Let’s Get To The Politics!

Yesterday afternoon, lawyer Bob Kasting announced his run as an independent candidate for Mayor of Vancouver. I had rather hoped he would announce many months ago in the hope that he could corrall behind him some of the seven or eight parties running for Council in November,  But he is in now, and that’s good, especially as he is a great supporter of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhood’s Principles & Goals document that outlines a much improved community engagement process for our growing city.

I have written before about how it is vital that we ensure Vision Vancouver does not get another majority — their plans to turn our City over to their developer friends and create an outpost for the rich elites that is completely unaffordable to you and me just have to be stopped.  Now that we have, after this weekend, COPE, Vancouver First and Cedar announcing their full teams, a little while after Vision, NPA and Greens did the same, it is time to get serious about supporting certain individuals.

My earlier writings will have indicated that I support independent Councilors and a ward system: Given than we don’t have either of those yet, it should be no surprise as an alternative that I am keen to see a Council without a party majority. I believe that is the best for Vancouver and certainly best for the neighbourhoods who can then put together issue-based coalitions as they arise. As the election moves on, I will pick individuals I will support from various parties.  But to begin …

I support Bob Kasting as Mayor of Vancouver,  He is a man of extraordinary learning and intelligence, he understands the nature of the City as a collection of definable neighbourhoods, he is willing to listen to a range of ideas for dealing with our Vision-generated affordability crisis, and I believe he has the ability to mold an “independent” council into a tool for burnishing Vancouver into an even greater future. If we are ever to move Vancouver away from the idea of political parties in municpal politics (we are one of the last holdouts for that corrupting system) then having an Independent Mayor is a damn good start

I support the three Green candidates for Council — Adriane Carr, Pete Fry, and Cleta Brown. Adriane Carr has handled her three years on Council as a lone “independent” with equanimity, intelligence, and with the ability to pick up on many of Vision’s problematic decisions.  I haven’t agreed with every vote she every gave — but why would I?  She has made a real fight of it. I have worked with Pete Fry for the last year on neighbourhood, development and transportation issues and have found him to be a fast study, a very quick and politically asuste mind, and a good speaker.  His elected management of Strathcona Residents Association was successful and shows a keen ability to debate and compromise, and his interventions in the DTES LAPP were valuable and thought-provoking. I don’t know Cleta very well, but she has great political background and if Adriane and Pete are willing to vouch for her, then I’ll go along as I get to know her during the campaign.

I will probably support a couple of Cedar Party candidates (Nicholas Chernen would be an interesting addition to Council, for example) and a couple of COPE and, yes, a couple of NPA. I have started meeting with individual candidates amongst this group and my personal support will be driven by the candidates’ views on the Coalition’s planning ideas.

If we can get a City Council with four or five different parties vying to put together issue-based solutions, I believe our future will be a lot more livable than four more years of developer-driven Vision Vancouver executing a blueprint for billionaires.

Note that this entire conversation excludes School Board and Parks Board where I have not followed the issues as closely as I have at the Council level.

3 Responses to Let’s Get To The Politics!

  1. I’m glad that you are are providing some good independent choices for a truly non-partisan council Jak. It is unfortunate that you are not going to support any Park Board candidates though since development and park board issues under the Vision regime have been closely tied together.These developments will have a great impact on our Parks and Recreation system. Unfiendly developments included a plan by the current Mayor to rezone part of Langara golf course (a public park) for condos. We temporarily halted this plan but if Vision is re-elected it will be back on the table. Other instances of development and public concern includes the False Creek lands where a park was promised to the community but instead private developer Concord has been using this land for their own private use and which the Mayor and Vision seemingly have supported. As you know no park has materializd there. Also in the New Yaletown area the third phase of Emery Barnes Park has been taken away by the Mayor and Vision for a new condo development. ( I actually launched my park board campaign on Aug 24 at Emery Barnes Park to draw attention to this issue) . Sadly not even Emery Barnes daughter Constance who serves as a Vision Park Commissioner has spoken up on this issue. And of course the latest plan is to take away a public park and recreation facility in the West End the revered Aquatic centre . The plan is to have this public waterfront land privately developed. Again there has been no public consultation. Our public park system is under direct threat by Vision and this should be a concern for the public and those concerned about development issues. These public parks provide an important and vital role to peoples lives and thier well being..

  2. Mike Hansen says:

    I’ve informed Jak’s View many times that I Mike Hansen, independent mayoral candidate 2014 about my platform at mike4mayor2014.ca .
    Ass usual, the ‘media’ is afraid of independent candidates as they have no party/corporate agenda! If you follow my WordPress mike4mayor2014 blog, you’ll see what independence from “colonial dysfunctions” can provide!
    Thanks 4 the opportunity 2 educate those that aren’t.

    Mike 4 Mayor 2014

  3. Mike Hansen says:

    One other thing. I’ve an appointment with Janice Mackenzie, Clerk & Chief Election Officer at the end of this month to file my official candidacy.
    Hang on to your asses, Kids! This is going to be a fun run!

    Mike 4 Mayor 2014

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