Heather Gies: Why settle for Vision Vancouver or the NPA?
Yesterday (July 14), after the NPA announced its mayoral candidate, the NPA and Vision began criticizing each other immediately. They are both correct in their criticisms: it is true that Vision doesn’t listen to Vancouverites and it is true that the NPA would represent a step backwards for this city.
But why settle for either when the Coalition of Progressive Electors fixes the faults of both? Only COPE privileges the voices of residents and renters over corporate donors. Only COPE develops strong progressive policies by way of member collaboration.
The NPA says Vision doesn’t listen to residents, but they neglect to mention the real reason behind this. Big real-estate companies donated over $1 million to Vision Vancouver in the last election. The NPA also relies on these developers and corporations to fund their campaigns. The idea that they could "listen" more effectively than Vision is outrageous: they are beholden to the same corrupting financial interests.
It comes as no surprise that Vision's and the NPA’s housing policies are essentially the same. Both are proposing tax cuts for developers and cutting “red tape” at city hall to make things easier for the real-estate industry. Only COPE is willing to tax the real-estate corporations and implement a luxury housing tax to fund and maintain public housing. Only COPE will sweep the real-estate corporations out of the backrooms of city hall and commit to fixing Vancouver’s housing crisis. COPE’s housing-authority plan will build 800 units of social housing each year to end homelessness as well as thousands of real affordable public rental homes.
The real question of this election is: who do you trust to keep your rent more affordable? The parties in the pockets of the corporations who stand to profit from high rents and skyrocketing homelessness levels? Or a party with the integrity to refuse developer funding? The answer is clear: COPE is the only option to build a Vancouver everyone can afford.