This coming Saturday, Oct. 20 is municipal election day.
I’ve already voted at the advance poll so that I’m free to volunteer for the candidates I’m supporting on election day.
Who am I supporting?
Why am I supporting COPE and the Greens in this election?
I am very attracted to two of COPE’s policies — the mansion tax and the rent freeze. The mansion tax will create the revenue necessary to aggressively tackle Vancouver’s homeless crisis. The rent freeze is long overdue. For over a decade, rents have been going up at a rate far exceeding the inflation rate. The Residential Tenancy Act ties rents to the person, not the suite. What this means in real terms is that whenever there is turnover in the suite, the landlord raises the rent as much as the market will bear. It’s not uncommon now for a one-bedroom suite to rent in excess of $1,800 per month.
I am also aware of the environmental crisis humanity faces. Just the other day the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a dire report. Humanity has 10 years to get its act in order. This means getting as many Greens elected as possible a very high priority of mine.
With regard to the mayoral ballot, I thought long and hard about who might offer the best platform to address our No. 1 crisis — housing. Sadly, I concluded that none of the candidates recognize the need to dramatically move from market-based solutions to non-market solutions, such as 50% of the market being comprised of non-market housing with rent geared to 30% of income.
And when it comes to capital plans, I always support them. They make for a healthier city.
No matter how you vote, don’t forget to get out there on Saturday, Oct. 20 if you haven’t already voted in the advance polls. If you don’t help decide who you want to govern, others will gladly do it for you — and you may not like the results.
Vancouver 2018 voter information (where, when, how to vote)
Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) (click on candidates for school, park & council)