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First big campaign day: NPA talks about free parking on Sundays, Vision talks housing, free swim lessons

October 10th, 2014 · 70 Comments

Suddenly, the energy level has ramped up in the campaign and lots to do and cover the last two days.

Things started off Wednesday with duelling newsers from Vision and the NPA, where Vision announced its “family-friendly” (you’d think in this province, they’d be wary of that phrase, but whatever) affordability platform, emphasizing their commitment to keep looking for ways to encourage new rental apartments, family-oriented units, and social housing, along with, yes, free swim lessons. Only for those under 14, so don’t get too excited, my blogsters, about getting a chance to finally learn to swim.

Kirk LaPointe of the NPA took to Kerrisdale to say that motorists have been treated with disdain by Vision Vancouver and, to help out struggling families who just want to park easily as they do their shopping and so on, an NPA government would get rid of parking charges outside the downtown for Sundays and holidays, as well as scaling back the hours for paid parking everywhere from 10 p.m. to 8 p.m. My story here.

That night, there was a council candidates’ debate at Killarney community centre where, predictably, the big issues were the funding for the seniors’ centre and the fight between the park board and six community centres. Vision council candidates Raymond Louie and Niki Sharma didn’t get booed or anything. Louie kept insisting the city’s $1.2 million is there if it’s needed, contrary to reports, and Sharma was very conciliatory, though vague (“we should talk”)  in her answers about how to de-escalate the situation between the park board and centres.

But certainly other candidates got big rounds of applause for saying the fight should end and Vision dithered for 12 years on the seniors centre. (Though they’ve only been in power for six, so that seemed off.)

Then, yesterday, a news conference by the Chernens from the Cedar Party in the morning, claiming that the city failed to get the best deal out of the Oakridge redevelopment, leaving hundreds of millions on the table. Apparently their team called the Vancouver police department, alleging actual fraud. The RCMP’s E Division apparently went to city planning to ask some questions and then declined to lay any charges. Lots of photocopied documents and allegations of this and that passed around.

And, in the evening, a big rally by Metro Vancouver Alliance, the coalition of churches, unions, advocacy groups and others pushing to create change in four areas: housing, a living wage, better transit, and measures to alleviate social isolation. The three major mayoral candidates, Gregor Robertson, Kirk LaPointe, Meena Wong, plus the Greens Adriane Carr were there. I tweeted madly on this. If I get a burst of energy, I’ll storify them and post.

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