civic election.

Her framing of the contest is revealing, coming as it does from a seasoned civic and federal politician.

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