Vision Vancouver platform includes proposals for arts fund, longer patio hours

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      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.




      Oct 29, 2014 at 12:20pm

      I'm always in favour of more funding for the arts. Hopefully other parties will try to out do Vision in this area.

      @OMG (and all Vancity artists and patrons)

      Oct 30, 2014 at 6:16am

      I'm always in favour of more arts funding too, but this platform is weak in that regard. I too hope the other parties outdo. This proposal seems to be a cheap attempt at grabbing some votes from the arts sector, which otherwise has had little benefit from Vision. $500-2000 grants to secure space and host events, in Vancouver? That's paltry; they can do better. Our young artists need real support, not a pittance.
      Also, let us remember that a proposal made is not a promise fulfilled, especially for Vision.

      I attended the MAYORS Arts Awards last year, where Robertson gave a bland, unenthused 2 minute speech at the beginning, and then was gone the minute the ceremony was over. I witnessed no genuine participation in the ceremony or interaction with the artists (aside from stilted posing for photos).
      I'll even allow that this is okay; not everyone must be a huge proponent. But when I read a cheap platform proposal like this, I must speak up: I do not believe Vision truly supports arts&culture.


      Oct 30, 2014 at 10:42am

      Is all smoke and mirrors, covering for what they really plan , no consultation, we know what is best for the city. Their time has long expired, there best by date was punched 4 yrs ago. Total lack of vision, say goodbye


      Oct 31, 2014 at 12:08am

      I'm non-partisan because there's no getting away from left-wing politics in Vancouver but Vision Vancouver represents the worst in political cronyism, double talk, and hypocrisy.

      Where does Gregor "Mayor Moonbeam" Robertson get off accusing the NPA and COPE of having wide eye ideas, and lack of disclosure when he and his cronies have squandered millions of taxpayer dollars on failed bike sharing programs, and putting giant bean bag chairs and sofas on Robson St so people without jobs can lay on them all summer long? Could those millions of dollars not gone towards crime prevention, road repair, infrastructure and social housing? You know, the things that a City Council is supposed to be taking care of?

      Do these fools really expect people to give up their cars and ride bikes in a city that rains 2/3rds of the year, and has steep hills in every direction? Does he expect the "soccer mom" to drop her kids off at school, go to work, pick up the kids, stop off at a Safeway all on a bicycle in the middle of December? How about making incentives for affordable car sharing programs, carpool programs, pressure on Translink to offer better services, allow Uber to come into Vancouver, look towards electric bikes and scooters and allow them to park for free in the alleys of commercial zones?

      Instead he and his cronies helped create a private road for rich buddies like Chip Wilson, and sold out Vancouver wholesale to developers with densification programs that is ruining the Vancouver landscape and people still cannot afford to buy a place in this City.

      Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Mayor Moonbeam has got to go!


      Oct 31, 2014 at 7:01am

      I wonder how many more arts venues they'll hand over to developers if elected again.


      Nov 1, 2014 at 10:31am

      Yes, now that homelessness is over thanks to these Vision nutbars, there is lots of cash for more ugly sculptures on the beaches.