On October 20, United Church minister Christine Boyle became the first OneCity candidate in history to be elected to Vancouver city council. A month after being sworn into office, she answered three questions from the Straight.
Q. Since joining council, what’s surprised you the most about the job?
A. City staff have been taking our new council through a very interesting and fairly exhaustive orientation, with briefings, site visits, and ride-alongs. I can’t say any of it has particularly surprised me—I’ve been involved in municipal public policy and local politics for a while. But I have been learning a ton, and I’ve met some amazing and dedicated leaders, many of whom are quietly working away in incredible and underrecognized ways. It’s been very inspiring.
Q. As a councillor, what’s your top objective going to be in 2019?
A. My focus is ensuring that we are centring equity and inclusion in our work: that the city plan supports ways for us to welcome new and often lower-income neighbours into our wealthier communities; that we are protecting renters and working to build more rental housing across the city; that our citizen advisory committees bring more diverse and underrepresented voices into city hall; that we engage in meaningful reconciliation, listening to and following the leadership of local Nations and urban Indigenous communities; and that we’re urgently tackling the opioid-poisoning crisis and caring for the most vulnerable among us.
Q. What are you hoping to acomplish as a member of the Metro Vancouver board?
A. The Metro Vancouver board is an important place for us to be thinking regionally about the biggest challenges that we face, especially climate change. I hope that in each decision we make at that level, from transportation to waste, we are keeping in mind that the world’s leading climate scientists say we have 12 years to limit catastrophic climate change. We were all just elected for a four-year term—one-third of that climate time line. My commitment is to do everything I can to ensure that we rise to the challenge.