A new civic party has come out of the woodwork.
Called the Vancouver Cedar Party, it describes itself on its website as “rooted in democracy”. It also commits to “standing tall” for citizens, not property developers.
“We’re a party made up for people that have hope, that are dreaming of a city that actually listens to the people,” its leader and declared mayoral candidate, Glen Chernen, told the Straight in a phone interview.
According to the 43-year-old Dunbar resident, the party will owe no one any special favours because it has set a cap on donations. And it isn’t so enamoured of dedicated bike lanes, either.
Drawing a contrast to the huge amounts being received from developers by both the ruling Vision Vancouver and its main competitor, the Non-Partisan Association, Chernen said that the Cedar party is limiting annual contributions to $2,400 per donor.
The financial analyst and father of two young children also said that the Cedar party plans to create an independent anticorruption office if it succeeds in next year’s municipal election.
“We think there’s far too much secrecy at city hall with contracts, and we want that to end,” Chernen said. “We want to open up city hall.”
The Vancouver-born man also said that his party will keep the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. “They’d like to have more condominiums built there,” Chernen said of the Vision Vancouver council’s plan to tear down the viaducts.
Chernen likewise said that the building of dedicated bike lanes in the city has “gotten a little bit out of control”.
“We think that there should be some more common sense to determine where the bike lanes are going,” he said.
Chernen stressed that he and the members of his party’s board are cyclists. However, according to him, they don’t think that closing one kilometre of Point Grey Road west of Macdonald Street to cars is the right thing to do.
“It wouldn’t be a moratorium,” Chernen said when asked if the Cedar party would stop the addition of more bike lanes. “We would reverse some of the bike lanes.”