September 28, 2015

More evidence that Vancouver is politically irrelevant

From The Sun on Saturday on the Premier’s speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities

Premier Christy Clark sought to rebuild bridges with local governments Friday, unleashing a raft of small but strategically targeted grants to help rural, small and medium communities.
In a speech strikingly different from last year, when she criticized local governments for paying their senior staff too much, the premier told delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention that after years of belt-tightening it was time to loosen the purse strings. But just a bit.
Clark used her annual speech to the UBCM to promise more cost-shared infrastructure funding to medium and small communities, a new “rural dividend” fund to help the smallest communities retool their economies, and more money for wildfire prevention and improved access to high-speed Internet. …
The modest bag of goodies includes $45 million more for the Small Communities Fund, a part of the federal government’s New Building Canada Fund. Ottawa will also contribute $45 million. Last year B.C. and Ottawa each put $64 million into the program, approving projects in 55 communities. The money is available for communities of 100,000 population or less..

No comments (at least not reported) on the results of the referendum she imposed on this region – and certainly no proposals to address the consequences.  Nor any recognition of the affordable housing crisis – the single biggest issue in this city, and one that impacts the provincial economy.

Conclusion: We – at least those in the urban centre of this region – don’t much matter.

It may be that senior governments simply don’t know what do about the housing dilemma, and they certainly don’t want to threaten either the flow of wealth pouring in, the value accumulated by existing homeowners or their belief that the market is the more effective regulator.

Still, how can the City of Vancouver MLAs have nothing to say about the two biggest issues that are roiling their constituencies?  Nothing to say about transportation and housing affordability

That can’t last.

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Comments

  1. Indeed it is time to elect a city government that does more than build bike lanes and high rises while overpaying their employees and neglecting rapid transit, Uber and affordable housing.
    An unresponsive city government that constantly has their hand out to the federal and provincial politicians for more money indeed cannot last !

  2. With well over one trillion dollars in economic activity occurring in the Metro to contribute to the provincial and national economy every decade, it is clear that the current provincial leadership does not understand cities and their profound contribution to the national wellbeing.

    1. No. The GDP of Metro Vancouver is just over $100 billion a year, half of the province’s GDP. Over 10 years it’s over 1,000 billion, or one trillion.

  3. “Governing by referenda is one step away from mob rule.” To paraphrase Anne Golden.
    In that light many of us perceive the highly selective and targeted imposition of the recent plebiscite as indicative of the inherent weakness of the premier to develop policies of depth on urban and environmental issues. The evidence is mounting that that is indeed her motive.

    1. “Governing by cliche is worse.”
      Anne Golden?! Who ruled over the moribund Conference Board of Canada during their era of wide-spread scandal from publishing documents littered with plagiarizism and sketchy reasoning? Likened to baseball’s doping era. You’ll make a better dishwasher than a detective.

  4. On the other hand improving infrastructure and economies of smaller communities may help create jobs, opportunities and population growth outside the Lower Mainland.

  5. Clark didn’t win her Vancouver riding. Why would she care what happens to Vancouver transportation? And, one of her largest backers is Bob Rennie. Do you seriously think she wants to slow down the skyrocketing prices of real estate?

    1. I think this is a big thing. You can’t underestimate the impact this had. She ran in Vancouver and lost, as Premier! Voters in Vancouver gave her a big f you, now she’s giving it back in return.

  6. Outgoing head if Vancouver City planning himself said that Vision has an ambitious agenda. Everyone can see that anyone that gets in the way of the agenda gets paid off to shut up, or they quit. Christy Clark knows that the best thing to do is let Vancouver play it’s game. Vancouver has control of planning, zoning, property taxes, DCCs, parks, bike lanes, parking, and budget expenditures, to say the least. When it comes to transit planning, Vancouver can’t even agree with the adjoining major municipality of Burnaby, even when both are headed by left wing leaders.
    Why jump in?

  7. It looks like the feds treat the third largest Metro city in Canada similarly. Toronto promised $2.6 billion for their LRT expansion; Calgary promised $1.53 billion for its LRTexpansion; and Ottawa gets $ 1 billion for its new LRT system. Metro Vancouver, $700 million….Just how far is Ottawa from Vancouver?