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What are COPE’s plans?

November 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments

City staff hadn’t even finished counting the votes when I heard people wondering whether the Coalition of Progressive Electors, that longstanding traditional left party that Vision split away from, was now going to become the official opposition at city hall. That’s because Vision has enough councillors to carry any vote at city hall, so COPE is free to disagree as it wishes.

There were also questions about how long it would be before its representatives started making motions about weapons in space and other non-civic issues that gained them some public notoriety in their last administration.

Here’s what David Cadman had to say about where COPE is going:

“This is a very clear signal that if progressive forces work together, they can win. It worked for everybody. Both Ellen and I are going to be true to our base, but I really hope we’ll have the kind of respect from Gregor that we didn’t have from Sam, that he’ll talk to each one of us about what we want to accomplish and make that possible. That’s the way I always remembered council.”

He’s already contacted Gregor with ideas he has on shelter space that might be available in Vancouver quickly for homeless people.

Some of the ideas they’ll be driving forward:

– a free bus. “During the Olympics, there is going to be a push for a free bus to get people around so I think we could set that up before then.”

– sustainability measures. The Olympic athletes village has a district heating plan that extracts heat from the sewers. Cadman would like to see Vancouver do something innovative on the green front by creating district-heat systems for other neighbourhoods.

– taxes. Cadman remains opposed to a shifting of taxes from business to residential, something that the Vision group has said it will support.

“I don’t think we’re going to shy away from being who we are,” said Cadman. “But I don’t want a position that says Vision majority and COPE opposition. I hope we can come together and say this is a good idea and that’s a good idea. That’s my real hope for this council. People don’t want a stand-off.”

Here’s hoping to sweetness and light. Wouldn’t that be weird.

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  • I know a few people in COPE that worked really hard to bring the party in from Tim Louis’ wilderness, and they are cautiously optimistic that this will be a highly collaborative council. I’m sure there will be differences, but I’m hoping that doesn’t mean we’ll see the stifling of debate.

  • Confused

    I suspect the sweetness and light will dissipate sometime in the midst of their first budget debate.