The last NPA council tied the City to the $1 billion project and there are still several hundred units to sell, and debt to pay down. That will happen over the next few years to maximize the return. Auditors estimated the current loss to the City is around $50 million
Occupancy at the Village is now over 80%, making good progress. Sales still happening at a steady rate/
The no-fun city label is long gone. We will continue to make our streets more vibrant with festivals, street food carts, markets, patios. And ensure that mega-events don't go badly
Question from Pam re: property taxes.
My goal is to keep increases at the cost-of-living level and we've accomplished that for the last 2 years during a recession. We have the lowest tax increase in the region this year. Councillor Raymond Louie has been a sharp Finance Chair!
Thank you Mr. Mayor. Two questions coming up, regarding bike lanes. Also a comment from scolby re: bike lanes. First the questions...
If re-elected, do you plan to install more bike lanes in the city, and if so, where?
Do you think businesses affected by the bike lanes installed during your first term were adequately consulted?
No plans for another downtown separated bike lane, we now have a cohesive network from Kits to Chinatown which is key for safety. We need to keep improving safety of the bike network around the city, it is the fastest growing mode of transpo in Vancouver
City staff spent several months consulting with businesses and residents along Hornby to design the lane. Lots of useful feedback and the refinements continue
Most of the world's big cities are having to rebuild their downtown transp networks to accomodate bikes, due to demand.
Haven't heard about Indy coming back
What is your proudest accomplishment as mayor?
Reducing the number of people sleeping homeless in our streets from 815 in 2008 to 145 this year. An 82% drop in street homelessness that means better lives for many people
Back to Occupy Vancouver for a moment.
The City is reaching out to anyone at Occupy who is homeless, to help connect them to housing. Tent cities are unsustainable and we will continue to enforce city bylaws to protect life safety and to ensure that others can use the public space now being monopolized by the protest.
On gambling, you rejected an expanded downtown casino. Why is the city seemingly OK with more casino gambling dollars going to Richmond or Burnaby when they could be benefiting Vancouver?
I don't think the proposed mega-casino downtown is the right fit for Vancouver's future, and that was certainly the strong majority position through one of the longest public hearings in our city history. We need to focus on other economic opportunities and revenue isn't the only concern.
My opponent supports a mega-casino downtown, although her position might have changed again...
What are your predictions for the make-up of council? Do you think Vision Vancouver will keep all of its council seats?
I certainly want to see the Vision team of 7 councillors elected. 6 are very experienced and seeking re-election. Tony Tang is our new candidate and brings great business background in the homebuilding industry.
On addiction/treatment: Do you support additional safe injection sites in the downtown Eastside?
The city will work with the Health Authority on any new sites. It would be good to see them connected with health facilities so that people can also access detox/treatment and other health care needs. Dr Peter Centre runs a very successful site in the west end with other supports
Insite also has Onsite, a treatment centre, right upstairs. PHS has created a very effective model there.
It is important, food is obviously essential and it's vital for cities to support local food production. We do that by enabling local growers to sell at many farmers markets and supporting regional food/agriculture decisions.
One last question before we wrap things up here.
What is the biggest thing you hope to change about Vancouver if re-elected?
Food is also a big part of our economy. Street food carts are opportunities for many entrepreneurs!
More affordable housing! It's become a big challenge for people in Vancouver and city hall needs to be creative and aggressive in getting new supply of many types of housing built
This concludes our live chat with Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate, and current Vancouver mayor, Gregor Robertson. We apologize we were not able to submit all of your questions for the mayor due to the number of comments and time constraints.
Thank you very much for your time, Mr. Mayor.
And thanks to everyone for participating and be sure to join us tomorrow at 1 p.m. when we speak to NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton.
I will now approve the comments that were submitted but not able to be answered, so all can see. This concludes the chat.
Thanks Peter and everyone tuned in!
No problem! Best of luck on Nov. 19.
**** The following are comments from users that were not able to be answered due to time constraints ****