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Non-Partisan Association should die and be replaced, say some, as one group works on creating a “Vancouver First” party

November 20th, 2012 · 52 Comments

I understand my story in the Globe has produced quite a kerfuffle. I await more news.

With eye on next election, factions busy writing the NPA’s obit


Published Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 10:43PM EST

Last updated Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 10:59PM EST

There’s a move afoot to replace Vancouver’s oldest and most successful civic party, as current and former members mobilize to create a new political entity.

Non-Partisan Association board member Ken Charko Sunday said he has been approached by several people who are starting a new organization called Vancouver First. Another major party figure is saying publicly that the party should fold its tent, while others are saying it quietly behind the scenes.

That comes on the one-year anniversary of the Non-Partisan Association’s third major election loss in a decade, as the ruling Vision Vancouver and Mayor Gregor Robertson coast through their second term with little formal opposition.

The NPA, the ruling party for decades in Vancouver, has only two councillors on the 11-member council. The Coalition of Progressive Electors, once the only left-wing party in Vancouver, didn’t get anyone elected to council. And first-time Green Party councillor Adriane Carr is still finding her feet.

Already concerned about the next election two years away, one former NPA party builder is calling on its members to give up and form something new.

The NPA and its free-enterprise supporters should “fold their tent and create a new neighbourhood-based, centrist alternative to Vision Vancouver,” said Daniel Fontaine, former chief of staff to previous NPA mayor Sam Sullivan, in a regular newspaper column he writes.

He said the party’s traditional white, upper-middle-class west-side base is not enough to sustain it, in an echo of the kind of analysis U.S. Republicans are putting forward in the wake of their loss to President Barack Obama.

Mr. Fontaine did not refer directly to the creation of another party in his column.

However, sources say that Vancouver First has been registered recently with the B.C. Corporate Registry. There is already a domain name,, that was first registered in 2010 and was updated.

The name Vancouver First would echo the name of the party created by Surrey’s popular mayor, Dianne Watts – Surrey First.

But others in the NPA are rejecting the idea that the party needs to dissolve and restructure itself.

Suzanne Anton, who ran for mayor for the NPA in 2011 and lost, said the party is going “full steam ahead” with a good team steering it. She is on the party’s board.

Mr. Charko said a new party and a new name won’t make a difference if the centre-right does not come up with a clear mission statement and a way of attracting a broad range of voters.

“[The people organizing a Vancouver First party] want a new organization. But if it has the same or no mission statement, it will be exactly the same.”

Mr. Charko, a B.C. Conservative Party member helping with the current Victoria by-election, said he believes the NPA needs to get back to the coalition that helped it rule successfully for decades. That was a combination of federal Liberals and Conservatives, along with B.C. Liberals and B.C. Conservatives (who are quite distinct from the federal entities).

NPA board president Peter Armstrong acknowledged that “we’re going to have to up our game” because the party is running against a group of “very smart, capable political operators” at Vision Vancouver.

But he didn’t give a hint that there’s a new party on the horizon.

Instead, he boasted that party membership has increased 10 per cent over last year and said the board is hearing regularly from people who are concerned about the way Vision spends money and treats communities.

He declined to say what the party’s membership is at the moment.

Categories: Uncategorized

52 responses so far ↓

  • 1 boohoo // Nov 20, 2012 at 9:03 am

    “fold their tent and create a new neighbourhood-based, centrist alternative to Vision Vancouver”

    How about you run for politics to serve the people and not just to run against someone else?

    Ban these stupid, childish, petty parties.

  • 2 Julia // Nov 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

    The NPA needs to take a few notes from the recent US election. The white, middle class is a shrinking demographic. If that is your only voter base, you are destined for the sidelines.

    Whatever this new group decides – they need to do it NOW. We need a viable alternative to what Vision is serving us. They may not form a majority next time round, but at least they could slow down the pace of craziness that is happening at the Hall.

    Get over yourselves, get over all the name silliness, and put the city ahead of the petty internal wranglings. Vancouver desperately needs options.

  • 3 gmgw // Nov 20, 2012 at 10:59 am

    @Julia, #2:
    It’s more than a bit ingenuous to suggest that the NPA base is drawn only from the “white middle class”. Certainly that was once true, but things have changed. Like their philosophical brethren and cistern in the Reformatories (AKA the federal Conservatives), the NPA has done much active reaching out in recent years to the city’s ethnic communities, notably the Chinese and South Asian communities. The NPA and Conservatives’ reasons for doing so are thoroughly insidious. Ethnic communities, including but not limited to their wealthier, better-educated members, are notoriously conservative on social issues (including a broad streak of homophobia) and the fact that these communities are steadily growing in population helps to ensure a perpetuation of social conservatism at all three levels of government. For conservative political parities, the non-white demographic is a fertile recruiting ground, and Vancouver provides an excellent example of this noxious trend.

  • 4 Bill Lee // Nov 20, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Hmm. But only five comments on the G&M page of this story. G&M Paywall keeping the rabid out?

    Thankfully, Mme Bula posts the complete text outside the wall (though this blog site is a featured blog on the Globe’s B.C. Page.) Link:

    And just the other day, 14 November, John Mackie of the Vancouver Sun made a note of the founding of the NPA in 1937 to keep the [Bolshevik] socialists out of City Hall, though he doesn’t mention the CCF-related candidates that year and what they stood for.

    By John MacKie, Vancouver Sun November 14, 2012
    Photo dated January 1937 of George Clark Miller, the Mayor of Vancouver at that time.
    Photograph by: Vancouver Sun , Files

    Worried that the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation was about to take over city council with a slate of left-leaning candidates, Vancouver business leaders announced the creation of the Non-Partisan Association on Nov. 13, 1937.

    “The CCF slate of candidates for the 11 open offices of the Dec. 8 polls will now be opposed by a slate of citizens backed by all walks of life in the community, without political ties,” reported The Vancouver Sun in a front-page story.

    The new party had a membership of 2,000 people, and proposed to field a slate of four candidates for alderman, three for the park board, and four for school board. Oddly, the new party claimed not to be a party – it was formed to “oppose the introduction of party politics into Vancouver’s civic administration.” The non-party party did have several backers with party connections – its chairman was Col. Victor Odlum, who was a Liberal MLA in the 1920s. The NPA’s first mayoral candidate, George Miller, later ran for the Progressive Conservatives.
    Several prominent businessmen were also involved in the formation of the NPA, including W.C. Woodward of Woodward’s department store, Col. Victor Spencer of Spencer’s department store, and industrialist Austin Taylor. Electors took to the new party, electing nine NPA members to two CCFers. But it was a tense election night, as the CCF led in early returns, only to see the NPA pull ahead when the West End poll came in.
    A right-wing split kept Miller from winning the 1939 mayoralty, but the NPA recovered and dominated civic politics for decades. There have been 11 NPA mayors since 1941: Jack Cornett, Gerry McGeer, Charles Jones, Miller, Charles Edwin Thompson, Frederick Hume, William Rathie, Tom Campbell, Gordon Campbell, Philip Owen, and Sam Sullivan.

    Read more:

    And see Mackie’s mayoral thumbnails article of 2002, posted in the Chuck Davis page
    Note that most were born in Ontario or England (same thing?) and that George Miller also served out Jones’ term after his death in office.
    How wonderful it was with short one-year terms for council unlike the excessive 3 year terms now for TEAM-Lite of Liberals-in-a-Hurry of the Visual Party.

  • 5 Bill Lee // Nov 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

    “Non-Partisan Association should be die and be replaced, say some, as one group works on creating a “Vancouver First” party”

    “Should be die”?

  • 6 brilliant // Nov 20, 2012 at 11:22 am

    @boohoo 1-Absolutely, let’s start with Vision Vancouver shall we? After all they’re the only true civic political party, staff and all.

    And Fontaine’s either dense or being obtuse. Looking at a map of electoral results the NPA base embraced residential neighbourhoods circling the yoga-pants wearing core. What the NPA does need to ditch is the Ecodensity spew set out by Sullivan et al. People who want that will vote Vision.

  • 7 waltyss // Nov 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    As usual brilliant not shows its contempt for those who are not fortunate to live in single family residential.
    We do need another healthy opposition party. Democracy works best when there are two viable healthy parties running against each other.
    I would love it if boohoo were right and we had individuals running out of public interest who were not affiliated with a party. This is not to suggest that those of whatever political stripe who currently run or are elected do not do so for good motives of public service. For the most part, they all do. Despite the nastiness of the blogosphere, we should not forget that.
    However, unfortunately we are past the time of viable individual candidates. And, ultimately, a wider tent provides for more moderate platforms. Even if we had individuals running, they would still have to compromise in the end in order for this city to function.
    As for the social conservatism, particularly in some parts of the Chinese community, any party that embraces social conservatism in this city will consign itself to the fringes. It is also a generational thing that will pass.

  • 8 neil21 // Nov 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    The NPA – or Vancouver First – needs to out-urban Vision if they want to win. The anti-bikelanes, anti-greenestcity tack failed completely last time.

    Present a clear image of Vancouver with 1m more people. Wider sidewalks, dedicated buslanes, multiway boulevard arterials flanked by beautiful midrise mixed use. Think of all that custom for local business. Growth is great for cities provided the land is arranged properly: more places, fewer non-places.

    Listen to Peter Ladner for sure. Get rid of the silly adult helmet law (CoV can remove its own bylaw, and petition the province heavily) to ensure Bixi is a success.

    Also listen to Chuck Marohn, whose Strong Towns organisation makes the fiscal conservatives’ case for thin streets, complete streets, mid-rise mixed-use etc. Bustling sidewalks with short-frontage local businesses. Retrofit blackson twists and roundabouts at large intersections.

    Propose a clear form-based code – get actual images, pictures of building types by transect into the revised zoning bylaw, like Revelstoke did. Advance clarity on form (especially massing: FAR is a terrible metric) is key to community acceptance. Cut out many of the the bureaucrats that negotiate CACs, with a more mechanical system that allows urbanism by right. Leave Dunbar at 3 stories if they want it: cut out transit stops too. Move the fun of the city East.

  • 9 neil21 // Nov 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    In short, don’t do hippy sustainability, do hard-nosed economic-reality sustainability.

    Don’t worry about property prices: they’re a function of commodity prices (Chinese growth) and interest rates set out East.

    But do worry about vibrancy, the many serendipitous interactions that spur job-creating innovation. That’s a function of awesome public space: corner cafes with enough density around them to survive.

    ‘Thin’ streets and fee-simple rowhouses. Run on a platform of more of them for rent or purchase.

    In fact, it’s possible that rowhouses will be less attractive to ego-seeking overseas buyers. Make sure your bureaucracy makes them the easiest thing of all to get approved.

  • 10 boohoo // Nov 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm


    No, let’s start with them all. I seriously don’t know how many times you need to insinuate or flat out accuse me of being some vision hack when I have repeatedly and clearly called for the end to all political parties. I guess it is hard to break the cycle of stupidity.

    We need politicians who advocate for people, not parties.

    I agree with neil21, we need to stop tiptoing around the issues. Change is coming, we can’t afford to sit here and pretend it isn’t. Pulling up the drawbridge is not an option, as much as some people would like to do it.

    So instead of bitching and moaning and finding all these reasons why things won’t work, why don’t we find ways to make things work. And every second wasted on worrying about what this group of clowns will call their party or what their manifesto will look like or what mascot they’ll use or their favorite colour is a total and complete waste of time and energy.

  • 11 brilliant // Nov 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Ah waltsyss, just when one was beginning to hope the billygoats had collapsed your bridge…

    Social conservatism had little to do with the NPA voters. It was those looking to preserve their neighbourhoods in the face of Vision’s toweranpodium® juggernait.

  • 12 Julia // Nov 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    my comparison to the Republican party in post #2 is not to suggest that the NPA is all white conservative males. My comparison is to illustrate that the NPA and the support of its loyal demographic is no longer sufficient to give them an electoral win. Do they want to hang on to the past – or do they want to win?

  • 13 Silly Season // Nov 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Sorry if I’m going slightly off otopic here but…

    Does someone want to give us a reading about why Vision politicians Meggs and Barnes did not receive the support and NDP nominations in the provincial ridings they sought.

    I’m curious as I would have thought the Vision GOTV machine might have been put to use here?

    Or were NDPer’s just determined not to work with Gregor’s people?

  • 14 rf // Nov 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    My hunch is that they ran them out because they could end up doing to the NDP what they did to COPE.
    They ride in on a far-left horse and then jump to the middle once they get their hooks in to enough of the membership.

    They split the left vote and you get what happened when Sam Sullivan brought the NPA back (until the NPA shot themselves in the foot with Peter Ladner).

    It’s just a matter of time before Vision splits the left chasing the legislature.

    Barnes and Meggs didn’t win because the NDP doesn’t need them to win.

  • 15 Bill // Nov 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    @gmgw #3

    “For conservative political parities, the non-white demographic is a fertile recruiting ground, and Vancouver provides an excellent example of this noxious trend.”

    I know it is not possible for a Progressive to make a racist comment so I won’t go there. Let’s just say your comment is less celebratory of the diversity of multiculturalism that I would expect from a Progressive.

  • 16 Everyman // Nov 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @neil 21 8
    Why wouldn’t voters just choose Vision then? How is what you have articulated any different from Vision’s outlook?

    It has been said before but it bears repeating: the NPA’s base is now broadly anti-development. One has to wonder how many votes the four NSV council candidates bled off from the NPA council nominees. Until the NPA realizes Vision is now the defacto pro-development party, they will remain in a pickle.

  • 17 F.H.Leghorn // Nov 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    @neil21: “Get rid of the silly adult helmet law”. I wish you success. I need a kidney.
    As to how to fund a new, improved NPA, it’s not to rally the nimby vote. Those folks are already maxed out on credit and praying every night for continued low interest rates. Better they should tell developers they’ll only take 50% of the land lift on a re-zoning, not the 80% Vision takes.

  • 18 canadianveggie // Nov 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    @Everyman NSV was likely attracting votes from Vision and COPE supporters, not the NPA. NSV candidates (like Elizabeth Murphy) did best in the West End and East Vancouver, the same neighbourhoods that Vision Vancouver pulled in its biggest leads and COPE also did well. In the west side ridings where the NPA did well, the NSV candidates finished well behind, lower than Vision. COPE, Carr, and Garossino.

  • 19 gmgw // Nov 21, 2012 at 12:01 am

    @Bill, #15:
    If “celebrating the diversity of multiculturalism” means excusing practices on the part of some members of ethnic communities or cultures such as discrimination and bigotry based on gender orientation, and/or gender itself, or, on a completely different but not unrelated note, endorsing the extermination of an endangered species so that members of a particular ethnic group can use that species’ body parts to (as they imagine) enhance their sexual prowess or craft attractive knick-knacks for their curio shelf, than I would argue that it’s high time to rethink the whole MC concept. There is an ugly irony inherent in watching members of ethnic communities that have been victimized by gross discrimination and institutionalized racism in this country for most of the past 150 years now engaging in their own forms of bigotry and intolerance (I hope you appreciate the fact that I’ve left the not-insignificant influence of conservative religious teachings out of the discussion).

    Of course, I realize that as an alleged “Progressive”, I’m not supposed to say things like that. Well, “Progressive”is not a label I’m entirely comfortable with, being that it’s much too dependent on relativistic concepts. And I’ve seen its root word– “progress”– used far too many times to justify appalling actions of every description. If you feel a compulsion to pigeonhole, feel free to call me a “Reactionary”. Who knows; it may make you feel better. Sticks and stones…

  • 20 Genius // Nov 21, 2012 at 1:00 am


    Brilliant! So, the hippy environmentalists are going to join forces with the creme de la creme to protect unaffordable auto-oriented single family sprawl? What to call it? Sprawl First? Creme du la Poulet?

    That might not end well.

  • 21 jesse // Nov 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

    To me it was clear the NPA was attempting to broaden its tent beyond its “traditional” enclaves of single family west-side dwellings. Their candidates were spread throughout the city and several live downtown where most of the population growth has been focused over the past few elections. That attempt was not successful.

    I analyse housing in Vancouver, an interesting exercise it to overlay a population density map with the election results map:

    If the NPA ever hopes to regain its foothold it needs to think dense.

  • 22 Adele Chow // Nov 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    The NPA has died and Vancouverites have turned in droves to Vision Vancouver, a progressive option that understands sustainable development in the social and economic life of the city. Vision continues to be the trusted option for Vancouver voters. The NPA is irrelevant.

  • 23 Chris Keam // Nov 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Neil21 nails it. A West Coast version of ‘crunchy conservatism’ has untapped potential. Further, with an NDP provincial gov’t looking more and more likely, and a continuing Conservative gov’t in Ottawa just as likely, a center-right, ostensibly eco-friendly civic administration in Vancouver would present wary civic voters with a balancing option against the perceived excesses of the left in Victoria and a pragmatic federal ally willing to overlook a pesky concern for the environment for support on social and fiscal issues.

    I wouldn’t be so bold as to suggest it would be enough to elect an NPA mayor, but it would probably gain them enough seats in Council that they would be able to exploit any balance of power that might exist if a Green/NSV candidate was elected.

    Vancouver First is a terrible name however. It’s too easy a target for accusations of parochialism when our region’s cities are so dependent on one another. I would theorize Surrey First won on the strength of Diane Watts’ appeal to voters, rather than any real affinity for the name. They (the NPA) would do better to play up the full Non-Partisan Association name, with slogans and branding that emphasize a ‘can’t be bought’ angle.

  • 24 Ryan // Nov 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Maybe the NPA could do better to brand themselves as a Bloomberg-esque, economic pragmatist type party. As Neil21 said, they should focus on economic-sustainability, not hippy-sustainability. They can’t be the anti-development party, because there is no future for them there.
    For example, In the BC green party’s consolidated policy book, it says:

    “Cities should be required to maintain the same average density within their limits so that when one area’s density is increased, another area’s density should be proportionally decreased”.

    That’s hippy-sustainability. Some environmentalists see cities as the problem, not the solution. If the NPA can find a way to be a economically conservative, pro-development, pro-urban, but socially laissez-faire party, then I’d vote for them.

  • 25 Everyman // Nov 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    @Chris Keam 21
    Neither you nor Neil has explained how what you propose is any different from what Vision already has on offer, other than neil’s tongue in cheek (I hope) suggestion to remove transit and fun from the West Side as punishment for them not wanting six story buildings walling their neighbourhoods.

  • 26 Chris Keam // Nov 22, 2012 at 7:51 am


    Yes, your point about not being vastly different in terms of ideology was certainly my observation and also my inference taken from Neil21’s comments. The voting record would also seem to indicate that people are generally happy with much of Vision’s platform, so the NPA needs to leverage that to their advantage while differentiating their offering in the spots where Vision’s carapace appears soft.

  • 27 brilliant // Nov 22, 2012 at 9:37 am

    There’s no point having an NPA that’s just a Vision clone, however much the usual suspect wish it.

    Given Vancouver’s dismsl voter turnout there’s

  • 28 brilliant // Nov 22, 2012 at 9:40 am

    There’s no point having an NPA that’s just a Vision clone, however much the usual suspect wish it.

    Given Vancouver’s dismal voter turnout there’s plenty of room to rally homeowners against Vision’s neighbourhood-busting policies. But it means going all in and letting developers know that no matter how big their donation, projects won’t be approved willynilly as they are under Gregor.

  • 29 waltyss // Nov 22, 2012 at 11:28 am

    The I’m all right Jack philosophy of a brilliant not is simply a non starter in Vancouver, unless of course they changed the law to deny the vote to anyone who did not live in a singly family residence.
    The truth of the matter is that any opposition party has to recognise that on many environmental issues and on issues like density, there is general consensus in this city. The NPA recognises this as they say that what Vision is doing is Sam Sullivan’s eco-density.
    The differences are likely to be in details or nuance. However, whether the NPA or another party, they would have to develop a programme that they can sell to the city at large. While the anit Visionistas on this blog may not like it, the truth of the matter is that Vision is doing exactly what they campaigned and won on. Hard to fault them for that.
    If in 2014, a party, NPA or not, comes along and offers a platform that appeals to those things Vancouverites believe in, they will win. Or alternatively, Vision will have been in power for 6 years and the voters may decide that they are simply tired of or pissed off at them enough to elect someone else. However, even there, as the Repugs in the US found out, that doesn’t mean tthat you can run on a platform that has no general appeal.

  • 30 Bill Lee // Nov 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

    And only two more years to the election, (unless Victoria changes the terms for municipalities).

    NPA attempted to do one-year-early campaigning, especially among [non-anglos] with lists of candidates and public awareness early. Did it make any difference in peoples’ (voters) minds? Can the turnouts be increased?

    What was happening in 1937?

  • 31 teririch // Nov 22, 2012 at 11:44 am

    From what I am hearing from the ‘inside’ – Vision has a clear stronghold on city hall – thanks to their on going poitical polaritzation of staff.

    They have systematically replaced people that may question their antics with their own ‘yes’ men/women.

    So, the NPA or which ever party that plans on running as an alternative needs to get their ‘ducks’ in a row well in advance of the next election . Create a clear path, let go of the infighting and be proactive rather than reactionary.

    Barnes and Meggs, well you kind of wished they would have got the NDP nod – in order to rid them from Vancouver, but, on the other hand, does BC really need their types instituting policy on a grander scale……

    Meggs, who in my personal opinion, is supremely arrogant and as*y; is a good friend of Dix, so I am sure there will be a place for him somewhere along the line and we nice tax payers will be looking after him for the rest of our working lives. Lucky us.

  • 32 Mark // Nov 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    “If the NPA can find a way to be a economically conservative, pro-development, pro-urban, but socially laissez-faire party, then I’d vote for them.”

    Lol I wouldn’t hold your breath on

    A) The NPA reshaping like that.
    B) Them ever getting elected if they did.

    The negative nancies who post so prolifically here might have a difficult time accepting it, but the reality is that the majority of the people in this city (who care enough to vote) like the platform Vision campaigned on and are working towards achieving.

    We are seeing real and measurable progress towards the goals laid out, and that’s a really refreshing thing to see in politics at any level.

  • 33 Mira // Nov 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Vision Vancouver are goners come next election. Robertson is a liability. Not even NDPers can stand them anymore. Barnes and Meggs are two examples, Chow would have been a third casualty… With or without a party to compete against… NPA, COPE, NSV, Vancouver First, Vancouver Brightest, Long Shot Vancouver, you name it, people of Vancouver have waken up. At least so it seems. Good riddance.

  • 34 teririch // Nov 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm


    How is that homeless thing coming along?

    That ‘platform’ ran in 2008, however, those numbers are up.

    There is more to running this city than bike lanes.

  • 35 teririch // Nov 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I had to cut and past this response from Harvey Oberfeld to one of his commentors, as it seems to fit some many commentors on this site (and others…)


    …..I stand by what I said and I believe most Canadians would agree: people who support/defend ANY particular party or leader or ideology AUTOMATICALLY …no matter how absurd or shameful their actions, appointments, positions etc. and castigate/oppose ANY other party automatically are intellectually shallow. And worse: robots, sheep, parrots … who, if you study history, have contributed to some terrible actions of governments by blindly backing some very horrible leaders, policies. ….

  • 36 brilliant // Nov 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    @Mark 30-Vision did a good job of motivating doe-eyed hipsters who were so bedazzled by bike lanes they ignored hiw unaffordable this city has become under Visions misrule.

    I get a chuckle out of hypocrites like waltsyss (and much of the Vision council) who babble on about forcing unwanted density onto neighbourhoods while cozily ensconsed in their own single family home.

  • 37 Richard // Nov 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm


    Check out the maps in this post.

    I suspect that the high density development along the SkyTrain lines has made housing more affordable while the resistance to and lack of new housing development in many parts of Vancouver has led to the lack of affordability. It shows that the claim by those who are anti-density that new development will decrease affordability is probably not correct.

  • 38 gman // Nov 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    There could be some old skeletons in Visions closet that could reappear.

  • 39 teririch // Nov 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Hmmmm, seems Robertson’s name is being phased out of Happy Planet land. I wonder if it has anything to do with Vivian Krause and her linking Happy Planet/Robertson to TIDES?(along with Mike Magee and a host companies he is involved with)

  • 40 waltyss // Nov 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    @brilliant not, I appreciate that logic is not your forte, I really do. However, how is living in a single family residence and advocating greater density hypocritical? Someone can only advocate for greater density if they don’t live in a single family house.
    Anyway, what was an interesting discussion has been taken over by the conspiracy theorists and New Mexican flying saucer devotees.

  • 41 waltyss // Nov 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Should be: Someone can only advocate for greater density if they don’t live in a single family house?

  • 42 Bill // Nov 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    @Richard #36

    Actually, increasing density can both increase and decrease affordability depending on what you are comparing. Increasing the allowable density in an area will increase the value of the land so that remaining single family homes will be more expensive and therefore, less affordable. However, for the new higher density developments, more housing units will be put on the same area of land so each will cost less than the single family home, therefore more affordable.

  • 43 Richard // Nov 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm


    Well, that’s the theory. However, prices are highest in the areas with little or no new development like the West Side. I suspect as well that if taller buildings are allowed, there will be less impact on existing housing as the amount of land needed for housing is less with taller buildings. There is only so much demand for housing.

    I suspect the worst scenario would be if large parts of the city are rezoned for townhouses like Lewis is proposing. I suspect “gentle” density might really be that gentle for communities.

  • 44 brilliant // Nov 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

    @waltsyss 39-its called “practice what you preach”. Not such a hard concept to understand.

    @Richard 42-if that were true prices downtown should have fallen, after all there’s been a huge increase in supply. Look at price per sq ft.

  • 45 waltyss // Nov 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Brilliant not: you really are a knuckle dragger. I live in a single family neighbourhood. I support it being densified; I would continue to live there if it were.
    I can’t support greater densification unless I move to the West End or Yaletown. But then, your ilk would say I have no right to speak on the matter because I don’t live there.
    It’s funny, I have no idea what you are, where you live or what you do. The only relevant thing, regardless of where you live, what you do or what you are , is that your opinions are, well, silly.

  • 46 Richard // Nov 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    @briily brill brill

    Take a look at the map again. Downtown seems much more affordable than west side although parts have become a bit less so. Still, it does not take $2 million to by a home there. Also, if more tall buildings were built other places in the city, that could take some of the price pressure off downtown.

  • 47 brilliant // Nov 23, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    @Richard 47-who knew Richmond had become such a pocket of poverty (or else there are a heckuava lot of people not paying taxes there…)

    But back to downtown, price per square foot shows you pay the most for the least there.

  • 48 Bill McCreery // Nov 25, 2012 at 1:27 am

    “We need politicians who advocate for people, not parties.”

    And the foregoing is not the current Visionistas nor the NPA.

    The NPA in the current Vancouver politic is irrelevant and should “fold it’s tent” as NPA insider Daniel Fontaine said in 24 Hours. Those currently funding it or any son of… would be wise to keep their money in their wallets.

    The focus should for real change in civic governance to achieve a healthy democratic process in Vancouver should be a total overhaul of the electoral funding regulations. Developer, union and foreign funding should be unlawful and campaign donations should be limited to $500 and to the party, not the candidate in the case of those running with a party. Independents and party candidates should have a permanent firewall from the donors list.

  • 49 Bill McCreery // Nov 25, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Richard, perhaps you might take a longer look at real estate pricing in Vancouver. You might well find that in a demand weighted market such as Vancouver, as “market” prices “swell” an ever “shrinking” quantity of product fills the void. So therein lies yet another fatal flaw in the Vision Vancouver theory of affordability.

  • 50 Frank Ducote // Nov 27, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Excuse me for asking, but how did this discussion about the NPA possibly changing its brand result in a digression of real estate prices, or whether downtown is more affordable than elsewhere, or not? Or if a brand change will create more affordable housing, or just protect them that has from them that don’t, i.e., by restricting densificartion in or near sfr areas.

    Does anyone think a simple brand change will affect the fundamental supply and demand process? Remember, Eco-Density was an NPA policy. If so, I’d like to hear about a policy discussion that would do make that happen.

    Or is this only about the need to improve consultation processes? See Bob Ransford’s column in the Vancouver Sun last Saturday for a good view of this need.

  • 51 PendrellSt // Nov 29, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Of the varied people I bounce up against in my daily existence in Vancouver I’ve noticed a growing pool of people who seem to have developed an almost incandescent level of anger with Vision Vancouver. People in this category inevitably express frustration about the lack of credible alternatives where they can lodge their support. However no one in this category seem to prefer the NPA. There perception remains that the NPA has equally strong ties with the development industry and as such would also govern in an aggressively pro-development manner. From this very unscientific poll I conclude it highly unlikely that the NPA will ever displace Vision. However I also conclude that should various groups such as NSV, Green, and strong independents group together with a consistent and coherent message they could tap into this deep well of frustration and give Vision a nasty surprise.

  • 52 Terry m // Dec 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    If COPE would go their separate way instead of sucking up to Vision,theymighthave a chance to get back in the game… Perhaps NSV.
    I would rather prefer an INDEPENDENT mayor and a council madeoutofno more than 3 members of the same party… Or independents!

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