George Affleck: The NPA represents a step forward for our city

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      In 2011, I was honoured to be elected to council for the City of Vancouver.

      Being one of two NPA representatives on council, I understood that our job would be to act as the voice of opposition, when necessary, but over time I became genuinely shocked at the anger and frustration from citizens across Vancouver about the way the Vision-dominated council manages our city’s affairs.

      My background in journalism, business, and volunteer work provided me with a skills toolkit to oversee the policy work that is required as a councillor.

      But once I realized that decisions were being made behind closed doors and that, with a majority of seats on council, park board, and school board, Vision would rubber stamp development proposals, controversial policy changes, and complicated staff reports, I soon came to realize that democracy was dead at Vancouver’s city hall under Vision rule and no matter how much I, or the people of the Vancouver fought and yelled, (or sued on 16 occasions) it has made not an ounce of difference.

      To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. Vision, Mayor Robertson, and his backroom team run Vancouver like an autocracy. They think they have the divine right to make decisions because they truly believe they know best, no matter what the people say. Not only is this bad for morale across the city and for staff at city hall, who are leaving in droves, it is terrible for creating a city where good ideas should be embraced, not shot down or mocked as Vision does consistently in the chamber at 12th and Cambie.

      My goal is to win another term. I am proud of the NPA team, led by Kirk LaPointe. While it has been a frustrating three years for me, it has also been hugely rewarding, hearing first hand from citizens who take the time to come to council and show passion about their neighbourhoods.

      As well, I believe that even in opposition I have managed to drive a few things through that will help the city, like the future of False Creek South lands, a permanent boathouse for the dragon boat and paddling community, expanding opportunities for the craft beer and sprits community, and raising the public’s awareness around spending that is out of control, as exemplified in the city’s communications department (or non-communications department, or Spin Machine Central), where the staff numbers increased from a few to more than 20 and the budget has gone from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million.

      On November 15, don’t believe the Vision election platform that choosing the NPA is a step backward. Choose the NPA; we have a solid track record governing the city responsibly, respecting the wishes of the people, and—moving forward—have a highly skilled team ready to take on the responsibility of making Vancouver great.




      Oct 14, 2014 at 11:56am

      Wait, you don't like decisions being made behind closed doors? Are you saying you agree with Ken Charko? Don't let Peter read this


      Oct 14, 2014 at 12:41pm

      George is a good guy, but, let's be honest, the NPA is bankrupt of good ideas for solving the city's problems and has put together a team for this election that is a huge YAWN. Where is their platform? How many different answers can Kirk LaPointe give for every issue he's asked about? I think there are probably more people than ever who don't want another 4 years of Vision majority, but once again the NPA is failing to become the obvious alternative with it's weak message and all-over-the-map responses to various issues. We need decisive politicians with a clear vision for the city. So far, I've not seen this at all from the NPA, or any of the other parties, for that matter.


      Oct 15, 2014 at 7:35am

      The problem with democracy is that it tends to devolve into tyranny. A coalition of idiots manipulated by pro-capitialist rhetoric into voting for business interests is NOT a democracy. Vision may also be a tyranny ruled over by Lord Robertson, but Gregor is at least occasionally left wing. The NPA is just a cover for the PCs. Let's face it, we end up with tyranny one way or the other, so let's choose tyrants who retain some interest in the common good.


      Oct 15, 2014 at 6:39pm

      Thanks for this commentary. George is a great guy who was on the most part the voice of reason in city hall next to Adraine Carr from Green Party. Vision has been a dictatorship ever since they came into power. I've experienced first hand EXACTLY what Geroge has commented here , no matter how much ppl complained against a particular plan , development , or else as long as it benefitted the developers funding Vision, it went nowhere. All of the public consultation was basically a sham as EVRYTHING was a DONE DEAL before it came to open house or public consultation.

      People mistakenly or deliberately accuse NPA of being right wing or what not, while Vision has completely bee a developer city hall, developers have funneled MILLIONS into their re-election campaign, and are waiting for a other Vision regime to acquire even more of Vancouver land to build condos for foreigner.

      Come Novemver 15, GET OUT AND VOTE PLEASE, there are great alternative to Vision, COPE, Green, NPA, Cedar and independents.


      Oct 16, 2014 at 12:16am

      Praying that we get a minority government next term. As Adriane Carr says, "Majority rule only works when you have a majority. If there is no majority, it will be a better council." Vote for a mix of candidates so that no one party is able to control this city.


      Nov 12, 2014 at 4:30pm

      I can't in good faith support a party so closely aligned with the Fraser Institute and it's conservative approaches to maintaining status quo in a world well beyond that. How will the NPA increase public consultation (extremely expensive and attended only by haters) when they reduce spending and staff levels at the same time they write off parking revenue in order to vote grab with free parking on Sundays? Vision steps on toes but they get things done that matter. Putting in a party in that would scrap all of the good parts of the plan in order to start anew is ridiculous and callous use of tax dollars - an would only result in a party fumbling around for a beginning that they'd then ask us to support their development of in term 2. We just did that. Let's let the good stuff vision has planned play out!
      And for all you nimby wankers who think the city should be preserved in the areas you lived in - go somewhere else. You can't choose to live in the most desirable city in Canada and then whine when everyone else wants the same thing. And where does the city get $ to implement all of the new programs we demand? From development. It's higher taxes or it's development funding - what do you want? Can't have your cake and eat it too - even if NPA wants you to believe they have the magic ingredients to do that even if no one else ever has found them. Get out and vote!!!