Jean Swanson shows a theatrical side in announcing her candidacy for Vancouver city council

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      Once again, antipoverty activist Jean Swanson is running for city council.

      And at her announcement today in Shaughnessy, she demonstrated that she still has a flair for campaigning.

      Standing in the Crescent within a stone's throw of a home worth $14 million, she reiterated her concern for the city's poorest residents and bluntly called for higher taxes on the rich.

      She even covered a van in a big white tissue box, dubbed Jeanex, for any multimillionaire homeowners in the neighbourhood who are sniffling over high property taxes.

      "We have to take the profit motive out of housing like we took it out of health care," Swanson declared. "The status quo and the market will never solve the crisis."

      In a council by-election in 2017, Swanson ran a strong second with a similarly theatrical campaign.

      What she lacked in money she more than made up for with imagination.

      This included a march outside the home of lululemon billionaire Chip Wilson, where Swanson called for a "Mansion Tax".

      Swanson also demanded a rent freeze, which infuriated landlords but which also generated tremendous media coverage.

      So does this mean there could temporary modular housing for the homeless in the Crescent?

      That remains to be seen, but one of Swanson's allies, COPE council hopeful Derrick O'Keefe, would like to see this type of shelter somewhere in Shaughnessy.

      Derrick O'Keefe speaks about the history of Shaughnessy.

      However, at this stage there haven't been suggestions to develop social housing along the lush boulevards on King Edward Avenue and Cambie Street on the city's West Side.

      But there is an argument that the creation of thinner streets could free up more land for affordable housing.

      Paris, for example, has nearly four times as many residents per square kilometre as the city of Vancouver—without nearly as many high-rises. It's because land is deployed more efficiently there to house people rather than providing as many expansive boulevards for motor vehicles.

      The most articulate local proponents of this idea have been former city planners Christina Demarco and Ted Sebastian, and Emily Carr University of Art + Design professor Charles Dobson.

      However, Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vision Vancouver-controlled council never seriously embraced this concept for fear of ticking off homeowners.