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NPA slowly moves into first gear with community forum on STIR

September 20th, 2010 · 18 Comments

For those of you who’ve missed it on the Urban Wonks Events calendar here, the Non-Partisan Association is reviving one of its old techniques for developing some public profile.

It will be holding a community forum on Vision’s controversial STIR (Short Term Incentives for Rental) program tonight, presumably to capitalize on the dissatisfaction that has been boiling there for months, but also to develop more of a presence as the year-long election campaign gets rolling.

Much appreciated would be, besides critiquing the current program, some ideas for what to do about rental construction in the city. Everyone from all sides has acknowledged for a long time that there’s an impending crisis as the apartment buildings in the city, mostly built in the 60s and 70s, come to the end of their lives.

While some people think that the rental market is now being supplied by private investors renting out condos, the reality is that those investors will sell the moment they think they can get a good price to new buyers who willl want to move in. The wave of 50,000-some condos that Vancouver has had in the last decade won’t be replicated any time soon. As those investor condos slowly get bought up and old stock continues to decline, where will the new supply come from?

I’ll be looking forward to the debate on that.

As a side note, it’s a sign of the petty and fractious times we’re living in that poster advertising this event generated complaints to the West End Community Centre.

Why? Take a look at it and see if you can guess why.


Stumped? It’s because the poster includes a reference to “West End Community Centre.” Apparently a member of the public phoned to complain about it, park board chair Aaron Jasper confirmed to me when I called to ask what was going on. He said, in response to rumours I’d heard that it was actually park board commissioners who had called to complain, that that wasn’t true.

While there’s no problem with political groups having events at public community centres (he’s had many there himself), they’re not supposed to put the name of the community centre on any advertising so as to avoid any inference, presumably, that the centre is supporting one political group or another.

The thing is, I can’t imagine any general member of the public even knowing that, let alone having the time to phone up and gripe about it.

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