Vision Vancouver has released their full election platform, which includes policies such as establishing a pilot participatory budget program and bringing in a new permit option to allow patios to stay open later in the summer.
Other new details announced in the document released by Vision today (October 29) include increasing resources for Vancouver police to target dangerous drivers and cyclists in areas like schools zones and sidewalks, and expanding a mobile city hall program that offers access to city services in different neighbourhoods.
The platform includes $1.2 million in new spending a year, the party said, including $500,000 to target dangerous drivers, and $400,000 to expand the school board's breakfast program.
According to the document, the participatory budget program would see two neighbourhoods develop priorities for small capital projects and determine how capital funds should be allocated for local additions like playground equipment, park benches, lighting, traffic calming, and new public spaces.
The new patio permit would allow patios with good track records to stay open until 1 a.m. during July and August.
Arts-related proposals include promises to create an independent arts fund to provide $500, $1,000, and $2,000 grants for local artists who want to host new events or festivals, or who want to secure space for new performances. The fund would cost the city $50,000 a year.
Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal said the party wanted to create a program to offer small grants to project-based arts start-ups. She noted that currently, the city's arts grants mainly go to organizations that already have a proven record.
"What we’re trying to do is provide them with something showing that the city has support, which then allows them to go and leverage that—that’s very important for arts organizations," Deal told the Straight by phone.
"And then just to break down that barrier that has been there forever, which says that if you’re not already proven, you can’t get in. So that makes it very difficult, sort of like a catch-22 in terms of city funding."
Vision says they will also identify a city-owned building for artist space, and expedite an ongoing review of city bylaws that govern performance venues.
Cycling plans include addressing gaps in the city’s current network, ensuring bike storage facilities at new developments downtown, and increasing bike racks in high-traffic areas like beaches and parks.
Under food security strategies, Vision is aiming to add another 1,500 community garden plots by the end of 2018, and to secure a new, expanded facility for the Vancouver Food Bank.
Vision also intends to allow 20 more food trucks, expand city grants for block parties to include cultural events hosted by community groups, plant 150,000 new trees by 2020, and add additional garbage cans and recycling bins to “problem areas”.
The party says it will also work with bodies including the Vancouver Police Department, TransLink, and the school board to ensure “Vancouver is a safe and inclusive city for all”, similar to “sanctuary city” policies in other centres.
Other previously announced proposals outlined in Vision’s council platform include making the Broadway subway a “top priority”, adding new bus shelters at B-line stops, speaking against the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline at National Energy Board hearings, building 4,000 new rental housing units over the next term, and creating new child-care spaces.
Vision Vancouver’s park board platform includes plans to replace the Jericho Pier with a wheelchair-accessible dock, develop a new Marpole Community Centre, and invest in parks infrastructure for sports like ping pong and kabaddi. The party released its education platform earlier this week.
Other parties that have made their full election platforms public include the Vancouver Greens and the Coalition of Progressive Electors. The Non-Partisan Association has been gradually releasing policies in the lead-up to the November 15 election.