Innovative election promises from Vancouver political parties — The Georgia Straight

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Innovative election promises from Vancouver political parties — The Georgia Straight

by Devon Rowcliffe

With Vancouver’s municipal election just days away (and in fact already begun, thanks to advance voting), we’ve been bombarded with messages from a plethora of political parties. We’ve heard an assortment of snappy one-liners designed to be easily memorized, involving policy promises, character assassinations, spin doctoring, and everything in between.

Sadly, these orchestrated communications campaigns only supply voters with a superficial glimpse of how the various political parties would run our city. However, all of the parties do boast a variety of ideas about how Vancouver should be managed—and below is a short (and highly subjective) selection of some of their more innovative promises that are unique to each party.

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Protection from corporate influence in classrooms, or disingenuous election spin? — The Georgia Straight

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Protection from corporate influence in classrooms, or disingenuous election spin? — The Georgia Straight

by Devon Rowcliffe

Corporate sponsorship in Vancouver schools has become a prominent issue in the city’s municipal election campaign, with the Vancouver school board's rejection this past spring of funding from Chevron Canada returning to public scrutiny.

Canadian charity MyClassNeeds helps to distribute funding from Chevron's “Fuel Your School” program to Canadian schools, and earlier this year established funding arrangements with five school districts in the Lower Mainland, including in Burnaby and Surrey.

The Vancouver school board (VSB), which is dominated by Vision Vancouver trustees, rejected such a funding partnership. Vision asserted in a recent election campaign press release that potential funding from Chevron for Vancouver schools “was contingent on Chevron being able to directly interfere with teachers and lesson plans”.

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Towers, transit, and transparency: a review of Vancouver’s election debates — The Georgia Straight

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Towers, transit, and transparency: a review of Vancouver’s election debates — The Georgia Straight

by Devon Rowcliffe

Vision Vancouver hopes to make it a full decade in power after this November’s municipal election, and is confident enough of its controversial record to build a campaign around it.

Meanwhile, a plethora of opposition parties struggle to differentiate themselves from each other, relying mostly upon principles rather than clear policy ideas.

Many of the audiences were vehement in their opposition to Vision at the half-dozen debates that I attended. They cited top-down decision making, a lack of consultation, predetermined planning applications, broken promises, and a litany of lawsuits against the city.

Vision warns that electing the NPA would jeopardize the building of additional supportive housing and rental housing. Vision’s incumbent candidates admit that it has been difficult to achieve their promises given the lack of substantial funding from senior levels of government, and defend their decision to approve towers built outside of downtown as being a necessary compromise to procure money from developers to build housing for the city’s marginalized.

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