Vision’s Rejection, and OCOP’s Transparency

After a lot of hard work over the weekend, and before, a couple of important information releases were made today.

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has issued a press release about Vision Vancouver’s refusal to endorse collaborative planning in the City.  Mayor Robertson’s response, on behalf of Vision, notes that the Coalition’s Principles & Goals document “doesn’t align with the city’s existing policy”.  Well, no. That’s because we believe the current top-down autocratic we-know-best approach has failed decisively.

We need to return to respectful collaboration rather than the shove it down our throats take it or leave it approach the current Council insists on, and the Coalition is proud to have every other municipal party on board with trying to improve the way we do planning in Vancouver.

The Mayor also seems to be opposed to citizens having a voice. To quote the Coalition’s release:

“We are also concerned that the Mayor, in the same interview, said our members come too often to present their opinions to Council. “We conclude that Mayor Robertson does not want to hear alternative views,” said Co-Chair Fern Jeffries. “He wants citizens to refrain from presenting their views, and the opinions of their neighbourhood associations, to our elected officials. We represent a more democratic perspective.”

After all the discord and tumult that Vision’s planning policies have caused over the last few years, with marches on City Hall, and endless complaints from community associations right across the City, one might have hoped for a better response. Sadly not to be.

Turning to more immediately local affairs, the Chair of the Grandview-Woodland Citizens’ Assembly sent a series of questions about planning and development to the Our Community, Our Plan (OCOP) group last week.  After a laudable exercise in collaboration between its members, OCOP has today submitted its response to those questions.

The responses provide a significant insight into some of the concepts and policies that drive OCOP’s resistance to the current Community Plan process. They are worth the read.

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