NPA reveals right wing inclination in latest news release citing Fraser Institute report

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      When I saw the latest news release from the NPA, my first thought was, "Oh my God, does Kirk LaPointe have a secret agenda to close some library branches?"

      The party is trumpeting a Fraser Institute report noting that Vancouver spends $305 more per capita on public services than the regional average.

      It's no secret that Vancouver has the best public facilities in the region.

      Whereas the Lower Mainland's third-largest city, Burnaby, has four library branches, Vancouver has 22.

      Whereas the region's second-largest city, Surrey, has six community centres, Vancouver has 24.

      Whereas the Surrey RCMP says on its website that it has 661 police (the number has increased somewhat since then), Vancouver has 1,327, according to its last annual report.

      Whereas Surrey had 25 murders in 2013, Vancouver had only six.

      Whereas Vancouver has a plethora of shelters and drop-in facilities for the homeless, B.C. Housing lists no such services in Burnaby or Coquitlam, which is the fifth largest city in the region.

      In the NPA news release, LaPointe claimed that Vancouver residents don't receive 78 percent more services than Surrey, which spends the lowest per capita on public services.

      Based on the statistics listed above, I would question LaPointe's assertion.

      He's now calling for keeping spending under control.

      Since LaPointe has declared himself to be the king of transparency, I invite him to fill in the comment form below to identify which libraries and community centres he'll close and how many police officers he'll lay off to bring Vancouver's spending down to the regional average.

      Politicians who rely on Fraser Institute research are often politicians who value markets over anything else.

      The NPA campaign has taken an increasingly right-wing turn in the past couple of weeks, perhaps because this helps fill party coffers from right-wing businesspeople.

      However when the last NPA mayoral candidate, Suzanne Anton, took a hard right turn, she ended up alienating the party's more progressive wing.

      With LaPointe relying on Fraser Institute dogma to buttress his mayoral campaign, he appears doomed to make the same mistake.




      Oct 21, 2014 at 1:49pm

      Anyone who uses that particular Fraser Institute report as evidence of their claims regarding value for the dollar has no business holding public office or even commenting on the issue

      Using average spending per person is inaccurate at best, intentionally misleading at worst, given the drivers of municipal revenue and spending

      Let us say that municipalities all had a flat tax rate on property; lo and behold, those municipalities with higher property values, all things being equal, would have a greater "average" nominal tax burden, and they would also have a greater "average" amount of spending per person assuming that all revenue was spent.

      This does not even take into account the fact that those that live in affluent jurisdictions generally expect their streets to be clean, safe, and patrolled by well funded police services.

      The idea that you can somehow compare municipal spending and make judgments on value for dollar of taxation on the basis of averages, without taking into account property values, population density and demographic changes, and the myriad of other factors that affect the demand for services in any given jurisdiction is nothing more than simplistic, ideologically driven nonsense peddled by those that choose to be ignorant or who do not have the courage of character to be honest about what they believe


      Oct 21, 2014 at 2:03pm

      Just curious if Charlie Smith is a Straight writer or simply another Vision PR hack... The blatant bias gets really tiring.

      Martin Dunphy

      Oct 21, 2014 at 2:09pm


      Charlie Smith is the editor, and this is a commentary (just in case you get those mixed up with hard news).
      And it is not his fault if the NPA, or any political party, makes itself easy to criticize.


      Oct 21, 2014 at 2:22pm

      Yes, Kirk LaPointe - future closer of libraries, contractor out of city worker jobs, taking a hard turn to the right in the final month of his Campaign of Error 2014. Gosh, that Kirk LaPointe, he's just once confidence-inspiring kinda guy!

      A one time believer in Vision

      Oct 21, 2014 at 2:23pm

      Please Charlie, spare us your partisan scare mongering and manufactured hysteria. The expression "cost control" only equates to closing facilities in the mind of someone making a deliberate effort to malign an opponent.


      Oct 21, 2014 at 2:24pm

      Ha, I saw that map showing how much the regional cities are spending on services and my first thought way "wow, I'm sure happy I live in Vancouver!" It took me a moment to realize the NPA was trying to use it to criticize Vision.

      If we're spending too much money, where exactly should the cuts be Mr. Lapointe?


      Oct 21, 2014 at 2:25pm

      "which public services does he plan on cutting?"
      What a disingenuous question. As if paying consultants $800 per day to "count the homeless" is a public service. Or $97,000 poodle poles. Is that a public service? Perhaps he could cut the $75,000/year free crack pipe service.

      Yet you jump right to "I invite him to fill in the comment form below to identify which libraries and community centres he'll close.."

      *slow clap*

      Arthur Vandelay

      Oct 21, 2014 at 3:01pm

      Hey Charlie, got anything critical of COPE you can share with us?

      Charlie Smith

      Oct 21, 2014 at 3:17pm

      Hi Arthur,

      I've been thinking about writing about COPE's housing policy and where it may exceed the authority of the city under the Vancouver Charter.

      You might enjoy reading all of the proposals, including the party's plan to fund "citywide Tenant Unions", create a "Squatters Right bylaw", and implement a "luxury housing tax".

      Charlie Smith