Mayoral candidate Mike Hansen on his plans for the future of Vancouver
As your mayor of Vancouver, I will bring the city into the 21st century. I will dispense with the title, “Your Worship” and retire the “necklace and sceptre” to the museum, as symbols of the past. No more “champagne visions and caviar dreams”.
I promise the citizens to be “your every day mayor”, never leaving the city except for emergencies. By using video conferencing, with full disclosure of all city business, including police board meetings, delivering focus, transparency, and openness.
We will introduce many new and exciting venues, like Vancouver Public Access Channel, so Vancouverites can tune into the entire goings on at City Hall. Along with competitive events, youth mentoring, and a scholarship program, called the City Gang. Vancouver’s citizens can now expect accountability.
In 2005, during my last run for mayor I pledged a First Nations healing centre in the DTES. As part of my 2008 campaign, I pledge to implement the very same plan.
My platform is restoring Vancouver to the jewel it once was. I will focus my administration to homelessness, crime and street drug use. Homelessness will be mitigated by 2010 with the introduction of a “Homeless Lottery” that “pays double, so play often”. Each month I will contact Ottawa and Victoria and demand “match funding”. An other source of funding is a levy of two to three percent on all fundraisers in Vancouver. As it’s all about giving, they should be more than happy to promote such a worthy cause.
Crime is a big one. Gang violence is escalating. We will write a strategic plan for crime fighting. How do we stop the gang killings? As mayor I will initiate roundtable discussions with gang lawyers/representatives, to work out a compromise to stop the gang killings. Must we wait to bury our children before we make the right move? Do we have to wear bulletproof vests to go downtown for the evening? With citizens’ security being of utmost concern, our police must not play “games 2009” but dedicate their time to serving their employers.
We cannot allow this to happen while criminal gangs rule the streets. I pledge to make the VPD the highest payed civic police in Canada, after ridding the department of criminal officers (mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg did it to over 300). I will implement a revolving gun amnesty, and the police servants will come and pick up any gun and give a cash voucher. This will be the start of removing guns from the street.
In the best interests and safety of the citizens and the overloaded police servants, we will administer a Euro-style strategic plan dealing with the sex trade and cannabis tolerance, in the city of Vancouver. Focusing on more prevalent issues. I will remove the political sentiment “supporting the troops”, from police cars and replace with the Canadian flags. Are they proud Canadians? Flags will also be placed on fire trucks and ambulances.
Drugs: if you go to www.focusvancouver.ca, at the top is the “Harm Reduction Pilot Project”; this might be used as a template for a Medical Access Program that will be compatible with our drug problems.
On the fiscal front I will focus on granting tax incentives and permit easements to developers/landlords who build or open homeless shelters, low-cost housing or rehabilitation centers. Seniors who have paid property tax on principle residences for years, will no longer have to pay Vancouver’s portion of the property tax.
Focus, no visions or dreams.