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Adjust your clocks: Vancouver changes council meeting times

January 16th, 2012 · 16 Comments

The last time Vancouver changed its council schedule was back in the 80s, when Gordon Campbell decided that evening council meetings were a blight, keeping everyone around until beyond midnight. He moved council meetings to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and introduced a new rule that only allowed speakers at committee meetings (held on Thursdays during the […]

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Tags: City Hall Talk

New money-saving device: council meeting conducted at front steps

May 6th, 2009 · No Comments

Okay, it wasn’t a money-saving device. City hall had to be evacuated last night after a black puff of smoke emerged from a vent in the chambers. (Apparently, the result of a fan dying in the air conditioning unit.) So council, along with city manager Penny Ballem and various staff gathered around fibreglas eagle in […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

When did civic politics get so interesting?

March 27th, 2009 · 18 Comments

It’s Friday and I’m feeling philosophical about life and what I do for a living. Something that has jumped out at me repeatedly in the last while is how drastically the civic scene has changed since I first started writing about the city and city hall back in 1994. It’s hard to remember, but in […]

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Tags: Media

Vancouver prelim budget out: You pay $128 more in taxes on an average house

January 29th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Our favourite time of the year — budget estimates — is here again, with the traditional three acts: 1. The discovery that the projected tax increase to maintain the existing budget is not as high as everyone said the previous fall. 2. The wrangling over what gets cut or added, during lengthy public meetings 3. […]

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Tags: City Hall Talk

The first council meeting sets the stage for three years

December 17th, 2008 · 13 Comments

I really think there should have been a sports commentator at today’s first meeting of the new Vision-controlled council. Or several really, to handle the various rounds that ensued as council proceeded through the many motions put forward to kickstart the Vision agenda. We could have started with one of those hushed-voice golf types for […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

First working council meeting tomorrow; apartment owners on red alert

December 16th, 2008 · 10 Comments

Who needs It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on Whatever Street as pre-Christmas entertainment, when Vancouver’s new dust-busting council is on the go? Tomorrow will be the first council meeting with real business and a chance to see Dr. Penny Ballem in the city manager’s chair. In the meantime, Vision councillors have a raft of […]

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Tags: Workforce Housing

The new power bloc has its Christmas party

December 15th, 2008 · 3 Comments

As I’ve written in years past, there are two big “leftie” parties in Vancouver that have a certain gravitational pull on the social scene here. The first one, usually the first weekend in December, is organized by one group and tends to bring out a few more union/standard NDP types. The other is organized by […]

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Tags: City Hall Talk

Vision homelessness efforts need to be solid

December 12th, 2008 · 10 Comments

My last CTV blog post looked at the debate over whether homelessness is worth trying to tackle (some people feel like it’s too big a job for the city) and also a warning about scrambling together homeless shelters too quickly. As people in the Downtown Eastside know too well, those who have been sleeping on […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

City to put $300,000 from contingency fund into homeless effort

December 12th, 2008 · No Comments

I see from this story by my Vancouver Sun counterpart Catherine Rolfsen that NPA Councillor Suzanne Anton is objecting to the city (or, to be more precise, Vision Vancouver) putting $300,000 from its contingency reserve into funding shelters, which it hasn’t typically done in the past. She’s right on that. However, the city has been […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

Start your engines, Vancouver city staff

December 10th, 2008 · 6 Comments

The first raft of motions from the new council just hit the decks. Enjoy your holidays, city hall staffers, because you’ll be scrambling when you get back to come up with answers and options for your new bosses. What the new council is asking for” – a staff report on options for the Burrard Street […]

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