The City of North Vancouver is often referred to these days as “Vision Lite”. Our issues mirror those of Vancouver, albeit on a smaller scale. Quoting in part from the article below:
“City residents would benefit from vigorous debate on municipal issues before the fall vote”
We rarely have an opportunity to debate any issues in the CNV. However, on March 6th, a Town Hall Meeting regarding the new OCP draft will take place. We suggest that would be a good start for any potential candidate to enter the debate.
from The Vancouver Sun:
With the clock ticking down to a November vote, Vancouver’s municipal parties have yet to anoint a single candidate to challenge Mayor Gregor Robertson.
This is not good. Potential candidates are going to need the nine months remaining to get up close and personal with voters and explain themselves on a broad assortment of pressing civic issues.
The bicycle-riding, photogenic Robertson has held the job since 2008, enjoying a consistently high profile.
A former New Democratic Party MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview, Robertson has provided decisive leadership, heading the Vision Vancouver party at city hall. He has made bike lanes, social housing and greening the city top-priority issues.
But while he has been a high profile and decisive figure, it cannot be assumed Robertson is unbeatable.
And surely he would not wish to win by default.
City residents would benefit from vigorous debate on municipal issues before the fall vote, issues that some might argue — with a majority of left-leaning Vision councillors in place for the past while — have been dealt with in a less than ideologically balanced manner.
Among those issues: the willingness of Vancouverites to accept a large increase in oil-tanker traffic operating out of the city’s harbour resulting from pipeline expansion; tolerance of Port Metro Vancouver’s biggest and most lucrative export commodity, coal; whether bikes should be given priority over cars as they were in a recent decision affecting a stretch of Point Grey Road.
Densification remains a controversial policy; the city has witnessed a neighbourhood backlash against proposed density increases in Grandview-Woodland and Marpole.
Vancouver needs to develop a plan to deal with a long-standing mental health crisis on the Downtown Eastside.
It also needs a potentially costly transit strategy to address growing traffic congestion.
And there is a housing affordability crisis in Vancouver.
Ratepayers need some discussion of existing policy and alternative approaches regarding all these matters. Where are new ideas aimed at moving the city forward in the face of ongoing change?
Vancouver is recognized as an urban oasis, an exceptional city where many wish they could live. And yet, for the moment, it appears no one save Mayor Robertson wants to lead it.
Vision is not the only party operating on West 12th Ave. The Non-Partisan Association, the Electors’ Action Movement and the Coalition of Progressive Electors are all expected to find candidates who will take on the sitting mayor.
Make no mistake, the mayor — paid $150,000 a year — is a key figure, an important ambassador for the city. Every municipality in Canada lately has been reminded of that notion by Toronto’s Rob Ford.
In the past, Vancouver mayors have come from the ranks of city council or from other levels of government. Five MPs and 11 MLAs represent Vancouver. The names of police chiefs have been floated. There has even been a mention of a former Canucks player, Trevor Linden, as a possible mayoral candidate.
Let a few good challengers venture forth, and the debate begin.