In 2017 I ran with the Green Party of Vancouver for City Council in the October 2017 by-election.
The following is a summary of my platform in that race, you can read my full platform here

Our 2014 Council platform, which i also helped to develop and run on is online here.

Our new 2018 platform will be developed over the summer once we have nominated candidates.

2017 By-election Platform

Our City is failing its residents. On housing affordability, on homelessness. On transparency and listening to the people. On efficient and fair regulation. Many people feel that there’s special treatment for certain developers and that too many decisions are made behind closed doors. Public trust is broken.

Public interest must come first. As Greens, we’re committed to a better future for our city: an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. We’re committed to a City that values our residents, our communities, our economy, and our environment.

Over the last decade and a half, the developer-backed Vision and NPA parties have promoted a style of market-driven urban development that has encouraged the worst kind of city building: profit-maximizing rezonings and densification that result in speculation and displacement, the hollowing out of neighbourhoods, and the pricing out of small businesses.

What good are slogans like “Greenest” and “Most Livable” city if we are squeezing out the people who live and work here? Vancouver Greens are guided by values that include sustainability and ecological balance. Those concepts of equilibrium that apply in nature apply equally to human communities and city building.

A New Deal, A Fair Deal for Housing

We need to shift development in Vancouver. As a city, we must ensure that we are building more housing that’s affordable for local people instead of for the luxury market and speculators.

Ultimately this means using the city’s power over land use decisions to prioritize purpose-built rental on City and public lands that is truly affordable to local incomes; and on private lands increasing the amount of developer cost levies and contributions to support affordable housing or extracting publicly owned housing outright.

But while other parties continue to call for solutions that ultimately require the support of senior government to change tenancy laws, property taxation or invest in public housing. We’ll advocate to senior government for those kinds of actions, but we need to get started right here and right now in our city with things we can actually do. These Five quick start actions the city can do immediately will help get us there and address the urgency of our housing crisis:

1. Change city by-laws to make affordable mean affordable: fixing housing prices to local incomes, not market rates.

Adriane Carr put forward a motion to fix the City’s definition of "affordable housing" to local incomes, but to get it seconded it was weakened to only require only a staff report, not the actual change. With another Green on City Council, we can second this motion and introduce it for public debate under its original intent.

2. Call for a one-year moratorium on demolition of purpose-built rental housing, and strengthen the Tenant Relocation and Protection Guidelines.

During the moratorium the city will work on a plan to both retain and restore older affordable apartment buildings as well as build and maintain new purpose-built rental through funding that Greens have been pushing for including re-instating federal tax incentives and creating a new Vancouver Carbon Trust. Update the Tenant Relocation and Protection by-law to ensure landlords aren’t using loopholes to renovict and displace tenants and that residential tenancies are protected city-wide.

3. Protect and increase secondary and basement suites by making it easy to legalize them.

Protect neighbourhoods and affordability while giving new life to old buildings. Secondary and basement suites make up some of Vancouver’s most affordable rental housing. Amend the Secondary Suite Program to encourage secondary suites as incentives for retaining character homes, as opposed to multi-conversion dwelling process typically done by developers under the current framework.

4. Launch a city-wide plan to involve citizens in deciding how to add density, affordability and “missing middle” housing into their neighbourhoods.

Planning by spot rezoning and density bonusing instead of a city-wide plan has driven speculation and skyrocketing increases in land prices. Why is Vision so opposed to a city-wide plan? Working collaboratively with communities and neighbours to create a city-wide plan is the only process by which residents can come together on decisions that affect growth, housing and affordability city-wide and in their own neighbourhood.

5. Create a Renter’s Office at the City, to better protect and resource the over half Vancouverites who rent their homes.

Immediately create a department that can provide resources and support for the renters of Vancouver: to provide help with provincial tenancy laws, to ensure homes are safe and landlords adhere to our Standards of Maintenance bylaw, to stop bogus renovictions and to ensure renter’s rights are protected in an increasingly tight and exploitive market.

People as Priority

The vitality of our city is our people. But our communities are under threat. From Chinatown to Dunbar, from the Punjabi Market to the West End, local business districts are being hollowed out, neighbours are being displaced, and residents don’t feel meaningfully engaged in City decision-making.

Your Vancouver Green Councillors will work to:

  • Create democratic and inclusive City-funded neighbourhood councils, allowing communities to provide input at the start of land use and development projects.
  • Move for the development of a city-wide plan: the only process by which residents can come together on decisions that affect the city as a whole and on multi-neighbourhood issues like transit and equity.
  • Expand public amenities and services — like community centres, neighbourhood houses, parks and recreation, childcare, libraries, and police and fire services — to match the pace of development and population growth.
  • Support investments in arts, culture and public spaces.
  • Provide resources and money to tackle the opioid crisis.
  • Expand opportunities for treatment on demand and housing outside the Downtown Eastside.

Building a Smart, Sustainable City

We need a nimble, efficient, and flexible regulatory framework able to adapt to changing climate, technology, and economic trends. Red-tape, permit delays, unregulated short-term rentals, traffic congestion, and lack of a city-wide plan cost us all.

A smart, sustainable City enables all modes of transportation to function efficiently and ensures there is affordable and convenient zero-emission public transit throughout the city. A smart, sustainable City mitigates climate change with practical measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also save people and businesses money.

Your Vancouver Green Councillors will work to:

  • Reduce the red tape currently bogging down thousands of small- and medium scale city-building projects.
  • Vigorously enforce the Standards and Maintenance bylaws to prevent health and safety emergencies such as the residents of the Balmoral were subject to.
  • Move more quickly to update regulations with respect to short-term rentals and ride sharing, equipping bylaw officers with the resources needed to adapt to rapidly changing technologies and to work in multiple languages.
  • Create a city-wide plan to reduce traffic congestion without sacrificing the safety and convenience of walking, cycling and public transit.
  • Establish a Vancouver Carbon Trust that would use carbon offset revenues to help building owners retrofit energy-leaking buildings.

Protecting Small Business and Local Arts

Small business and the arts contribute to a strong, diversified economy. We need to develop and enhance tools to manage empty storefronts, to protect small business and creative production spaces from skyrocketing land values and taxes. We need to strengthen policies to support local community economic development.

Your Vancouver Green Councillors will work to:

  • Create a strategy and an office for small business - a strategy to enhance our local economic security and connect Vancouverites to good jobs, creating stronger businesses and building thriving neighborhoods across our city.
  • Protect and incentivizing local and culturally significant small businesses in rezoning packages, where applicable.
  • Expand the Vacant Homes Tax to also target empty commercial space being kept off the market for speculative and tax purposes, creating a blight on commercial districts and depriving local entrepreneurs of affordable commercial space.
  • Ensure the arts funding benefits the wider population and not just developer interests. Arts production spaces must be affordable to local artists.
  • Move to attract investment in the emerging green economy.
  • Protect our economy and environment against the threat of bitumen pipeline and tanker expansion though our local waters.