Imtiaz Popat: Why I'm running for mayor of Vancouver

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      The reason I’m running for mayor of Vancouver is because there is no one I can support to oppose Mayor Kennedy Stewarts Broadway displacement plan.   

      I live a block away from the Broadway line in an older three-level apartment building with my partner who works only a few blocks away. The mayor promises that if our building is torn down, to be replaced by a tall tower, we can come back a few years later in a new building in the same location and pay the same rent.

      Where are we supposed to live in the meantime? Where will we find a place that is affordable and convenient?

      There are many other people in a similar situation. Some people who have lived in these older buildings for years. Where will they go in the meantime?

      I asked the mayor once what he plans to do with the people what will be displaced by the Broadway line. He said we will build social housing.

      Instead, he is actively encouraging landlords to tear down these older buildings, replacing them with tall towers and displacing people who live there. Where is his plan to build social housing?

      Transit should be about allowing people to live close to their work, to help build communities, not destroy them. Why is it that when SkyTrain is built on the East Side, it’s above ground? Why is the Broadway line underground displaying many small businesses and causing them great hardship just as they are trying to overcome the pandemic?

      I’m running for mayor to advocate for accessible and affordable housing, free transit, street cars, bike safety, and climate safety. I have a vision for a city without hate, police brutality and abuse, and support for community patrols and projects and to promote equity at city hall.

      Imtiaz Popat is running for mayor of Vancouver as an independent. He is a long-time equal rights and social justice activist and therapeutic counsellor.