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Vancouver mayor sets a decisive new tone in housing and transit talks

March 6th, 2017 · 4 Comments

There have been times in the last year when I’ve wondered whether Mayor Gregor Robertson is just phoning it in. He seemed absent, even when he was here, and disengaged.

But that person was not in evidence last week. The mayor, in one of the strongest speeches I’ve heard from him in a long time, talked about setting a new direction in housing and even being willing to take on the single-family-zone NIMBYs in order to create new housing. That was Tuesday. (My story here.)

Friday, he was a speaker at a transportation conference organized by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, where he spoke without notes, energetically making the case for various kinds of new transit and new funding. When, as moderator, I asked the question from the audience about extending the rapid-transit line to UBC, his short, simple answer was: “We should just go for it.”

I had been wondering whether he really planned to run again for mayor in 2018. I had my doubts. After last week, I’m tilting more to think he will make another run.

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